BANGKOK – Coming soon to theatres near you: the wisdom of Thai junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Thailand's military-backed government announced yesterday that it is planning to produce a dramatisation of Gen. Prayuth's teachings known as "Twelve Values," which he says all Thais should practice.
"This is our first effort to comply with Gen. Prayuth's policy that called for a production of a film that promotes national identity," said Panadda Diskul, the head of the Office of Prime Minister, at a meeting yesterday with a group of film-makers and actors at the Government House.
Panadda said the government is looking to produce a "30-minute film" based on the "Twelve Values" preached by Gen. Prayuth, and asked the film-makers to submit ideas to the government.
Panadda added that once finished, the film will be played in "all cinemas across the country," though he did not say whether the tickets will be free of charge.
"[The film] will focus on Thai culture, peace and order, the national identity, and the adaptation of the Twelve Values," said Panadda. "That way, new generations and people of all ages can watch without getting bored."
In July, Gen. Prayuth said in a public address that he wants every Thai to adhere to the following principles:
1. Loyalty to the Nation, the Religion, and the Monarchy
2. Honesty, sacrifice, endurance, and noble ideology for the greater good
3. Gratitude for parents, guardians, and teachers
4. Diligence in acquiring knowledge, via school studies and other methods
5. Preserving the Thai customs and tradition
6. Morality and good will for others
7. Correct understanding of democracy with the King as Head of State
8. Discipline, respect for law, and obedience to the older citizens
9. Constant consciousness to practice good deeds all the time, as taught by His Majesty the King
10. Practice of Self-Sufficient Economy in accordance with the teaching of His Majesty the King
11. Physical and mental strength. Refusal to surrender to religious sins.
12. Uphold the interest of the nation over oneself.
To ensure that all Thais will take the Twelve Values to heart, authorities also instructed every public school and state agency to hang a banner listing Gen. Prayuth's wise words.
Gen. Prayuth, who is wielding a near-absolute power as Prime Minister and junta leader, is increasingly seen as an authoritarian ruler with a growing cult of personality.
A patriotic ballad Gen. Prayuth allegedly wrote "in one hour" has been played nonstop on state-owned media for months. The General also gives weekly televised lectures about morality to the public and has banned protests or any display of dissent against his rule.
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