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NCPO to brief foreign envoys

Diplomats will be told reasons for coup; security tightened today at five locations

In an apparent attempt to update the international community about the post-coup situation in Thailand, the Foreign Ministry will on Wednesday hold a meeting between junta leaders, foreign ambassadors and Thai envoys based overseas.

Meanwhile, a joint force of police and soldiers from 42 companies (about 4,200 people) will be dispatched today to five locations in Bangkok where anti-coup protesters plan to gather, deputy national police chief General Somyot Poompanmoung said.

The permanent secretary at the Foreign Ministry, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, yesterday said the ministry would invite ambassadors for a discussion with General Prayuth Chan-ocha, leader of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), and deputy junta leader General Tanasak Patimapragorn.

The aim is to explain to the diplomatic community why the military needed to seize power on May 22 and detail the NCPO's measures to restore peace in the country, according to Sihasak.

Prayuth is also the Army commander-in-chief and Tanasak, who is in charge the NCPO's security affairs, is the supreme commander of the Armed Forces.

Sihasak said Western countries, particularly the United States, Australia and the European Union, were "especially worried" about the political situation in Thailand.

Sihasak will this week inform the latest political developments to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said yesterday.

He said the permanent secretary would attend the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva and would use the opportunity to explain to member countries why the NCPO seized power.

Somyot said security forces - 15 companies of police and 27 companies of soldiers - would be stationed today at Victory Monument, Siam Paragon shopping mall, Suvarnabhumi Airport, McDonald's Ratchaprasong outlet, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. He said the military would devise the operational response to deal with protesters.

Security forces will also be deployed at all BTS train stations and on trains, Somyot said.

He said the authorities would screen out protesters to avoid causing inconvenience to people unrelated to the protest.

In a related development, Cambodia's Ambassador to Thailand You Ay has reaffirmed to the Thai Foreign Ministry that Phnom Penh will not allow anyone to use Cambodia to campaign against the junta, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek said.

Sek said East Asia Department director-general Damrong Kraikruan had met the Cambodian ambassador over reports that former PM's Office minister and red-shirt leader Jakrapob Penkair had been using Cambodia as a platform for campaigning against the NCPO.

The Cambodian ambassador told Damrong that Phnom Penh would not allow Cambodia to be used as a base to campaign against its neighbours.

On Friday night, Prayuth addressed the country in the weekly programme "Returning Happiness to the People". He said foreign countries needed to be informed that the NCPO was working to create stability for the country following years of political instability and damaging conflict.

He urged the Information and Communications Technology Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to step up efforts to create understanding in the international community towards post-coup Thailand.

Prayuth said there would be no corruption in the development projects overseen by the Armed Forces. He would ensure that procurement projects and the project to refurbish military weapons would be in line with development plans and there would be no corruption.


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