As PPT mentioned a little while ago, General Sonthi Boonyarataglin, who led the 2006 coup that toppled the Thaksin Shinawatra government, is writing a book on those events.
The Nation has a story of an interview with Sonthi that suggests the kind of details that might be included, provided the rather dim-witted general isn’t “got at” by the bigger bosses to ensure he doesn’t say much that embarrasses them.
For PPT, he says 4 things that are of interest. First, he claims that he ordered cabinet – recall that the cabinet was made up of appointees that were close to the military and palace – and told them “to retain populist policies that helped improve the lot of the common people.” He thinks that the failure to maintain the so-called populist policies has been a cause of conflict.
The problem for Sonthi is, even if he did believe this back in 2006, all of the others behind the coup saw such policies as part of the problem, and this is why the junta-appointed government fostered the dopey royalist ideology of sufficiency economy.
Second, the general states that the reason he staged the coup was because he “received a metal-cabinet full of letters urging him and the military to protect the country.” It seems the general puts more stock in letters than in two nationwide election results. He claims the Thaksin government “was not democratic.”
Third, Sonthi suggests Thaksin did good things (along with the negatives). This seems in line with the “reconciliation” line of recent days (is there a deal being done?)
Fourth, Sonthi claims that before the coup, the “US understood the country’s political situation…”. He adds: ” I was talking to the US ambassador all the time.” This revelation is not unexpected as then ambassador Ralph “Skip” Boyce was close to several yellow shirts, including Kraisak Choonhavan. He has been mentioned previously as a possible source of a leaked letter from Thaksin to President Bush and with a privy councilor’s unsubstantiated claims about Thaksin and money dealings through the Caymans.
PPT looks forward to more details of the coup and its backers.