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Prayuth urges media to foster unity

Mainstream media should avoid taking sides in the current political conflict and instead aim to foster unity, Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday.

Prayuth, who chairs the executive board of the Army-owned Channel 5, said he has also instructed the channel to broadcast shows that will foster unity.

He also insisted yesterday that the Army would remain impartial and not play a part in deepening the conflict, adding that the military would create more enemies if it played favourites. Prayuth said he had told his officers not to take sides or voice their political preference publicly.

At celebrations yesterday for Channel 5's 56th anniversary, opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva praised the army chief for taking the right stance during the current crisis and urged the Army to play a bigger role if the situation worsens.

The opposition leader also reiterated that caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra should step down before it's too late.

When asked what he thought of the imposition of the emergency decree, Abhisit said he didn't understand the reason behind it, because unlike some elements in the 2010 red-shirt protest, the People's Democratic Reform Committee protesters were not armed.

He said there was also reason to believe that foreign mercenaries had been hired to create a situation, but he did not back this claim with evidence.


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