Multiple wives just 'personal' business
Interior Minister Aree Wongsearaya yesterday defended Council for National Security chairman Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin against allegations that he had broken the law by having two registered wives, saying that it was a personal matter.
Aree, who like Sonthi is a Muslim, was reacting to a call made on Thursday by an anti-coup group calling itself "Phirab Khao [White Dove] 2006" for Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont to sack the junta leader for having allegedly registered two marriages.
The interior minister said it was a personal matter that should not be publicised. "They [the anti-coup group] should consider how they can restore harmony to the country rather than try to expose personal matters," he said.
Aree said he didn't know whether the Army chief had in fact registered two marriages, but added that whoever was raising the issue should desist because it was damaging rather than constructive.
"This government has the objective to solve the problems of the country; why do they have to create conflict rather than harmony? If they want to criticise, let's talk about the [government's] work" he said.
Aree said Muslim men could have four wives according to tradition.
"I have six wives while the CNS chief has only two, so it is nothing to talk about," he said.
Democrat Party deputy leader Alongkorn Pollabutr yesterday said he believed members of the former government were behind Phirab Khao 2006.
He said the group was intent on discrediting Sonthi, but it was the government's duty to examine the issue now that it had been raised.
Alongkorn said he believed the "undercurrent", as the CNS describes pro-Thaksin movements, would become more active from now on, so people should be alert and discerning about information.