Saturday, October 30, 2010

The new army chief versus the old boss

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, the new army commander-in-chief, doesn't waste anytime to speak out on his concern over groups that he says are detrimental to the monarchy.He took over the position on Oct 1 and has since made no secret of his "mission" to "protect the country's highest institution" in an open, no-nonsense way.

His outspokenness is a far cry from his predecessor, Gen Anupong Paochinda, who preferred to stick to his "no comments" position on any political controversy.

No doubt, critics will soon question his "democratic credentials" as a professional soldier. His tendency to mince no words in public will undoubtedly draw him into new controversies.

Is he more prone to thinking about coups than Anupong? Only time will tell. Is the difference only in style? Or is there a vast departure on terms of substance over the military's role in national politics as well?

Whatever transpires, one thing is sure: There won't be a dull moment in military and political stories in the new year.

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