Promoting reconciliation, instilling loyalty and protecting the institution

24 03 2009

The Nation (25 March 2009: “Bt1 billion fund for Isoc projects in rural areas”) reports on a cabinet decision to allocate 1 billion baht to the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), to be “used on projects aimed at weakening the red-shirt movement. The move is part of efforts to counter a stronger anti-government and anti-establishment movement linked to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra…”.

The report states that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (ISOC director) and Army commander-in-chief General Anupong Paochinda (ISOC deputy director) co-operated to establish the fund.

In a redux of the policies implemented by the military junta-installed government led by Privy Councilor Surayud Chulalont, Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said “the fund was for projects to fight the economic crisis through the royal sufficiency economy philosophy.” Panitan said that the projects would use the armed forces to tackle economic problems and added that a goal was to “promote reconciliation, instil the loyalty to the monarch and protect the institution from violations.”

Panitan also claimed that the “fund would be for training programmes, campaigns to promote His Majesty the King’s philosophy of sufficiency economy, civilian affairs operations, management, evaluation of projects, and implementation of projects in villages and communities, among others.”

In another flashback to the period of military-backed government, the Bangkok Post (25 March 2009) reports that “Interior Minister Chavarat Charnvirakul has threatened to transfer provincial governors if they fail to prevent red-shirt protesters in the provinces from joining the anti-government rally in Bangkok tomorrow.”



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