Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Thanathorn denies betraying Thailand through comments in Europe

Jul 19. 2019
Thanathorn
Thanathorn
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By The Nation

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Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit dismissed allegations that he was a traitor and criticised the country during a recent trip to Europe.

He also denied trying to escape legal action, saying he was ready to face all legal battles that have arisen since he joined politics. 

“I said last year that I knew I had to fight the dictatorship and I was quite certain I would face legal action,” he said at a press conference on Friday. He also said that his actions cannot be seen as a betrayal of the country. 

“For Future Forward Party, the country is its people, not its government. The foreign officials I met want Thai politics to be good again, like it was in the past,” he said. 

The tycoon-turned-politician said his trip to Europe had four major objectives: networking, explaining Thailand’s situation, learning about economies and observing urban development. 

During his trip to the four European countries, Thanathorn met senior officials and politicians from seven organisations that promote democracy and local media. 

He said that whoever he met all expressed concerns about Thailand’s situation. 

“I want to see Thailand return to democracy and start respecting international human rights. I want to see the country playing a leading role in Southeast Asia,” he said. 

He added that though the post-coup junta, the National Council for Peace and Order, has ceased to exist, its legacy is still alive in the current Constitution. 

“If the Constitution is not amended, I believe we will never see the country move towards democracy,” he added.

He also dismissed his critics’ allegations that he had arranged for an interview with the BBC, which was not broadcast through its official channel. 

“You cannot buy media outlets of that stature. They are proud of their reputation and carefully choose who they want to interview. It’s impossible to set it up,” he said.

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