The Dictator’s (in)security

7 10 2016

In a story at the Bangkok Post, from quite a few days ago, discussing The Dictator’s appointment of close political allies to core military positions, there was a note on General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s insecurity and his huge security detail.

The story comes from an event attended by The Dictator, arranged by the Post, and so we can assume the details are accurate.

It states that The Dictator “has massively boosted his personal security in recent months.” When Prayuth agreed to attend the Post event, he was accompanied by “260 security officers, and [it was] stipulated that the Forum coordinators must provide seating and a full meal for each of them.”

The Post is incredulous and can discern no reason for the massive increase in personal security, especially when “Government House and military sources say they know of no plots or threats against the prime minister…”. It added that “reporters covering government and the prime minister’s day to day activities say they are unaware of any rumours of threats, either to Gen Prayut personally or to his junta.”

We know that Prayuth regularly invokes unspecified threats when the regime is censoring, arresting and harassing, but PPT had assumed this was just blather defending aggression by the military and widespread repression.

Now we are wondering if he believes his own tripe, whether “military intelligence” is telling him that there are threats or if his astrologer has turned up something evil in the stars.

New VIP planes, armored VIP vehicles and hundreds of people with dark sunglasses and earpieces do not come cheap. Whatever the reason, Prayuth’s feelings of insecurity are costing the Thai taxpayer a pretty penny.