Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha Monday hit back at the red-shirt leaders, saying they should stop trying to frame the military and should take responsibility for the damage done in red-shirt protests in 2010.
Prayuth was referring to the dissemination of a photo of a Navy officer said to be the grenade-throwing assailant at the Victory Monument on Sunday.
“I would like to tell those who tried to frame the armed forces that they should take responsibility for what happened in 2010,” Prayuth said without mentioning the red-shirt leaders directly but apparently referring to them.
He said when the Army performed a parade to display its military capability, no one admired the capability but the red-shirt leaders accused the Army of planning to stage a coup. “This is regretful,” Prayuth said.
The Army chief urged the public to use their judgement in screening information disseminated on social media before passing it on or sharing it.
He said the sharing of false information against the armed forces could damage the military’s reputation. He said the information should be verified by police before it could be shared or passed on.
Prayuth said soldiers are not the enemies of the people no matter which side the people belong to.
He said the people should help find the cause of the on-going political conflicts instead of blaming the violence on officials and the armed forces for not coming out to keep order.
He said troops were deployed to keep order in 2010 because they carried out their duties under the emergency decree but the current situation had not turned as violent as in 2010.
He said he was deeply concerned about the violence and had talked to Police Commissioner-General Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew about the security measures. He said the Army would increase security checkpoints and work with police to try to prevent more violence.