Thai PM’s cardboard dummy gesture an ‘insult’ to media

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (pictured) known for his swing of moods often made journalists feel they were talking to a wall. On Tuesday, he asked them to talk to his life-sized card-board cut-out if they have any questions on politics or conflict for him. Prayuth made the remark as some 17 cut-outs of his in different attire arrived at the government compound where he was addressing media and parents ahead of Children’s Day. While his bizarre gesture left many journalists bemused, Human Rights Watch said it showed the military junta chief’s utter contempt of media criticism. The group cited earlier instances of his bullying tactics. In 2015, he warned journalists that he had the power to execute them if they did not tell truth. His steps to muzzle media led to an 11- point drop to 140 from 129 in Thailand’s ranking in the annual Press Freedom Index of Reporters without Border. After the military coup in 2014, Prayuth’s junta is yet to restore democracy. It keeps delaying the elections which are now expected to be held in November this year.