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Prayuth asked to probe DSI reports

Posted by arnon_k On December - 24 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

The anti-government United Front for Demcracy against Dictatorship on Friday submitted a letter to army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha asking him to look into Department of Special Investigation’s reports on military actions taken against the red shirts during the April-May protests.

The letter was submitted by UDD spokesman Worawut Wichaidith, who was accompanied by about 20 red shirts, and received by Maj Benja Plook-aram, a senior army duty officer.

Mr Worawut said the letter to Gen Prayuth was accompanied by a copy of Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban’s order for the DSI to investigate military operations against the red shirts during April-May and the deaths of six people in Wat Pathumwanaram temple on May 19 and Japanese photo-journalist Hiroyuki Muramoto at Khok Wua intersection on April 10.

Gen Prayuth was asked to look into the DSI reports and provide explanation on the reported military actions, he said.

The UDD spokesman also called for a House dissolution and new general election to return justice to the people.

Mr Worawut reaffirmed that the red shirts would rally on Jan 9, not Jan 10 as earlier scheduled, in remembrance of those killed on April 10.

Prayuth not worried by red rally plan

Posted by arnon_k On December - 20 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is not worried by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship’s plan to continue with regular rallies next year.

Although the government was about to lift the emergency decree now being enforced in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan, the situation was still under control, he said.

If the situation turned violent, the emergency decree could be reinstated and the military would be in place to perform their duty, the army chief said on Monday.

Gen Prayuth said violence would not do anything good, and would further damage the country in the eyes of the world.

A peace-keeping plan for use after the cancellation of the emergency had been prepared and was ready for cabinet approval and being put into effect, he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security affairs, expressed sympathy for police who had to work hard maintaining law and order when the red-shirts rallied at Ratchaprasong intersection on Sunday.

He said the government had no plan to grant amnesty to the red-shirts.

The UDD has announced the red-shirts will gather on the 10th and 19th of every month to mark the April 10 clashes between the protesters and security forces at Khok Wua intersection and the May 19 dispersal of the demonstrators at Ratchaprasong intersection.

Army chief takes aim at ‘red’ officers

Posted by arnon_k On October - 19 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

New army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has wasted no time in wielding his power by ordering a reshuffle of 229 senior officers.

The rejig has led to the transfer of regimental commanders reportedly linked with the red shirt movement.

Among them is Col Natthawat Akanibut, son of Gen Pat Akkanibut, who is a close friend of Puea Thai Party chairman Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.

He has been removed as commander of the 1st Infantry Regiment (King’s Guards) and becomes deputy commander of Kanchanaburi Military District.

“His transfer can be considered as a promotion although it’s a bit off the track [to the force control unit],” an army source said.

Col Pongsawas Phanchit, director of the Operations Division of the 1st Army, was appointed to replace Col Natthawat.

A source said the reason for his transfer was that Col Natthawat had been in charge of the Bangkok-based 1st Infantry Regiment for three years. Gen Prayuth was not confident Col Natthawat could carry out his work any longer. Also, he was connected to Gen Chavalit.

“Gen Prayuth is still concerned about soldiers who are close to the red shirts,” the source said.

Col Apirat Kongsompong, commander of the 11th Infantry Regiment (King’s Guards) which played a key role in dealing with red shirt demonstrators, remains with the regiment despite the fact he has been at the helm for four years.

Other intriguing transfers include the promotion of Col Kiat Srinaka, commander of the 2nd Infantry Regiment (Queen’s Guards), one of the influential military clique called Burapha Payak. He is to become deputy commander of the 2nd Infantry Division. Col Kiat played a key role in the clash with red shirt demonstrators at the Khok Wua intersection on April 10.

The latest transfers are viewed as a move to ensure Gen Prayuth has reliable subordinates who can follow his orders to the letter.

It was reported some military units did not deal with the red shirt protesters as he wanted.

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