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Since the military took over administrative power last week, scores of high-ranking police have been removed from their posts for their alleged links with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

In addition to top-ranking police officers, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has also transferred Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director-general Tarit Pengdith, defence permanent secretary Nipat Thonglek, and more than 10 high-ranking civil servants to inactive posts.

Mr Tarit was replaced by police adviser Pol Gen Chatchawal Suksomjit, an officer the military is thought to trust.

Even national police chief Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, who is also the NCPO deputy chief, supervising special affairs, has been removed to pave the way for deputy police chief Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit to take the helm.

Pol Gen Watcharapol is known to be close to former police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan, the younger brother of former defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan under the Abhisit Vejjajiva government.

Gen Prawit was among a group of civilians and military officers appointed as NCPO advisers on Tuesday.

As soon as Pol Gen Watcharapol took over as police chief, a series of police transfers followed.

Eight lieutenant generals were transferred to inactive posts at the National Thai Police Office.

Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang was replaced by assistant police chief Chakthip Chaijinda, who was MPB chief under the Abhisit administration.

Pol Lt Gen Chakthip is known to have close ties with People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thuagsuban.

NCPO chief Prayuth Chan-ocha also has confidence in him as they both worked at the Centre for Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES) during the 2010 red-shirt crackdown.

Provincial Police Region 1 chief Nares Nanthachote, who was supported by former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, was removed and replaced by Pol Maj Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, deputy commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau.

Pol Maj Gen Srivara is close to Pol Gen Patcharawat.

Provincial Police Region 2 chief Kawee Supanan was removed and replaced by Pol Maj Gen Sanit Mahataworn, deputy chief of the Office of Police Commission.

Pol Lt Gen Kawee played a key role in crackdown on PDRC protesters in February that resulted in fatalities.

Pol Maj Gen Sanit reportedly had the support from Mr Suthep when he was in political power.

Provincial Police Region 4 chief Anuchai Lekbamrung, who was in charge of the police investigation into the 2010 deadly crackdown on the red-shirt demonstrators, was replaced by Pol Lt Gen Detnarong Suthichanbancha, commissioner of Police’s Office of Budget and Finance.

Pol Lt Gen Detnarong is known to also have a close connection with Mr Suthep.

Police Region 5 commissioner Suthep Detraksa, a close ally of Thaksin, was also replaced by assistant police chief Wanchai Thanadkit, who served as Police Region 6 chief overseeing lower northern provinces when Mr Suthep was deputy premier.

Provincial Police Region 7 chief Hanpol Nitwibul, who has a direct connection with former police commissioner Priewpan Damapong, a relative of Ms Yingluck, was replaced by Pol Lt Gen Somboon Huabbangyang, an inspector-general, who previously worked under Mr Suthep on security issues.

Immigration Bureau chief Phanu Kerdlarppol and Special Branch Police chief Saritchai Anakeweang were also removed and replaced by inspector general Pol Lt Gen Sakda Cheunpakdi and deputy inspector general Pol Maj Gen Rewat Klinkesorn, respectively.

However, some key police positions have been left untouched.

Those include the commissioners of Provincial Police Region 3, 8 and 9 as well as assistant police chief Winai Thongsong, a nephew-in-law of Thaksin’s former wife Khunying Pojaman na Pombejra.

They have not been transferred because the areas under their jurisdiction were not predominantly red-shirt zones, a police source said.

Assets freeze for 2 Thaksin supporters

Posted by pakin On May - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on Tuesday banned all financial and asset transactions by Prasit Chaisrisa, former Pheu Thai MP for Surin, and red-shirt activist Sombat Boonngam-anong after they both failed to turn themselves in.

The order went to financial institutions, including banks. The council also ordered such institutions provide reports on all transactions by both men between March 1 and May 27, 2014, within three days.

Other people who have still not reported to the NCPO as ordered are former interior minister and Pheu Thai Party leader Charupong Ruangsuwan and four supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra – Phayap Panket, Arisman Pongruangrong, Chinawat Haboonpat and Malairak Thongchai.

Former education minister Chaturon Chaisaeng of Pheu Thai also failed to report. Soldiers arrested him after he held a press conference to denounce the May 22 coup at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Pheu Thai awaits Thaksin’s orders

Posted by pakin On May - 23 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Democrat, Pheu Thai negotiators released by junta

The Pheu Thai Party opted for quiet mode on Friday, waiting for directions from former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a party source said.

The source said key party figures had ordered all members to keep quiet and wait and see what the junta does.

Pheu Thai believed that not everybody welcomed the decision of army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to overthrow the caretaker government, the source said.

The party was awaiting signals to the party’s leaders from Thaksin, the source said.

Thaksin’s sister, former prime minister Yingluck, reported to the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) on Friday and is banned from leaving the country.

The junta council released deputy party leader Pol Lt Gen Viroj Pao-in, Wan Mohamad Nor Matha and Chusak Sirinil from the barracks where they were being held.

They were still in Bangkok, according to the source.

Party secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai and spokesman Prompong Nopparit remain in the army’s custody.

The NPOMC released all detained negotiators of the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties in the early hours of Friday, according to the Post Today. They had been detained  during talks with Gen Prayuth on Thursday afternoon, when the coup was declared.

Prayuth in charge

Posted by pakin On May - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Army chief to bring together warring groups to find a way out of political impasse; insists martial law is not a coup but only aimed at restoring order in the country

With martial law in place, Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha intends to bring together all stakeholders in the political conflict to break the deadlock, as he says the country cannot continue in this crisis any longer.

Prayuth decided to impose the strict law after senators failed to find a way to appoint a neutral PM to end the political crisis, and the military detected the possibility of the warring parties engaging in violence, a source said.

“May I beg all Thai people to take off all ‘coloured’ shirts. We begin from square one to take the country forward to calm, peace and order. We have to look forward to the future and how we can move on,” Prayuth told a press conference yesterday.

Meeting with acting PM

The commander will today meet acting Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan, anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban and acting Deputy Senate Speaker Surachai Liengboon-lertchai, who are all involved in the power play.

The caretaker government and its red-shirt supporters want to have an early election to facilitate their return to power, while the protesters and senators are looking for an unelected “neutral” premier to form an interim government to carry out their “reform” agenda that would somehow remove the Thaksin Shinawatra camp from politics.

Prayuth clarified while declaring martial law early yesterday that it was not tantamount to a coup and people should not be concerned.

Niwattumrong, meanwhile, dismissed rumours that he was planning to suspend Prayuth as Army chief, adding that he would meet the top brass this week.

The military is seeking to restore order and is asking political groups to halt their protests, he said. He also urged the public to continue their lives as usual.

Asked if he had informed the government about the declaration of martial law, Prayuth said: “Where is the government now? … I don’t know … Let them do their work. They should work, if they can work.

“But I don’t bother the government. Now, the civil servants and the military are working for the country. I don’t care about the others,” he said.

Prayuth said life would continue as usual. “We’ll try not to impinge on rights too much,” he said. “We will not create trouble for the people. Many articles [in martial law] have not been enforced yet.”

The caretaker government, meanwhile, called Cabinet members to a meeting at SC Park Hotel in the Rama IX area to evaluate the situation after the declaration of martial law, PM’s secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva said.

Reacting to the military move, Niwattumrong issued a statement saying it should be binding on all equally and peacefully under the rule of law and the Constitution.

Separately, when asked if there would be an early election, Prayuth pretended he had not heard the question, but later joked: “Perhaps I need to consult an ear doctor.”

Prayuth called a meeting of heads of state agencies, including permanent secretaries and directors of ministries, representatives of independent organisations, professional associations and civic groups to explain his plan after announcing martial law.

Security operations

The military’s Peace and Order Maintaining Command was set up under the martial law, replacing the government’s Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order. The military took over all security operations and other agencies, mainly police who worked to keep order in the capital, returned to their posts and offices.

Troops were seen guarding many key locations and media offices, while some media outlets were forced to close to stop provocative messages.

Prayuth specifically told the chief of the Department of Special Investigation, Tarit Pengdith: “Stop. Enough. If you want to sue anybody, sue me instead,” a source in the meeting quoted the commander as saying, referring to Tarit’s role over the past months in trying to bring protest leaders to justice.

Regarding the election, Prayuth said: “If the election cannot be held, we should not have the election. If we need to sacrifice the blood of the people, we should not have the election,” according to Election Commission secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong.

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