Monday, January 23, 2012

PM Yingluck in her air force gear

Premier Yingluck in her Air Force gear for the first time this morning -- at Chaibadan District of Lopburi province -- for the Royal Thai Air Force's annual "Air Power Show."

All the top brass, except for Army Chief Gen Prayuth Em-Ocha who was busy with another assignment in Lampang, were there. Deputy army chief Gen Daopong stood in for Gen Prayudh.

It was also the first official function for the new defence minister, ACM Sukampol Suwannathat (second from left in the picture tweeted by Post military affairs reporter Wasana Nanuam), who was formerly with the RTAF as well.

Immediately to the PM's left appears to be Gen Yuthasak Sasipracha, the defence minister who has just been "kicked upstairs" to the post of deputy prime minister.

The new defence minister has said he will be working closely with military leaders in all the branches. He has avoided commenting directly on speculation that his main item on the agenda is to rewrite the current law that gives the authority of hiring and firing of senior military personnel to the Defence Council instead of politically appointed defence minister.

He will have to walk a tight rope over this highly controversial issue. So far, he has adopted a soft approach despite his reputation as a tough-talking, no-nonsense sort of military officer.

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