Thai prime minister releases New Year song to appeal directly to the people

"Because You Are Thailand" is the junta leader's second ballad since taking power

Prayuth Chan-ocha

Thailand’s prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has penned a new song, telling local media that it is a New Year’s gift to the country’s citizens.

The patriotic song, "Because You Are Thailand", urges Thai people to join together behind Prayuth’s government and lead the country through difficult times.

Thailand’s military junta has faced criticism both domestically and abroad for its crackdown on perceived criticism of the monarchy.

The government has issued severe sentences of up to 60 years for lese-majesty offences. It has also delayed holding new elections, saying the country is not ready yet.

The song’s lyrics include "if we join hands… the day we hope for is not far away", and "because you are Thailand, you will not let anyone destroy you".

Speaking to reporters, the Bangkok Post quoted Prayuth as saying: "Everyone must unite in the same breath to take the country forward."

The song is Prayuth’s second since the military seized power in May 2014. His first effort, "Returning Happiness to the People", was released shortly after the coup. 

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