Prayuth: People must change first

The continuing political unrest should be resolved from the bottom up rather than by putting the entire burden on the country's administrators, says the national army chief.

"People across the country are inciting violence and are on the verge of killing each other. The public should be thinking about holding sub-regional peace talks instead of pressuring those at the top to come up with answers," Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters on Friday.

"Red-shirts, yellow-shirts and other political groups need to come together and peacefully discuss the things that each of them thinks are wrong and illegitimate and then jointly find solutions to depolarise the country."

He made the comments after attending a Defence Council meeting and having lunch with caretaker prime minister and defence minister Yingluck Shinawatra. 

Asked whether he had given any advices to Ms Yingluck, he replied that it was not the army's duty to do so.

Anti-government protesters are pressing for the Feb 2 general election to be postponed until reforms take place.

Gen Prayuth did not address that issue directly but said that not every state agency or sector needed to be reformed in accordance with political movements. If everyone waited on top policymakers and administrators to act, then nothing would be done, he added.

Changes that can be made quickly should be implemented right away and those that require more time should be put on hold for later, he said.

He said the army's only involvement with the polls would be to deploy troops to help keep order outside buildings.

Touching on the proposal by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) for a "people's council", he suggested that for such system to work, its core members must not be part of the council.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 21/12/2013 at 06:00 PM
How can the rank and file change when they have no role models? Politicians, the police and even teachers constantly refuse to set good examples. In any society people will always follow the examples set by those who should be in positions of respect.
Discussion 2 : 21/12/2013 at 01:38 PM
I'm sorry mate, but you are putting the cart before the horse. It is the administrators who are the problem, show the way and educate the people they will follow, as a man will never change his mind if he does not have a mind to change. General If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Discussion 3 : 21/12/2013 at 10:41 AM
We all can start immediately with yourself. Don't look to others but show others that Thais are good honest decent people, mature in thinking and well developed society with rule of law observed. First example is to follow the rule of democracy and have an election. Vote what you want, who you want to do it for you and no more street mob rule. No more selected or appointed People's Council. We already have election on local administrative tambon and Changwat. If we want to have provincial governor election let's have it. Whatever reform let's have it by the house of representative please not PDRC or Suthep's Council.
Discussion 4 : 21/12/2013 at 09:26 AM
On one hand, I agree with you MadDog. On the other hand, I also agree with Gen. Prayuth. MadDog's rationale is the short-term and most imminent solution. Once the top guns in both public/government and private sectors have set good examples of being honest, selfless, possessing integrity - as MadDog has stated - the people would learn and follow. At the same time, however, the people should also start soul-searching and ask themselves this simple question: "Have I done to others what I would have them done unto me?" If the answer is No, it is time to reform and stop doing things that are harmful or cause inconvenience or pain to others.
Discussion 5 : 21/12/2013 at 03:28 AM
I have seen millions of protesting or supporting people on the streets in the last 7 weeks , but only peaceful people. No violence or call for violence from the side of the protesters. They see the need to reform a very corrupt system and they do not believe that the present regime is willing and capable to start such a reform. They further believe that only a non-political interim government can implement the necessary changes. And if you look at the last 2 years, then you know why. The people have already changed. Corrupt regimes cannot fool them so easily anymore.
Discussion 6 : 21/12/2013 at 02:34 AM
you say what you heard. what you heard is he said, he said.
Discussion 7 : 21/12/2013 at 01:39 AM
Dear General Prayuth--=I beg to disagree. I believe it is the top down rather than bottom up. You have got to set samples, stick to the rules of the land, enforce them without prejudice in regard to status or richness. How do you expect us to change when we see you doing all these biased things all these decades? May be you and the rest of the arm forces stop sticking your noses into politics to benefits yourselves then we will follow. How about the politicians and businesses, will you stop bribery and lobbying to max your profits? Will the scholars educate students with integrity and honest? We will follow if you can will do it.
Discussion 8 : 21/12/2013 at 01:23 AM
Obviously the vote buying is bad and you most fight against it. But the final results of the election do not change due to the vote buying. 1) The both side do it. 2) The electoral commission demonstrated it recently by a survey. 3) The PTP get 10 % more votes than DP during the last election. 4) The electoral commission, Abbhisit and Suthep (who have the power at this time) validated the result. So what? Rhetoric one more time?
Discussion 9 : 21/12/2013 at 01:00 AM
I'm American who works in China vuy plans to move to Thailand. "General Prayuth has offered good practical advice ". Changes that can be made quickly should be implemented right away and those that require more time should be put on hold for later ." To put the general's to practial effect, Thailand parties need to put KhumnSudhep and Yingluck on the sideline because he is a demagogue and she is tainted with her attempt to pardon her brother Khun thaksin New players from the parties who are negotiators and comsensus bukders sre needed to make a deal as to what reforms can be done now and whish can be done later.
Discussion 10 : 21/12/2013 at 12:33 AM
I would love to see Thai Buddhist Muslim & Christian leaders more involved in the healing process of the nation! Doesn't Buddhism espouse being "the Middle Way"? Greed is a spiritual vice & if change is to indeed flow from the bottom up, spiritual assistance is critical! from iPhone application.
Discussion 11 : 20/12/2013 at 10:31 PM
Very well said, Khun Saparod! I really like how you're not pointing fingers and calling names, but honestly stating the root of the majority of issues we're facing right now. I don't understand how or why your comments were "disliked". I'm assuming politicians who refuse to accept responsibility.
Discussion 12 : 20/12/2013 at 10:15 PM
Gen Prayuth has spoken well even with indirect pressure from ex-generals who are old fashioned and out-off date. The Army Commander spoke with wisdom and carried righteousness through and through. You are really indispensable during this period of turmoil where you can gardner respect all round. A great salute to you Gen Prayuth ... a future PM in the making.
Discussion 13 : 20/12/2013 at 10:11 PM
We are just normal people and normal people are greedy, jealousy, uneducated, trouble maker, and corruption. So this is normal for our society and not the end of the world for us anyway even if we have to fight or kill one another. Problems won't solve if we still living as human.
Discussion 14 : 20/12/2013 at 10:11 PM
There will be no progress as long as people sell their votes for a free donut.
Discussion 15 : 20/12/2013 at 10:04 PM
Rubbish, the people at the bottom did not create this "unendurable corruption" the people who signed the 4.00am amnesty bill did , they are the administrators. Don't sell yourself for a pretty smile. Someone has to take the lead. hint hint
Discussion 16 : 20/12/2013 at 09:36 PM
At the bottom line, the true problem are our politicians, police court system.
Discussion 17 : 20/12/2013 at 09:17 PM
wiping out corruption would be a good start and that includes Corruption in the Military
Discussion 18 : 20/12/2013 at 08:50 PM
It is tough to change at the bottom when all they see is greed graft and corruption at the top. They see two set of laws, one for the rich and one for the poor. Have money and power you walk free. It is about time the people rose up and demanded change.
Discussion 19 : 20/12/2013 at 08:50 PM
The Constitution court ruled the protests were peaceful (when saying Suthep shouldn't face Insurrection charges) , yet Gen Prayuth is saying people are on the verge of killing each other?? No, that's false hyperbole. I'm in Bangkok on Sunday, I'll go chat to some protestors, they were passionate but peaceful last time I talked to them.
Discussion 20 : 20/12/2013 at 08:49 PM
People need good mentors, People need good examples, People need good guidance, People need good governance, People need good education, People need confidence, People need fairness, People need equal law enforcement, People need transparent laws, People need equal translation of the Law, People need free Media, People need criminals to be punished and honest people to be rewarded etc. As long as our politicians of all parties cannot deliver this, there will trouble, and there will be more trouble. Wake up Politicians and Leaders
Discussion 21 : 20/12/2013 at 08:38 PM
Sound advice. Mr. Suthep go home and stop your "war".

Back to top

More From Bangkokpost.com