Saturday, January 1, 2011

Coup? Army chief asks: Who's going to do it?

Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Em-Ocha isn't known for mincing words. But when it comes to answering questions about the possibility of another coup, he suddenly turned quite ambiguous, and deliberately so perhaps.

Here are some of the questions and his answers in a bantering with reporters just before the end of the year:

Q: You aren't leading the army to do anything in the new year, are you?

Prayuth: I can't order them to do anything without abiding by the law. I have to get permission from the government if I want to do anything like that.

Q: Does that include a possible coup?

Prayuth: Coup hasn't arrived. Nobody wants to do it anyway.

Q: What the chances of a coup NOT taking place next year?

Prayuth: 100% perhaps. It's possibly 100% at this point. Who is going to do it?

Q: The army chief.

Prayuth: (Laughter). I don't know. You reporters say my huang jui is good. Don't be serious about it. If the media ask me that question, I would have to answer it this way. The media have done its duty. Soldiers are people and people must love democracy. I only ask that it must be democracy under the monarchy -- and don't violate the royal institution. Those who want to quarrel would have to fight it out through legal means...

1 comment:

Steve said...

In that same "bantering" session, Gen Prayuth also said (per Bangkok Post's report):

"The army must not side with any parties in conflict but must maintain and adhere to the law, regardless of who is the government, to prevent casualties to the people."

If true (cough cough), that would represent quite a sea-change for the RTA - wouldn't you say? Then again, I recall that a certain Gen Sonthi denied that there were any plans for a coup - just a week before he launched it.