NCPO unfazed by US criticism

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has shrugged off the latest US call for a rapid return to freedom of political expression in Thailand and insists its planned national administration and roadmap will benefit democracy in Thailand.

Spokeswoman Sirichan Nga-thong said on Friday the NCPO was implementing its roadmap, and through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would try to continuously explain what it is doing to foreign goverrnments.

US Secretary of State John Kerry for the second time called on "Thai authorities to lift restrictions on political activity and speech, restore civilian rule and return quickly to democracy through free and fair elections".

Asked if the NCPO should form a special working group to explain to the world,  as proposed by permanent foreign secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow,  Col Sirichan said existing mechanisms like security authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, diplomats and people in the private sector were already explaining the Thai situation to the international community.

Without their efforts, international pressure on Thailand would have been heavier.

The NCPO was clearly implementing its roadmap for national reform and democratic improvement, as earlier announced, she said, referring to the establishment of the National Legislative Assembly.

Many countries understood and were aware of the NCPO's sincerity, but some countries still might not understand, the spokeswoman said. Their misunderstanding of the situation was not of concern, and the authorities responsible could handle it, she said.

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