SPEAKING before the photo session of the new Cabinet at the Government House this morning (August 13) Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said he has not ordered police to track the leader of a student demonstration at Thammasat University Rangsit campus on Monday, INN News and Sanook.com reported.
Questioned by reporters whether he had given this order Gen.Prawit said: “Oh no, no, no.”
When asked whether he had ordered an investigation of the students, Gen. Prawit replied, “(You all are) thinking this yourself.”
Ms. Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, had posted a message on her Facebook account yesterday that she had been informed that government officials were watching the hostel and were preparing to arrest her and political activist Mr. Prich Chivarak, or Penguin, at 5 a.m. this morning.
This post led to many netizens expressing concern and within an hour of posting it had been shared more than 5,700 times.
At the same time, Twitter users are also talking about this post. Two hashtags, #SavePanusaya and #FightwithPanusaya were circulated to encourage her.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reminded Gen. Prawit to not repeat the mistake he made at the last Cabinet group photo session by pointing to his watch and ring then to the media gathered there.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission had acquitted Gen. Prawit of criminal charges for failing to declare assets after he appeared in public wearing 25 different high-end timepieces, with a total estimated value of $1.5 million.
The scandal started during the photo session of the first Prayut Cabinet. Gen. Prawit raised his hand to shield his eyes from the sun and reporters noticed his gleaming watch. A check of records of his disclosed assets showed he had never declared the expensive Richard Mille timepiece.
However he explained that he had borrowed the watches from a close friend who had since then passed away.
Gen. Prayut also ordered the Prime Minister’s Office staff to make a music video of the photos and video footage of the new Cabinet to the song “Good people never die” and circulate it through social media.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut joins his Cabinet ministers for a group picture this morning. Thai headline says, “haven’t ordered the arrest of kids.” Photo: INN News and Sanook.com