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Junta says protesters will ‘face restrictions’

Feb 26. 2018
Panitan Wattanayagorn
Panitan Wattanayagorn
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By The Nation

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Adviser to Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, Panitan Wattanayagorn, said on Monday that any political moves right now would face restrictions.

Panitan noted that security officers were suppressing political assemblies. However, he viewed that this is normal.

Every time political space is opened up, people tend to make moves in response to it, he added.

Panitan said that the activists involved in recent movements were “fairly experienced” to – even though almost all of them are still university students -– and said security officers were investigating their connections with other people.

“They are political groups who want to show themselves to the public, as the political space is more open,” he said. “What the security officers can do is suppress them.”

Panitan added that these groups were being closely monitored by the junta, which did not want to see “any incidents by a third party”, and would face legal if they violated the law.

National Council for Peace and Order spokesperson Colonel Winthai Suvaree said the junta would try to ask for cooperation from, and create understanding with, the groups, including Democracy Restoration and Start Up People. However, security officers would step up measures in response to any political moves. At this point, however, the police were in charge of the situation.

Winthai downplayed the groups’ impact on public perception, questioning the credibility of their speakers and dubbing them “hard talk persons:.

Prawit, meanwhile, said the junta would keep its political ban order in place, despite the fact that local elections will soon take place.

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