The Royal Thai Armed Forces will begin conscription of privates early next month, Assistant Army Chief General Weerachai Inthusophon said, adding that he could not guarantee that privates would not die as a result of punishment in the future.
In recent years, several conscripts have died after being physically disciplined. The latest case was that of 19-year-old military academy cadet Pakapong Tanyakan, who died after being punished at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School in Nakhon Nayok province last October.
Weerachai said he would try to prevent punishments that could lead to death, adding that the Armed Forces would quickly solve the problem in the case of a death, he said.
Push ups were allowed as punishment, but corporal punishment was not, he added. Supervisors who conduct banned punishments would be prosecuted under the law as well as face military discipline, he added. No one has been prosecuted for Pakapong’s death to date.
This year, about 356,000 men across the country will be obligated report for conscription, but the Armed Forces will only recruit about 100,000 for service. Conscription will be held between April 1 and 12.
Conscripts receive about Bt10,000 per month for salary as well as an additional temporary living allowance, Lt-General Kathayut Saowakon, Army director of personnel, said.