Thailand: Anti-coup elements in the crosshairs

  • The government has been keeping a close eye on anti-coup elements as reports have emerged that several are planning to sow discord and instigate disturbances, it said 15 Nov 17.
  • The move comes ahead of a looming cabinet reshuffle. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has already submitted the reshuffle list for royal endorsement, according to reports.
  • Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Deputy Defence Minister Udomdej Sitabutr said Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has ordered security agencies to closely monitor high-risk political elements.
  • The Royal Thai Police (RTP) have also issued a circular instructing all agencies under it to conduct surveillance on certain political groups as rumours swirl they are plotting to mobilise their supporters to demonstrate against the government
  • However, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul played down the move, saying similar circulars are issued regularly.
  • The RTP have not yet detected any suspicious activities from leaders of anti-coup elements, he said, adding that many have already been detained.
  • However, one high-ranking police source said that anti-coup groups both in Thailand and abroad were attempting to undermine the government’s stability by using various online and other media to spread false information to local communities and villages.
  • These groups are waiting for anti-coup sentiment to become widespread before launching demonstrations against the government, the source said.

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