Thursday, September 10, 2009
Gen Pravit is without a doubt his brother's keeper
He is definitely his brother's keeper although Defence Minister Gen Pravit Wongsuwan says Police Chief Gen Patcharawat's resignation won't affect his own relations with PM Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Pravit denied today that he was quitting his defence portfolio despite rumours to the contrary. But all his earlier statements, official or otherwise, pointed to his uneasiness with the way the PM was treating his younger brother.
Deputy Premier Suthep Thuagsuban also denied that there had been a "gentlemen's agreement" with Pravit to let his brother stay on in the police post until his retirement on Sept 30.
The stronger the denials,however, the more suspicion they touch off.
Things aren't too pleasant for PM Abhisit,naturally, if the defence minister appears disturbed by what he considers "unfair treatment" for his brother. After all, Suthep was said to have approached Pravit to join the government as a "pillar of military support" when this coalition government was formed.
Abhisit has apparently been handling Patcharawat's case gingerly all along -- until he couldn't drag his feet any longer when the National Counter Corruption Commision ruled that the police chief was one of the key people charged with criminal negligence and disciplinary violation over the Oct 7 incident when police dispersed the "yellow-shirted" protestors in front of Parliament Building, resulting in deaths and injuries.
The ruling compelled the PM to either remove him or fire him from the post. Patcharawat reacted by handing in his resignation. The PM refused to sign approval for it, arguing that he had to refer it to the National Police Commission for an opinion.
Patcharawat then submitted a request for an extended leave until his last day in
his job, Sept 30.
The drama is still unfolding. The end is near, but the finale could still be riddled with surprises.