PM scoffs at stu­dent bid to run him out of of­fice

Bangkok Post - - FRONT PAGE - WASSANA NANUAM

The govern­ment yes­ter­day shrugged off ef­forts by the Stu­dent Union of Thai­land (SUT) to drum up public sup­port for the ouster of Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Asked about the SUT’s “Wing Lai Lung” (Run to Oust the Un­cle) event, Gen Prayut said he would leave it to the public to de­cide which side to take.

“In the end, so­ci­ety will de­cide if this po­lit­i­cal move makes sense un­der the cur­rent peace­ful po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion,” said Gen Prayut, who has been nick­named “Lung”, or Un­cle.

Asked about a counter-move to hold a sim­i­lar event in his sup­port, the premier quipped: “Run to catch up with me if you can.”

A group of Gen Prayut’s sup­port­ers yes­ter­day an­nounced on Face­book a “Wing Tam Lung” (Run to Fol­low the Un­cle) event to back Gen Prayut.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Prawit Wong­su­won shrugged off the de­vel­op­ments, say­ing merely that both groups were en­ti­tled to run.

“These run­ning events are fine as long as their or­gan­is­ers do not vi­o­late the law on public gath­er­ings,” he said. Asked whether he would take part in ei­ther event, Gen Prawit joked: “How could I man­age to join a run? These days I can’t even walk steadily.”

The Wing Lai Lung run also car­ries the English name of “Run Against the Dic­ta­tor” and will be held on Jan 12 in cen­tral Bangkok.

The event made head­lines when Thai Glico Co and Glico Frozen (Thai­land) Co cleared up con­fu­sion over the run’s lo­gos on Mon­day by an­nounc­ing they had noth­ing to do with the po­lit­i­cal move­ment and were al­ways po­lit­i­cally neu­tral. The com­pa­nies urged or­gan­is­ers to with­draw their “Glico Run­ning Man” logo, a doc­tored ver­sion of Glico’s trade­mark, since it had re­sulted in wide­spread mis­un­der­stand­ing that Glico was spon­sor­ing the event.

The Glico Run­ning Man is an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised trade­mark that has lit up the Ja­pan-based firm’s Osaka head­quar­ters for more than 80 years.

SUT chief strate­gist Tanawat Wongchai said on Face­book that Glico’s trade­mark was not used by the cam­paign for com­mer­cial pur­poses or with any in­tent to dam­age Glico’s rep­u­ta­tion.

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