While Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha called for all 9,000 insurgents and their supporters in the South to be brought to justice (not the same justice that he applies to security forces committing extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and, if rumours are true, a whole raft of run-of-the-mill crimes like drug-dealing, smuggling, and gun-running), his deputy, Gen Dapong Rattanasuwan, was expressing the real fears that keep the military top brass awake in their beds at night.
The Royal Thai Army has been ranked 19th in www.globalfirepower.com’s 2011 World Military Strength Ranking, moving up from 28th last year.
On 24 April, Maj Gen Kasem Thanaporn, Commander of the Naresuan Taskforce, visited the 4th Infantry Regiment Taskforce Command in Mae Sot district of Tak province and spoke to about 500 troops including soldiers, rangers and border patrol police.
Here we go again. Not content with telling us what we can and cannot do (I thought we had a government to do that) Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha takes time from his undoubtedly busy schedule to explain Thai society for us.
It’s been a bad week for the scam artists. Sorawan Sirisuntarin, who markets under the name ‘Pa Cheng’, has been charged with violating the Pharmaceuticals Act. She had been peddling a panacea called Maha Bambad at 1000 baht a wee bottle and an eye lotion called Jiaranai Petch.
At a recent lunch meeting to update a Western diplomat on the state of Thai politics and democracy, this writer was asked what he thought of this and that general - and what were their relations with Army Chief General Anupong Paochinda?