Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pa Prem in full military uniform: What's the message?

Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, president of the Privy Council, was in full military dress on Monday when the country's top brass paid him a visit to wish him a happy new year.

Does that carry any special meaning? I didn't really get too excited about it. Perhaps, "Pa Prem" was in a good mood. Perhaps, he wanted his visitors to feel at home.

But some political observers promptly pointed out that it was "quite unusual" for Gen Prem to be dressed "for war" on such an occasion.

Manager Daily even ran a headline saying: "Pa Prem in full military uniform: Signalling that he is ready for the last battle."

What last battle? Well, if you count the political attacks launched consistently by Thaksin Shinawatr's lieutenants as a "war," then yes, Pa Prem appears ready to confront them head-on, albeit in his own soft-spoken and subtle retaliation.

But all that Pa Prem told the military leaders that day was: Do good, avoid the bad.

You can read anything into his usual exhortations.

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