Pulling on a velvet glove

The junta has dropped its barbed wire and guns in favour of music to make Thais love one another again.

Its new song, Return Happiness to Thailand, is composed by none but its leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, who reportedly composed the lyrics in only an hour, according to a Thai Rath online report.

Vichien Tantipimolphan, a well-known songwriter, rearranged the song, which was performed by the Royal Thai Army Band.

The four-minute tune debuted on an army radio station on Friday, the report said.

"Gen Prayuth composed the lyrics to send his message to Thais and encourage them to be united again," said Col Kritsada Sarika, commander of the army band.

"He wrote the lyrics in his own handwriting, saying he wanted one of the songs to be performed during military activities these days to reflect his true feelings," Col Kritsada said.

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