Prem’s birthday

26 08 2009

General Prem Tinsulanonda was born on 26 August 1920, making him 89 today. He is a former prime minister, privy councilor and favorite in th epalace and amongst royalists. As PPT mentioned previously, the Democrat Party and others have been attacking a plan by red shirts to don black shirts today as a protest against Prem and his role in the 2006 coup.

Now some military leaders are speaking out (while army chief General Anupong Paochinda is consicuoulsy absent). Supreme Commander General Songkitti Chakkabart is reported in the Bangkok Post (26 August 2009: “Gen Songkitti slams red-shirts”) as having lashed out at the red-shirts’ call to wear black, “saying it is inappropriate and should not be done.” His reasoning is that General Prem is “a senior person of the country. He is president of the Privy Council and a statesman who has worked hard for the betterment of the country.” He thinks the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship red shirts should honor Prem, not denigrate him and claimed he “had no idea why the supporters of the  would want to do this.”

General Songkitti is reported the man responsible for the direction of the troops in their suppression of the Songkhran Uprising in April but had earlier been seen in some quarters as being pro-Thaksin. He was one of the top brass who demanded Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s resignation back in 2008.

Meanwhile, Prem’s chief of the office of the president of the Privy Council Vice Admiral Phajun Tampratheep reported in the Bangkok Post (26 August 2009: “Gen Prem not shaken by UDD’s move”) that the senior royal aide was “not shaken by the red-shirt’s plan to wear black…”. Prem’s spokeman said that as an old soldier, Prem was used to battles, so the red shirt “demonstration was not a big deal for him.”

The deputy army chief General Jiradej Kotcharat stated that the army would help provide security at Prem’s Sisao Theves residence.


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