National Broadcast by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, August 12, 2016
Good evening dear Thai citizens.
For almost 7 decades, the Thai people have been familiar with images and pictures of Her Majesty the Queen accompanying His Majesty the King to rural and remote areas throughout the Kingdom to visit their subjects.
These visits have resulted in a number of Royal projects aimed at uplifting the well-being of the Thai people. Every aspiration of Her Majesty the Queen echoes that of His Majesty the King`s, which is to improve the lives of the Thai people.
This has included, for example, the initiation of several projects to help farmers in the remotest areas earn supplementary incomes through producing crafts and weaving. Not only does this help them earn more income, it also serves to preserve Thai arts and crafts.
The effort was the beginning of the SUPPORT Foundation under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen, and has led to the current OTOP Pracharat Products, in which the public have the opportunity to appreciate farmers’ handicraft work.
Not only does this conserve the art of Thai craftsmanship, it is also a reflection of how dedicated the Thai Monarchy has been to the people. These artworks will be on display at the ‘Arts of the Kingdom’ event and at Borommangalanusarani Pavilion, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.
Her Majesty`s virtuosities have also been represented through the design of 7 types of national costumes, which have been showcased during His Majesty`s foreign visits to foreign countries in the past 50 years. These costumes are known as “Chud Thai Phra Rat Cha Ni Yom”.
In addition, Her Majesty has realized the vision to revive the nation`s fine arts by promoting Thai art, Thai literature, and traditional performances such as the famous Khon masked dance. Dresses worn by Her Majesty are examples of “Chud Thai Phra Rat Cha Ni Yom”, and, along with the Khon masks, are being displayed for public viewing at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.
Her Majesty the Queen is revered as “Mother of the Land”, as well as the greatest benefactor for conserving and protecting the nation’s arts, as reflected in the heralding of Her Majesty as “Ak Kha Ra Phi Rak Sin La Pin”. On the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty`s 7th cycle and 84th Birthday Anniversary on 12 August 12, 2016, I would like to invite all Thais to convey the highest felicitations to Her Majesty the Queen, Long Live Her Majesty The Queen.
This month, more than 50 of our national athletes are taking part in the Rio Olympics in Brazil. They have won medals in many sports and have brought joy to Thai people.
The first gold medal came from weightlifter Sopita “Nan” Tanasan, followed by another gold and a silver from Sukanya “Fai” Srisurat and Pimsiri “Taew” Sirikaew. Another athlete is Sinpetch “Dui” Kruaythong who won a bronze medal from weightlifting, but sadly lost his grandmother at the same moment. We wish him all the support to persevere and continue with his successes, which makes us all very proud.
As for other athletes who are about to compete, I would like to invite our fellow Thais to send them our support and cheer them on to Olympic success. They are representing our nation and have conducted themselves with great sportsmanship and Thai splendor throughout the competition.
I hope that every athlete will do their best. Every Thai will be behind them. No matter where they go, they are not alone. Thai fans will be there to support them all the way.
After this broadcast at around 9:00pm, I would like to invite everyone to tune in and give your support to “Nong Nee” Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit during the skeet shooting qualifier round.
In order for our nation to compete in a rapidly changing world, we must focus on developing the country’s essential foundations. This includes our infrastructure, and tangibles as such as roads, railways, waterways, airspace, digital communication technology, electricity, waterworks and energy. All these large-scale projects require a systematic development plan which must be included in the country’s long-term strategic development plan.
In the past, our economic and social development plans may have been given less priority or used to serve political purposes, for example, when a political party that becomes government allocates infrastructure projects only for regions that served as their political base.
This form of favoritism is in direct conflict with the principles of good governance. Personally, I view that the government should work for the interests of the entire country, and not only for a particular voting base. The new constitution will ensure that this will not happen again.
In the past 2 years, this administration has implemented policies while taking into consideration the interests of the nation as a whole, without any vested interests. For example, we’ve commenced construction of the No. 6 motorway from Bang Pa-In to Nakhon Ratchasima, a project that had been in the pipeline for over 20 years.
The recently completed MRT purple line in Bangkok was granted the name “Chalong Ratchadham” by His Majesty the King, which means “to celebrate a reign with righteousness”. This line was inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on August 6. There are also other similar projects that have been implemented in a transparent manner by this administration.
There are also other important infrastructure projects, such as those that strengthen the foundations of our civility and our nation, such as in language, education, arts and craft, traditions, culture, as well as the three national institutions of nation, religion and monarchy.
These are the foundations of the solidarity of the Thai people, and therefore strength of our nation. They are essential to the success of many important endeavors that can benefit society and the nation as whole, such as Pracharat projects and our reform efforts. However, if these foundations are tainted, it can lead to adverse effects, as we saw in the events prior to May 22, 2014.
These foundations are important to improving our government bureaucracy and to developing a social welfare system that truly reduces disparities, reaches all sectors, and is devoid of corruption. In essence, these principles will bring about public administration that adheres to good governance.
In these past 2 years, this administration has taken efforts to strengthen these foundations, by fostering a social conscience through the ‘House-temples-and schools’ programme, through advocating the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, and through various Pracharat programmes. This has been part of a government initiative to strengthen Thai society against corruption, excessive consumerism and materialism. Today, our country needs a spirit of commitment to the common good and one based on service to the public interest.
Therefore, in strengthening our stability, prosperity and sustainability, we need to equally consider both our tangible infrastructure as well as our moral foundations.
Many challenges and complexities lie ahead of us. I, therefore, ask for your cooperation, reconciliation, and solidarity to move our country towards reforms.
A good example of this was this past August 7th, our referendum day. We chose our new constitution. One that I would like to call ‘The People’s Constitution’ as we had the support of the majority, both in favor of the draft charter and of the supplementary question. The public came out to show their power by exercising their rights to vote, with nearly 60% of the voting population casting their ballots.
With this, I believe that loyalty to our nation and solidarity has come back to Thai society. This also marks a significant rise in political awareness among the Thai people. In addition, I think that the true voice of the people has spoken, without political manipulation. It reflected the true will of the people who want change for the better. Our national reforms for the future of our children are, therefore, necessary.
Therefore, I ask that all of us respect the decision of the people, and that we all cooperate in moving the country forward. At the same time, the voice of the minority is also important. In a democracy, we must take into account the needs and will of all in order to live peacefully together.
The direction of our country’s development and national administration will follow the Roadmap laid out by the NCPO. For the next 3 months, the CDC will amend the necessary provisions in the draft constitution in accordance with the results of the supplementary question and its approval by the people.
From there, it will sent to the Constitutional Court to ensure for correctness before I, in my capacity as Prime Minister, will then submit it to His Majesty the King for royal assent. Then there will be 2 important days that will be etched in Thai history. These are:
(1) the day when Royal assent has been given for a new Constitution for the people, which should be around mid-November 2016, and
(2) Election Day, which will happen in late 2017. I ask that we all move beyond our past of pain and suffering, and that we learn from this experience as we move forward towards a brighter and clearer future. How well we seize these new opportunities, depends on the solidarity of the Thai people.
All these developments have been consistent with the actions and intentions of the government and the NCPO since the first day of our administration. As for our neighbors, foreign friends, and the international community, who have expressed their support for Thailand during this time,
I have instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and related agencies to further elaborate on the results of the referendum, and about our National Economic and Social Development Plan in relation to our long-term national strategy and national reform plans, so that international cooperation with Thailand can continue, and so that confidence in Thailand can be affirmed.
In just over a year we will have a general election and a new government. I, this government, and the NCPO, therefore, ask for your continued support and cooperation during this transition.
As we continue with our reforms and other developments, I ask for your understanding and for all of us to make the effort to work with one another, and build trust among each other. Please rest assured that this government will be a “government for all Thai people” and will remain determined to maintain stability so that we can further develop our nation towards prosperity and sustainability. We will use the remaining time we have to bring the utmost benefits to the country and the people.
Finally, as today is Mother’s Day, I would like all Thai families to spend valuable time together over this long weekend If you are still looking for a Mother’s Day gift, I recommend a Pracharat OTOP product, and people in Bangkok can find one at the Pracharat OTOP exhibition at Meung Thong Thani.
For those of you who are traveling to the provinces, you can stop by a Pracharat Suk Jai shop at a PTT gas station, or one of our participating stores across the country. In doing this, you’ll be supporting Thai products and local artisans. You’ll also be able to use the receipt as a tax deduction.
Thank you very much. Sawasdee krup.