Tuesday, December 22, 2009
How Surayud got quoted out of context...
Poor Gen Surayud Chullanont. He was only trying to be nice and accommodating to reporters. But when some newspapers ran a headline saying he was ready to talk to Thaksin Shinawatr, things got badly exaggerated.
I did listen to the interview. The former premier and present privy councillor He was asked by a reporter: Would be answer the phone if Thaksin called? Surayud replied: "Yes. I would talk to him. I always did. In fact, when we met the last time he came back, we talked at the funeral of Army Chief Anupong's mother."
Would he initiate the call? "No, that would be inappropriate for a privy councillor..."
And that's it. Surayud gave no hint that he would serve as a "broker" for peace between Thaksin and the Abhisit government. In fact, he even mentioned that he wasn't sure what would be the topics if he and Thaksin should happen to talk on the phone.
Things went awry when critics started to ask what Surayud was up to. Thaksin tweeted to ask whether Surayud was speaking for himself or had he got "permission" to speak in that tone. Instead of positive response as a military "dove,"
Surayud got hammered from all sides.
One of his aides came out yesterday to say it had all been taken out of context by the reporters who had been invited by the former premier for a trek up the mountain in the North to inspect a development project.
But Surayud, ever the gentleman, won't come out to deny the story himself. Time will prove everything, his aide quoted him as saying.