THE JUNTA has explained to foreign countries why it seized power in an attempt to make the international community understand its motives.
The Foreign Ministry and military attaches were involved in the efforts, deputy Army spokesman Winthai Suvari said yesterday.
Foreign countries were informed that circumstances in Thailand and foreign countries were different.
“The military has clear evidence and strong reasons for it to stage a coup and is ready to convince foreign nations,” Winthai said.
He said the military supported democracy and as such it expected other countries not to focus on individual cases.
He said acts under democratic principles by both individuals and groups in Thailand had caused loss of life and damage many times.
Many people used their freedom of expression through weapons and that reflected their support for violence. “I wonder what image foreigners would have of Thailand where such a freedom of expression leads to violence,” he said.
“The use of rights under democracy in Thailand may be different from other countries. The news reports by the Thai and foreign media about the situation in Thailand are also different.”
Referring to a telephone conversation between US Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Harry Harris and National Council for Peace and Order chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Winthai said the conversation was initiated as both countries were old allies.
During the conversation, Winthai said Harris expressed concerns but as a military officer he understood the situation.
Harris hoped that the power seizure would end at the soonest possible date with the country returned to sustainable peace.
The US had earlier cancelled an ongoing military exercise with Thailand and Harris’s planned visit to the country after the Army seized power in a widely condemned coup.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement on Saturday:
“While we have enjoyed a long and productive military-to-military relationship with Thailand, our own democratic principles and US law require us to reconsider US military assistance and engagements.”
The Cooperation of Afloat Readiness and Training exercise, which involves several hundred US Marines and sailors and began last Monday, was cancelled.