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Prayut claims to have returned ‘Thai smiles’

Sep 15. 2016
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PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha and deputy prime ministers yesterday announced the government’s achievements over the past two years. In the presentation, they claimed that Thailand was once again a “land of smiles” as the administration had been devoted
“Long-term national strategies and integrity of all sectors are essential to fixing long-standing problems,” Prayut said. “The strategies are drawn up by us, so future governments can also follow them if they want.” 
Prayut was speaking at a press briefing on the government’s two-year performance report at Government House, where he distanced the junta from other governments |that had allegedly caused “problems for decades”. 
“National development was slow. There was no thorough economic reform. The society was unsettled. People also had insufficient access to a fair justice system,” Prayut said. “As the country has no long-term strategy, it needs reform to keep up with the fast-changing global trends.”
Of the claimed successes, Prayut cited an improvement in political stability due to the government’s ability to lessen “confrontations so Thais can dwell in peace”. 
He also mentioned the concept of Pracha Rat, or “state of the people, which is a scheme to encourage the cooperation between the private and public sectors, several times. 
The concept has been used by the government to address issues ranging from security to the economy and the integration of bureaucratic government offices to change conventional top-down administrative approach to a bottom-up one. 
The premier also addressed an improvement in legal affairs as the government has tried to “modernise laws to offer justice to all sectors without affecting the national interest”. 
He added that his government had also managed to enact a record number of laws under these special circumstances. 
The government has also met its international commitments, he said, citing Thailand’s upgrade in the Trafficking in Persons Report. He added that the government had cracked down on ivory trafficking after Thailand ratified the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
On the economic front, Prayut pointed to an improvement in regional connectivity via new infrastructure, special economic zones, support for young entrepreneurs and SMEs via innovation, the technology-enhanced agricultural industry, water management, the ease of doing business, and a push towards a digital economy.
He also mentioned several figures – some not attributed – apparently indicating the country’s enhanced stability, governance and economic competitiveness.
As for foreign affairs, Prayut mentioned Thailand’s leadership in developing the Group of 77 and other diplomacy. The country is also committed to helping to tackle international concerns, such as illegal fishing and below-standard aviation, he said. 
With the country moving towards the second phase of the junta’s “roadmap to democracy”, Prayut said the country needed to focus on human-resource development via lifetime learning, the public healthcare system, logistics development, a drive toward potential industrial groups and Thailand 4.0, the |new digital-based economic development concept.
Prayut wrapped up his speech by asking people to have courage and understand his performance, especially when it comes to using absolute power under the interim charter’s Article 44. 
“I’ve used this power to solve problems. You know, I can be upset too if you accuse me of abusing others,” he said. “Don’t apply what previous governments have done to us, because we are not here for the benefit of any other group, but have come here to serve all Thais.” 

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