Wikileaks, Prem and the coup

4 09 2011

In PPT’s continuing series on Wikileaks cables, we examine U.S. Ambassador Ralph Boyce’s cable of 26 September 2006 that refers to his visit to see Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda just a few days after the 2006 military coup.

Boyce begins by explaining to Washington that he visited Prem on “September 25, explaining I wanted to check on his well-being, given reports on the night of the coup that [ousted Prime Minister] Thaksin [Shinawatra] had tried to arrange Prem’s arrest.” At the time of the coup, Thaksin was in New York.

The ambassador states: “Sounding relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events, Prem assured me he was well.”

The only other item in the cable refers to a conversation Boyce had with former Thaksin government spokesman Borwornsak Uwanno, who after belatedly acquiescing to pressure from a privy councilor, had changed sides and was now close to some of the coup plotters.

Borwornsak had told Boyce that the junta (Boyce prefers to call it the CDRM, the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy, as the junta initially referred to itself) would not appoint a “civilian Prime Minister until the middle of the first week of October.”

Boyce “stressed to Prem that the international community would be watching the clock, and the CDRM would come under criticism if it missed its self-imposed two-week deadline for transitioning to a civilian administration. Prem urged me to start counting the days from September 20, rather than September 19, as the CDRM needed to buy itself as much time as possible to get affairs in order.”

There’s no doubt that, at this time, Prem would have been feeling elated. After all, the military was back in charge and the hated Thaksin was out and effectively exiled, meaning that all of Prem’s work in getting the military on-side for the coup had paid off handsomely.


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19 09 2012
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[…] Prem relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events […]

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[…] Prem relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events […]

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[…] Prem relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events […]

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[…] Prem relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events […]

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[…] Prem relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events […]

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[…] Prem relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events […]

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[…] Prem relaxed, confident, and very pleased with the course of events […]