Piyabutr warns Army Chief’s remarks will deepen national divide

The Future Forward Party secretary-general says that Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong’s remarks on politicians, academics and national security could deepen the political divide in the country and spark a “clash of generations”.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul made the remarks at a seminar where he spoke on “homeland from the democratic perspective and the role of the people in building the nation”. The seminar was held in response to Apirat’s special national security speech on Friday.

During his speech, Apirat warned of the continuing threat to Thailand from communism and dissidents. He claimed some former communists had become politicians, and some had become academics but the “communist ideology chips were still implanted in their heads”.

He also cited threats from information warfare and propaganda, and the spread of fake news, which he saw as a collaboration between former communists and “foreign-graduated leftists and unethical scholars”.

Meanwhile, in his speech Piyabutr emphasised respect for difference of opinion, human dignity, rights and liberty.

“National security is equal to the people’s security”.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Jack Burton

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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