By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha today (Feb.17) confirmed the Internal Security Operations Command is still needed to run integrated missions and contain threats to national security either from within the country or without.
Prayut who made his comment after presiding over a ceremony marking the 58th anniversary of the ISOC concurrently acts as director of the army-led agency.
He was apparently responding to yesterday’s call from Move Forward MP Amarat Chokpamitkul for abolition of the deep-state agency which she alleged to have primarily looked to suppress pro-democracy, human rights activists, especially in the southernmost provinces.
Prayut said many foreign countries have similar agencies which may be generally known as the National Guard and given integrated missions in relation to national security affairs.
In Thailand, the ISOC is primarily assigned to run integrated missions in collaboration with the army, police and civilian government personnel to meet internal or external threats to national security, the premier said.
He categorically denied the deep-state agency has thwarted or intimidated any politicians or activists in southernmost areas unless their activities may have been considered as threats to national security.
Amarat alleged that the deep-state agency had brainwashed schoolchildren in the provinces to the extent that they develop distrust and hatred toward people with opposing views such as members of Progressive Movement Group headed by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit who has spearheaded a nationwide campaign for local autonomy.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Top photo: Matichon, Front Page photo: Thai Rath