Thailand is 'inseparable', Yingluck says
Updated: 2014-03-04 10:00
Supporters greet Thailand's Acting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (front L) in the northern town of Chiang Mai February 27, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
BANGKOK -- Thailand is one inseparable nation state and the caretaker government does not support any bid to ever divide it, said acting premier Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday.
Her comments followed news reports that army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha recently told the military based in the northern region to take legal action against a group of people in general and pro- government Red Shirt activists in particular for an alleged, unconfirmed bid to separate the country or to set up a new country named "Lanna."
"Thailand is one inseparable country and the government does not support any alleged attempt to divide the country... Members of the public are suggested to never panic and rest assured that the government does not support secessionism," the acting premier said.
However, she said the authorities, including the military which have raised the issue, may launch investigation into the allegations that a secessionist move might have been hatched among Red Shirt activists to split the country in two with the new one being named "Lanna," which generally refers to northern provinces with Chiang Mai city as core.
"There'd be no such thing as secessionist conspiracy for the time being, but such allegations may be under probe in unbiased, fact-finding fashion and justice be served to all parties," she commented.
Acting foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said some Red Shirt members in the northern region might probably have been so frustrated and angered at Bangkok's prolonged street protests against the Yingluck government they came up with sarcastic whims to see the country split up only to suit a divided Thai society.
Thammasat University's law lecturer Piyabut Saengkanokkul, viewed as co-leader of the so-called Assembly for the Defense of Democracy (AFDD), explained that the initials Sor Por Por in Thai alphabet may have been confused by critics of Red Shirt movement for "Sataranarat Prachatipatai Prachachon" (people's democratic republic) but, he said, they actually stand for "Samudcha Pokpong Prachatipatai" (assembly for the defense of democracy).
The Chiang Mai-based political activist group is unofficially called Sor Por Por Lanna and considered as a branch of the Bangkok- based Assembly for the Defense of Democracy, according to the law lecturer.
The AFDD consists of university academics who have supported democratic rule by way of general, nationwide polls and been opposed to the anti-government, anti-election protesters headed by former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban and several ex-Democrat Party legislators, who blatantly alleged that their political archrivals in northern Thailand had planned to divide the country.