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Govt's duty to protect monarchy:PM

Aug 16. 2017
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
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By The Nation

The monarchy always shows mercy to those who commit lese majeste crimes, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday in response to student activist Jatupat Boonpattarararaksa being jailed for two years and six months.

“The monarch never wants to see people being punished because of this matter,” Prayut said at a budget meeting.

“The protection of the institution of the monarchy is one of the key security strategies of the government.”

Jatupat, known widely as “Pai Dao Din”, was sentenced by Khon Kaen provincial court for sharing a BBC Thai article on a royal profile.

“While people know very well that defamation of the monarchy is a crime in Thailand, some just want to violate the law,” Prayut said.

“I don’t really understand why they just want to disobey the law.”

“The monarchy institution always has mercy, always grants pardons and even amnesty, but there remain many people who want to violate the law.

“I sometimes try to think in the same way as them, but really cannot find good reason why they have to do so,” he said.

“It is not the institution of the monarchy that issues and enforces such laws, it is the government’s duty to enforce the law to protect the institution,” Prayut said.

“Please understand that HM the King cannot enforce the law. The monarchy gives the power [to the government] to run the country, so we have to protect the institution.”

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