Prem, military and monarchy (again)

27 08 2011

In the Bangkok Post, Privy Council President, former prime minister and titular chief of the royalist faction, Prem Tinsulanonda is reported to have received his usual birthday visit from the military leadership. This visit is always meant to demonstrate that the military’s true loyalty is not to the government, but to Prem (as mentor and royalist kingpin) and the monarchy.

As usual, Prem “called on military leaders to do their utmost to uphold and protect the monarchy…”. What else would he do?

Joined by Puea Thai government Defence Minister General Yutthasak Sasiprapa, the bosses of the army, the navy and the air force paid a “courtesy call” on the 91 year-old political meddler.

Yutthasak said “Gen Prem had asked him and the leaders of the armed forces to ensure the King and Queen are free from worries and cares.” PPT believes that means political stability, reverence for the royal family and ensuring that the right amounts of taxpayer funds go into supporting the royal family for their planes, cars, security, pet projects, funerals and so on.

Yutthasak claimed that “Gen Prem’s remarks are already my concern. I confirm that I will make a total sacrifice to do what I have been asked to…”. Hopefully the correct solemn music was playing as Yutthasak got out the posterior polishing rag.

In the report it is also stated that “Defence Ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Sawangsaeng said after the meeting [of the Defence Council,] Gen Yutthasak had laid down policies to be implemented within four years. These are protecting the monarchy, backing national reconciliation efforts, staying out of politics, helping end southern unrest, developing the armed forces’ capabilities, and strengthening military cooperation with foreign countries.”

We can’t think of anything to add to what we said yesterday: PPT can’t help wondering if the new government is going to have to out-lese majeste the previous one to “prove” a loyalty to the throne and wheedle its way back with the royalist elite. That would be a mistake for the latter group and the palace never forgets and doesn’t forgive.


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