Thai junta leader defends crackdown on social media

June 3, 2016 2:12 PM

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SINGAPORE (AP) — Thailand's junta leader has defended his government's increasing crackdown on social media dissidents, while promising to restore democracy in the country.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Friday that Thailand is in a transition toward "a strong and sustainable democracy." He was addressing a security conference in Singapore attended by defense ministers from several Asia-Pacific nations, including U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Prayuth, who seized power in a military coup in May 2014, has promised to hold elections next year and wants to hold a referendum on the draft of a new constitution on Aug. 7. But his government has banned most public discussion of the charter.

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Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha delivers the keynote address at the Opening Dinner of the 15th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, or IISS, Asia Security Summit on Friday, June 3, 2016, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha delivers his keynote address at the Opening Dinner of the 15th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, or IISS, Asia Security Summit on Friday, June 3, 2016, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha greets delegates while International Institute for Strategic Studies Director-General and Chief Executive John Chipman, left, watches, at the opening dinner of the 15th IISS Shangri-la Dialogue, or IISS Asia Security Summit Friday, June 3, 2016, in Singapore. The IISS Asia Security Summit started Friday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha walks to the podium to deliver his keynote address at the opening dinner of the 15th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, or IISS, Asia Security Summit Friday, June 3, 2016, in Singapore. The IISS Asia Security Summit starts Friday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

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Source: dailymail.co.uk

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