Taking up arms for the monarchy

29 11 2012

A Bangkok Post photo

Most observers of Thailand’s politics know that the military brass have long claimed that their chief role is as the armed protectors of the monarchy, the royalist elite and the royalist state. Thousands of Thais considered political opponents have died at the hands of the military as it plays the role of the monarchy’s protector and enforcer.

Retired military officer and failed leader of the undemocratic Pitak Siam General Boonlert Kaewprasit has told the media that his is a semi-retirement from the dinosaur royalist brigade.  He “says the only thing that would prompt him to lead another rally against the government is a severe insult to the monarchy.”

If that happens and Boonlert decides to rally to “protect” the monarchy, then he says “protesters will have to carry arms so that they can protect themselves from being harmed by the government’s security officers again…”.

While arms and the monarchy seem forever tied together, Boonlert reckons that the current military brass left him and his mob in the lurch when he provided the brass with an opportunity to intervene. He says: “I am hurt…. I no longer want to have anything to do with the army as it failed to help people who were oppressed by the police…”. He is revealing shen he adds:

He said he made a phone call to 1st Army Region commander Lt Gen Paiboon Khumchaya when police fired tear gas at the protesters. The 1st Army Region headquarters is located nearest the rally site, and he hoped the army would step in to protect the protesters.

Boonlert says Lt Gen Paiboon, Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha and his deputy, General Dapong Rattanasuwan were “not helpful.” We guess that Boonlert was led to believe that violence would prompt the military to political action. We suspect that the pathetic turnout for Pitak Siam made intervention impossible.

The arms are in waiting.


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