The queen’s musketeers and Suthep

19 11 2009

Also available as ทหารเสือราชินีและสุเทพ

Wassana Nanuam in the Bangkok Post (19 November 2009: “Govt safe as Suthep charms Tiger Warriors of the East”) has an interesting discussion of what she calls a “story of an extraordinary friendship [that]  is full of intrigue, betrayal, plots and counter-plots to fend off an enemy far away.” The friendship is between Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon, Army chief General Anupong Paojinda and deputy Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Prawit is said to be the “big brother” of Anupong and Prayuth from their days in the 2nd Infantry Division on the Thai-Cambodian border and they were among the so-called Tiger Warriors of the East. The three rose together “in the division which also oversees the Queen’s Guard unit. The three generals’ fraternal bonds grew stronger during the time when they served in the 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen’s Guard in Chon Buri. Their steadfast loyalty to the monarchy has been the reason they came to be known as ‘The Queen’s Musketeers’.”

Suthep is now working to “manufacture amicability and forge ties with the generals as he seeks a solid military cushion for the government.” This is founded on opposition to the “common enemy,” Thaksin Shinawatra. Suthep’s friendship “extends to Gen Prayuth, who is touted as the army chief-in-waiting. Gen Prayuth is also a staunch royalist who is said to be rather put off by the sight of red, the theme colour of the pro-Thaksin movement.”

As well as a common enemy, Suthep and the three generals “were brought together by a common goal of forming the current government in December last year…”. That was engineered at “Prawit’s residence inside the compound of the 1st Infantry Regiment, Royal Guard, on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.”

General Prawit wants the  government to last long enough to ensure that the next military reshuffle guarantees “that Gen Prayuth takes over the army’s top position from Gen Anupong.” It is also said that Suthep, “who chairs the Police Commission, has finalised the shake-up of senior police posts including the appointment of Pol Lt Gen Santan Chayanont as the new Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner.” Wassana says that the “appointment is said to have been made at the request of Gen Prayuth, who was Pol Lt Gen Santan’s classmate in the armed forces academy. With Pol Lt Gen Santan heading the bureau, the city police and the military are in for smoother coordination in handling anti-government protests in Bangkok.”

Wassana concludes: “So for now, it looks as though the generals and Mr Suthep are very much on the same page.” And, it looks like the Abhisit Democrat Party is continuing to build control in the civil and military bureaucracy that will surpass anything Thaksin did during his time in power. All of this ensures the continued dominance of royalists and the military.



3 responses

20 11 2009
20 11 2009
ทหารเสือราชินีและสุเทพ « Liberal Thai

[…] by chapter 11 The queen’s musketeers and Suthep November 19, 2009 ที่มา – Political Prisoners in Thailand แปลและเรียบเรียง – แชพเตอร์ […]

28 11 2009
New: Suthep, the military and protecting the monarchy « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] can’t admit to being worried about factions in the military, and the Democrat Party and the queen’s musketeers are trying to ensure their control into the future by managing […]

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