Thai martial law to remain, says senior army commander

Martial law in Thailand is likely to remain in force for the time being despite concerns by foreign investors, a senior army commander said.

PTI| Updated: Aug 17, 2014, 23:22 PM IST

Bangkok: Martial law in Thailand is likely to remain in force for the time being despite concerns by foreign investors, a senior army commander said warning that underground activities could increase if the law was lifted.

First Army Region commander Lt Gen Thirachai Nakwanich said the law was necessary to maintain order and to deal with groups who challenge the state`s authority.

However, he said the military would take into consideration the concerns raised by 25 foreign fund managers and investors that the law could dampen the investment atmosphere.
Without the law, which has been enforced nationwide since May 20, two days before the coup that toppled the Pheu Thai party-led government, the military would be left without the legal tools to do a proper job of keeping order, Bangkok Post quoted Thirachai, who is chief of the National Council for Peace and Order`s peace-keeping force.

On May 7, the country`s top court ordered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine members of her cabinet to resign after charging them with abuse of power and violating the constitution.

Thirachai said the general public did not seem to be bothered by enforcement of the law and many may have forgotten that the country was still being governed by it.

"The people who tend to be affected are those with ill intentions. They want to make trouble. If martial law is lifted, the military won?t have the tools to handle these people," he said adding that underground activities would likely increase or intensify if martial law was scrapped.
However, he said the military will take into consideration the concerns raised by 25 foreign fund managers and investors that the law could dampen the investment atmosphere.

He played down pamphlets attacking the military that were scattered in front of the army`s headquarters early on Friday morning.

The leaflets, which carried a range of different messages, apparently singled out military junta chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha for criticism.

Thirachai said the leaflets were nothing but an outlet to voice displeasure.