Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bangkok Post: General Sonthi Boonyaratglin Receives "Meritorious Service Medal" from Singapore

Singapore (dpa) - The commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army, Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, received on Friday a prestigious military award from Singapore Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The Meritorious Service Medal was awarded to Gen Sonthi in recognition of his contributions toward enhancing the strong ties between the Singapore and Thai armies, the defence ministry said in a statement.

"The two armies engage in a wide spectrum of activities," ranging from bilateral exercises to regular professional exchanges and attendance at each other's courses, boosting the comradeship between the officers and men, it added.

Gen Sonthi led a coup on September 19, 2006, overthrowing the elected government of then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Gen Sonthi, who was scheduled to call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong later Friday, has met with Teo and other military officials during his visit which started on Thursday.


This is truly an Orwellian turn of events.

Remember, this is the same General Sonthi who launched a propaganda campaign against Singapore over the Shin Group assets. Did we ever confiscate them or buy them back, as he promised? Is the Thai military still using walkie-talkies, because they can't trust those evil Singaporeans?

Interestingly, over the last year, the propaganda has disappeared.

I have to wonder what has happened over the last year to get Big Bung to change his tune.

And why has Singapore decided to award Sonthi a medal when just a few short months ago Singapore, just below Thaksin, was the deemed the country's number one enemy?

Orwellian, indeed.

But, of course, I will be the only one asking these questions, because no Thai or Singaporean journalist will have the courage to question this hypocrisy.

I thought Thaksin betrayed the country by selling strategic assets to Singapore, and that was what brought on the protests and the subsequent coup.

But, now, silence? Thaksin is still, of course, the traitor, but Singapore is now Sonthi's new best friend. Curious minds want to know why.

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