Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New defence minister wants to be govt-armed forces link

Premier Yingluck in the Air Force gear for the first time yesterday, flanked by the new defence minister, ACM Sukampol, and the RTAF commander-in-chief, ACM Ithiporn, once arc-rivals, and now seemingly having patched up.

The new defence chief officially took over the post today at the Defence Ministry where all the top brass were keen to demonstrate their "being together." ACM Sukampol reiterated that he wasn't trying to move the generals around. He has avoided commenting directly on whether he will push vigorously for the amendment to the current Defence Council law that deprives the defence minister of the aboslute authority to hire and fire senior military officers.

"I want to play the role of the middle man between the government and the armed forces," the usually blunt-talking general said.

How he will fulfill that self-imposed role as a negotiator will decide how long he can stay in the post.

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