The Nation



Troops must abide by rules: supreme commander

Supreme Commander Gen Thanasak Patimapakorn insisted on Saturday that troops must adhere to the rules.

He was speaking at a public forum at the Supreme Command for People's Democratic Reform Committee secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban and other groups to air their opinions on how to reform the country.

Kicking off the forum at 2:51 pm, Thanasak said the forum would not reach to any conclusion but it was simply for all sides to air their opinions how to cure the country of its illness. He compared Thailand to a human body with health problems.

"We will have to cure certain parts of the body. For example, we may have to perform a bypass operation to let the body live," Thanasak said.

Suthep has repeatedly called on the military to side with the PDRC to push for the country's reform "to wipe out the Thaksin regime".

But Thanasak said the military would have to abide by the rules.

"I have 420,000 troops under my command and 60 per cent of them are armed. They have been trained to use weapons to fight the enemies. If I don't control my men with rules and if I do anything as requested, I and my subordinates would become like a group of 400,000 bandits," Thanasak said.

He said he knew that all sides love the country but they should speak the same language during the forum.

He said he hoped the opinions aired during the forum would be useful for the country.

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