Prayut Chan-o-cha

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Prayut Chan-o-cha (sometimes spelled Prayuth Chan-ocha; Thai: ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา) (born 21 March 1954) is a Thai politician and a retired Royal Thai Army general officer, serving as Prime Minister of Thailand since 2014 and Minister of Defence since 2019. Prayut served as chief of the Thai army from 2010 to 2014 and was the leader of a coup d'etat which installed the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the military junta which governed Thailand between 22 May 2014 and 10 July 2019.


  • This law will be strictly enforced to prevent the type of nuisance and violence that happened in the past...It's not possible to have it all—happiness, equality, democracy—without giving us the tools.
  • It is up to the middle class to swarm to the polls and defeat the poor who are just after government handouts....If they [political parties] use the same old campaign strategy, they will come [to power] with the votes of the poor who want more money to make their life better. The people in the middle- and upper income ranges have to...cast their votes in national polls and the charter referendum too.
  • If they want to engage in activism or whatever, it’s up to them. If they aren’t afraid of the laws, it’s up to them, and if someone finds a gun and shoot them, or throws grenades at them, well, they have to live with that. If they aren’t afraid, it’s up to them.
  • They have no right to suggest that to anyone...Why do the media give a platform to these people?...These people, now that they are being harsh to me, I will have to be harsh in return,...There's no need for a prohibition now. But when the time comes, I will deal with them...Today I have to teach people to think. Today we are still stuck in the trap of democracy, a trap of conflicts. We still let emotions dictate our judgment. We have to fix these issues.
  • Please don't escalate this news, the media should consider the impact the news will have on the country. It may cause problems, and affect national security...If this news gets widely published, [it could raise] problems of human trafficking and IUU (Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing).
  • Don't try to fool me and act like you can do or say anything 'because we are a democracy...Do you misunderstand something? Today, I am the one makes the rules. Previous governments couldn't do that. But today, I made the rules [sic], and all of you have to follow them.
  • ...many groups compare our monarchy with other nations. This cannot be done, because our [monarchy] has a long, ancient history. They [Thai monarchs] are like deities. Our King is not involved with anyone. He is above all disputes. When someone violates him, we need to use Section 112 of the Criminal Codes, which is like a libel law, because whenever someone insults us, we can sue them, but if it's the monarchy, [the royal family] cannot sue them. This is because His Majesty is not involved with anyone, and he is under the constitution, and under every law that the government has created to protect him. Yet, people see it as human rights issue. Let me ask you: if someone insults your father, would you give in? We wouldn't. But if it happens to our parents, they can sue. But since His Majesty the King is not involved, he cannot sue, and who would take care of him? Thai people have to. Whoever doesn't understand this is not a Thai. They are awful. This is a sensitive matter. I would like to ask the audience to explain that the monarchy of Thailand is not like the monarchy in any other country.
  • The very nature of 'Thainess'. Whoever causes chaos to Thailand or disrupts peace and order, they should not be recognised as Thais, because Thais do not destroy each other,...The charm of the Thai people is that they look lovely even when they do nothing, because they have smiles.
    • Discover Thainess 2015 festival
  • Why don't people respect the laws instead of asking for democracy and human rights all the time?...No one is allowed to oppose [the NCPO]. I dare you to try to oppose the NCPO...I don't care what the international community would think about this. I will send officials to explain to foreign embassies. I am not afraid of them. I will tell them to understand that this is Thailand and we are enforcing Thai laws.
  • Everybody's saying that we should create equality, women and men should have the same rights, should be able to do the same good and bad things—if that's the case, if that's how you think, Thai society will deteriorate! Women are the gender of motherhood, the gender of giving birth. When you return home...who is it? Who has a wife? Isn't the wife looking after the home? At home she's the big boss, isn't she? Outside I'm the boss—at work, everywhere I have lots of authority. When I return home, I have to be quiet because she's looking after the home, the kids, everything in the house. I haven't done anything at home since we married, she's doing everything.
  • They [critics] have no rights to say that they disagree [with the draft constitution]...I don't allow anyone to debate or hold a press conference about the draft constitution. Yet they still disobey my orders. They will be arrested and jailed for 10 years. No one will be exempted when the Referendum Act becomes effective [after publication in the Royal Gazette]. Not even the media. Why don’t people respect the law instead of asking for democracy and human rights all the time?
  • If things remain unsettled, I will draft it [the constitution] myself,...There is nothing in this world I can’t do. As a soldier, I've been through a lot, risking my life so many times. When I was in the infantry...I underwent parachute training. I had to jump and land by myself. Once I deployed the parachute, I knew that I can do anything.
  • Concerning conflicts over the constitution, people do not really pay serious attention to organic laws. I suppose you would not find these kind of problems in developed countries. But in this case, our country is still in the transition, we need to be patient and raise more awareness, understanding and cooperation. You know there can always be obstacles during transitions.
  • Starting from the constitution, what’s suitable for Thailand is to establish effective public engagement and cooperation with the people, through appropriate process. In addition to freedom and human-rights, it has to be under the law, and not violate the law and other people’s rights. Even though it is considered s democratic right to have freedom, that freedom should not be abused to violate other people’s rights. There is a line between human rights and violation of laws, this is very important. We cannot only care for the majority and then neglect the minority like Thai democracy before.
  • Apart from focusing on the country’s economic development in regards to the targeted industries and technologies in each sector, the government is also considering the possibility of creating an area-based development policy to increase prosperity throughout Thailand, and to connect Thailand strategically to different regions in Asia.
  • I am begging you, politicians. You represent the people, and you are supposed to show sound judgement. Politics should not be used to create hatred because the country is in trouble now. Don't take this opportunity to cause any further trouble.
  • In the current context, the COVID-19 pandemic has gravely affected health security and stability, as well as on food security and essential supplies. In response, governments have sometimes chosen policies that run counter to our long held values of free and open trade. The need to protect our people from COVID-19 has halted connectivity and disrupted trade and investment, which are vital to growth and prosperity. Big and small businesses are struggling to survive, people are losing their jobs and income as a growing number of people face the challenges of poverty.
  • As I mentioned earlier, due to unbalanced growth and development, the world is facing a growing existential threat of natural catastrophes connected with climate change on an unprecedented scale. Over the past centuries, we have carelessly enjoyed and at times, exploited planet earth’s environment without listening to the repeated warning signals sent over time. We are now inevitably left with self-inflicted consequences that we have to bear with for the next 30 years.
  • As Thailand is a major agricultural producing country, I fully appreciate the importance of food systems in sustaining lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly exposed social inequalities and vulnerabilities of food systems in each country.
  • My duty as a national leader is to look after the needs of everyone in this country, and to try and balance sometimes very different and very extreme views so that we can all live together in this one land that belongs to us all and which we all love. My duty as a national leader is also to ensure peace, personal security, the prosperity of the nation, the protection from dark forces that may seek to damage our country, and fairness to all in society. In my every action I always think of the huge silent majority throughout the country who struggle, every day, to make an honest living and to look after their family. I must lead the country based on the greater good of society, and the needs of silent people, too. I must lead the country based on principle, the law, and the will of parliament as the ultimate representative of the people. While I can listen to and acknowledge the demands of protestors, I cannot run the country based on protestor or mob demands.

"Returning happiness to the people" speeches