Thailand: Speech of Chief Army Commander at 1.45 pm

Thaiand: Speech of Chief Army Commander at 1.45 pm: 2 Sep 2008

Partial Summary and not completed

Gen. Anupong Paojinda’s speech:

                I was appointed as the Chair of the Committee of Emergency Situation in Bangkok. We are planning to call for consultation and will come out with the measure to secure the situation

1.       We will deal with the situation by democratic way and under rule of law

2.       Our operation will lead to protect both parties  therefore there will be no attacking against each other

Measures:

2.1   Public awareness: understanding the cause and we will use negotiation method.

2.2   Public awareness to other part of the country: the state agencies will manage to communicate to peoples / rather than order not to come to join the protest.

2.3   We will not increase the personnel considering that current police force and army personnel have enough capacity.

2.4   The joint forces will not use weapon.

2.5   Negotiation & Reconciliation

2.6   Media shall be in the position to create understanding that we will use negotiation and will not use forces.

 

Q&A:

 

Q: If you have to choose between the PM and the use of forces, what will you do?

A: We will deal the situation with rule of law/ law enforcement or parliamentarian shall exercise their role. Army/Soldiers will be with peoples and will not use any physical forces; we shall use rationales and minds.

 

Q:  Is that mean you will negotiate?

A: we will try to bring peoples /groups who are in the oppositions/ differences to discuss.  We will use democratic way and other customary rules in Thailand to deal the issues.

 

Q:  Negotiation (only stopping the use of violence)

A:  the committee shall take part in negotiating only to end all parties to use forces. However,

 

Q: what is the time frame?

A: we could not limit and know by now when. But when the situation will not

need this measure.  Our measure is not to use violence/forces.

 

We use the standard that we use in the south with the equipment such as shield and stick, tear gas and watering only. if we use forces and weapons, we will create more problems.

 

Q: about NBT, 

A: Both sides, using media and communication that created the issues and violence. So how to deal with all media who is playing that role (creating violence). You all are media; you know we need to be neutral as soldiers/polices.

We shall not over-talk and exaggerated. Our action in dealing the media will be interpreted in the wrong way very easily. Therefore, we were suggested to deal with media but we are very careful in dealing with freedom of expression.

 

We, as Army, did not want to be a part of the violence creator. We are here for our nation to bring the peaceful solution.

 

We hope that all will understand that we are neutral.

 

If that will be possible, we also would like to talk to both (ASTV and NBT), not to close or ban them but ask them to do the best for all. To Ban is too sensitive.

 

We all understand, we shall bring this issue back to democratic platform.

 

Army will deal with prevention of violence.

Army would like the democratic platform to deal with the conflict.

 

Things to do will have to consider also the economic impact and social impact.

 

Public will also have to help in bringing the conflict resolution.

 

Q: about the Parliament house (The protest site)

A: we will not deal with that it needs other mechanism. We are just going to act in preventing the violence that might happen among nationals.

 

 Q: who will be the negotiator?  We will discuss about the detail and maybe we will propose to each party, or maybe we will talk via media.

 

In English: “I can ensure you all that the police and military will not force”

 

We must lead all the direction to rule of law, non-violence.

                                                                                                         

Q: you seemed to be honor men but not backing democratic elected govt.

A: The conflict caused by Government, it is not our issues:

Certain boundary, it provides the scope for army. We will support, the line b/w the army would like to support the govt. beyond that boundary, and it is conflict b/w government and others. We are not doing anything beyond that boundary.

 

A: My role is to deal with ending violence use in this conflict but we will not deal with conflict.

 

A: There is (no door) no military coup d’état from our side as the mean to end this conflict. We will not use army forces and we will not use the coup / we will use the parliament way.

 

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Background:

Army chief pledges peaceful means to defuse tensions

By The Nation (2 Sep 2008)

 

Army chief Gen Anupong Paochinda vowed on Friday to rely on negotiations and peaceful means to execute emergency measures in order to restore normalcy.

Anupong was speaking as the commander in charge of the state of emergency.

 

 

He said he would try to resolve the emergency situation through negotiations.

Anti-riot forces will not be armed but rely on protective shields and batons for crowd control.

However he seemed to distance his panel from negotiating with two rival groups, saying that the panel is assigned to stop the violence and prevent further clashes between them.


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