‘Cadet school is not for the weak’: Prawit responds to cadet’s death

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has claimed that the freshman cadet who recently died in a military academy was not beaten to death, but just too weak to withstand tough training.  
 
On 22 November, Prawit publicly disputed the claims of the parents of deceased cadet Phakhaphong Tanyakan that their son was beaten to death.
 
“I affirm that the boy died from his own health [problems]. There was no beating or anything like that. He was ill and I believe that the school has not concealed any information,” Prawit stated.
 
Phakhapong’s parents are continuing to investigate the bizarre circumstances surrounding the cadet’s death, including the disappearance of his internal organs.
 
According to Phakhapong’s diary, the cadet had been subjected to disciplinary punishments (called ‘repairing’) in the form of extreme physical activity such as push-ups, squats and long distance running. Each year these measures cause cadets and conscripts to suffer heat stroke and sudden cardiac arrest.
 
But Prawit stated that all soldiers have had to undergo such disciplinary measures, including himself. 
 
“I was once repaired more than I could take and I fainted too. I didn’t die. For this, before the school accepts kids for entry, they must give them a proper physical check-up,” Prawit added.
 
Asked whether such incidents can be prevented in the future, Prawit replied, “You don’t have to enrol. You don’t have to be a soldier. We want those who are willing.”
 
 
Phakhaphong’s family at his funeral (Photo from Thairath)