More on coups, the military and influential people

6 04 2011

The Bangkok Post has a fine bit of reporting on the military top brass scotching persistent rumors of a coup.

For PPT, the really reveling item is almost buried deep in the story when referring to the strong rumors:

The strongest rumour was sparked by a recent meeting of movers and shakers in Thai politics who gathered at the house of an important person in the Sukhumvit area. It is a meeting place where past decisions on changes in government have been made.

PPT assumes that the reference is to Piya Malakul and his coup planning buddies from 2006, including privy councilors (see here and here). The rumor gets even more remarkable – according to the Post’s unnamed source:

It was proposed at the meeting that an interim national government should be formed to restore national order, comprising all political parties to select good people to run the country.

The national government’s top priorities would be to grant amnesty for those convicted of offences related to colour-coded politics and to amend the constitution to ensure greater justice.

It was agreed that the national government should be allowed to run the country for two to three years before a general election is called.

But a source at the meeting said those at the meeting failed to specify how the national government should be formed if it was not through a military takeover.

This has contributed to the constant rumours of a putsch, the source said.

The strength of this rumor has caused the military’s brass to vehemently reject it and other claims of an “imminent coup d’etat.” This statement was issued by “Supreme Commander Songkitti Jaggabatara in the presence of the commanders of all the armed forces – army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, navy commander Kamthorn Phumhiran, and air force chief Itthaporn Subhawong…”.

Songkitti said that the “operate under the constitution and support democratic rule…”. Right, we have heard that before previous coups. He then rambled about no-one in the army being permitted to run a coup. Again, a common refrain from the past.

Seemingly forgetting the history of coups in Thailand, Songkitti complained: “Stop linking the armed forces [to the coup rumours]. Don’t ever separate the military from the people…”.

Read the story. Whatever happens, it is clear that te powers that put the current government in place to shore up elite rule are at it again.

The military’s top brass have vehemently rejected rumours about an imminent coup d’etat sparked by a recent meeting of leading political figures.

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