Monday, April 2, 2007

Bangkok Post: CNS Insiders Unhappy with Surayud's Leadership

PM feels the heat from critics, CNS

Sonthi could be made deputy prime minister

Bangkok Post


Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont is under pressure to shape up, with former supporters becoming critical and the coup leaders dusting off an old plan to make Council for National Security chief Sonthi Boonyaratkalin deputy prime minister for security affairs.

A source close to Gen Surayud said the prime minister was losing heart under the pressure from activist groups dissatisfied with the government's performance and from the Council for National Security, which has different views on maintaining national order.

A CNS source said that part of the problem is that farmer and pro-democracy groups which sided with the People's Alliance for Democracy were upset with the government for being slow in tackling people's problems.

These groups were running anti-government mobs nationwide and seriously affecting the government and the CNS, which was therefore reviewing the performance of the prime minister.

Wait a second. Those groups that are associated with the PAD and anti-Thaksin groups are running "mobs" and protests against the junta across the country? I would think that this is big news since we only hear about the pro-Thakisn "undercurrents" disturbing the peace. So which sinister forces are paying the PAD people? It can't be Thaksin. Maybe we should call upon our friends at The Nation to investigate.

The source said there had been discussion of a proposal to bring back as head of government two-time prime minister Anand Panyarachun. But most CNS members did not think they could work with Mr Anand as they believed he would not listen to their views. They were also not sure he would accept the position given the limited time remaining for the interim government.

Why would Anand taint his reputation by associating himself with these jamooks?

''The problem is that we do not know what to do with the present prime minister. He did not want the position. But he used to be our commander and we asked him to take up the job. So we do not want to replace the prime minister. That could go from bad to worse,'' the source said.

In typical Thai fashion, saving face is more important than actually running the country. In typical Thai fashion, it is better to do nothing and watch everything self-destruct rather than to act. Who are these fools going to blame later? Temasek? Singapore? The Japanese-Thai FTA? The United States? Foreign investors? Who wants to start wagering?

The CNS source confirmed that CNS chairman Gen Sonthi would not solve the problem by taking the prime minister post himself.

To paraphrase Colin Powell: "You break it, you own it."

That would create more problems for the government, leaving it no time to run the country because it would face multiple mobs and opposition from local and international media. The opposition could be worse than that Gen Surayud was facing now, the source said.

This is what would happen most likely.

''We may take part in the government, but not to take charge. There may be a proposal to dust off an old plan, that is to have Gen Sonthi join the government as deputy prime minister for security affairs.

General Sonthi has shown so far that he is not a very capable military dictator. Whether he officially or unofficially calls the shots, what difference does it make?

''Gen Sonthi at the time rejected the proposal and Gen Surayud supported him, but it may be necessary now,'' the source said. The best way out, the source said, was to make the government realise that it shares with the CNS the responsibility for solving the four problems cited as the reasons for the coup.

You would think that they would have sorted out the four reasons for the coup before the coup actually happened. What was the evidence they had that made them overthrown the government in the first place?

''Many people fear they will face legal action, so they are working day-to-day and waiting for the new constitution and a new government,'' the source said.

What does this mean? Which people? The Thaksin people are those associated with the junta?

Pibhop Dhongchai, chairman of the Campaign for Popular Democracy (CPD), said Gen Surayud was good for Thai society but not good enough to be prime minister under the current circumstances, which demanded someone with moral courage as well as wisdom and the ability to run the country.

Suriyasai Katasila, CPD secretary, urged the government to dismantle the power structure of the deposed Thaksin Shinawatra government, notably by removing some cabinet ministers who were still in touch with its associates.

Why does the Thai press always go to the CPD for quotes? Do other organizations in Thailand exist in Thailand besides the worthless CPD?

This Suriyasai is a buffoon. He has no credibility. You can't have a campaign for popular democracy if you don't believe in democracy and the rule of law. He should re-name his group the Campaign to Blame Thaksin.

Meechai Ruchuphan, chairman of the National Legislative Assembly, told NLA members to find ways to help the government tackle the four problems cited as the reasons for the coup. He noted that the interim government had only six to eight months left of its tenure.

The coup leaders cited as reasons divisions in Thai society, contempt of the royal institution, corruption and interference in independent state agencies.

''This is not to discredit the government but we will do it within the mandate of the NLA,'' Mr Meechai said.

''If we find that legislation can solve the problems, we will propose a law for the government to follow.''

Another brilliant comment. Pass a law against crimes that took place before the law was written. How can you legislate against "problems" that already occurred?

NLA member Sommai Parichat suggested that a counter-corruption law be passed without having to wait for the new constitution.

Another NLA member, Khamnoon Sitthisamarn, proposed a special committee to study ways of solving the four problems.

Yeah. That is what we need. More hot air and Thai bullshit that does nothing except make these people look like bigger idiots than they already are.

Pracharaj party leader Sanoh Thienthong said he would disagree with the removal of Gen Surayud as prime minister when there was not much time left

When the Thai press goes to Sanoh for his opinion, then we know we are all in deep shit.

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