Prawit’s watches and the junta’s faithful

23 01 2018

It seems that Deputy Dictator and godfather of the military junta, General Prawit Wongsuwan is done for. The question now is how long it will be before his “younger brothers” cut him loose. Or, more likely, when Prawit buries his face and pride and accepts that he must go.

Of course, these military men have great difficulty in understanding concepts other than power, force and hierarchy. So Prawit probably believes that the whole country should just accept that he is a high-ranked “good” person and accept his lame excuses for being in possession of more than two score of luxury watches. But by toughing out the political storm, Prawit and his “brothers” General Prayuth Chan-ocha and General Anupong Paojinda are depleting the regime’s political capital among its faithful anti-democratic supporters.

The latest reports are that diehard anti-democrats and yellow shirts are abandoning Prawit for the sake of maintaining the regime. Yesterday we posted on the Democrat Party “advice” to the junta it has so vigorously supported. Today it is reported that (several times failed) former minister and minor prince Pridiyathorn Devakula has not just urged Prawit to move on but has rebuked the general on his “excuse” for having the multi-million baht collection of timepieces.

Pridiyathorn said Prawit “must resign before his reputation is ruined…”. He added: “I’ve already had someone deliver my message to him — live a happy life, live well and protect your reputation, which is still good…”. If he doen’t go, his “reputation” is sunk.

Pridiyathorn then undercut the general’s “excuse.” Military sources have leaked a story that “businessman Pattawat Suksriwong, who died last year, would often lend the deputy prime minister watches…”. The minor prince, who “enjoyed close ties with Mr Pattawat as the two were friends and business partners” stated that “he never heard any mention of the watch-lending from the deceased.”

Clearly, the faithful, many of them anti-democrats and supportive of the dictatorship, are losing patience with Prawit and Prayuth. Given Prayuth’s plans to remain premier for the foreseeable future, Prawit’s stubborn refusal to exit, these are dangerous times for the junta.