Saturday, March 28, 2009

Panlop/Thaksin: Prem and Surayud the Real Masterminds behind the Coup

The Nation

For the first time, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra last night publicly accused Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda as being a mastermind of the 2006 coup that overthrew his government.

He also said Prem was the "influential person outside the Constitution" trying to meddle in government affairs when Thaksin was in power.


General Prem has become so involved with politics that people suspect he is the Democrat Party leader," Thaksin said.

He also criticised Prem for publicly supporting Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, an action he described as politically significant.

He said by interfering in politics, Prem, as a royal adviser, would make people think his moves were being approved by His Majesty the King.


Apart from Prem, Thaksin also named former prime minister Surayud Chulanont as one of the plotters of the September 19, 2006 coup.

Earlier in the day, General Panlop Pinmanee, Thaksin's "witness" in his case against the coup plotters, yesterday called on Surayud to quit his privy councillor's post because of alleged involvement in the coup.

Panlop said Surayud should resign to protect the Privy Council from any untoward criticism. "A privy councillor should not get involved in politics, but he [Surayud] meddled in politics. So in order to protect the institution's reputation, I think he'd better resign," Panlop said.


Yesterday, Panlop reiterated his claim that Surayud had a hand in the coup, saying he himself had attended up to four meetings with other coup plotters at a house in Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road area.

He said the attendees were looking for ways to overthrow the government of Thaksin over accusations of being disloyal to the monarchy. In the end, the plotters came up with two possible options: overthrowing Thaksin through legal and constitutional means or doing it through a coup.

Panlop yesterday also accused Surayud of trying to persuade certain members of the Election Commission to resign so the April 2006 general elections could not go ahead.

The Prem angle is nothing new. I didn't think Surayud was involved so intimately. I thought the coup makers just used him as a legitimate face for their government. Before he claimed he kicked and screamed before he had to take the position of PM. So much for that claim.

The fact though is that two eyeball witnesses-Sondhi Lim and General Panlop--say that Surayud was involved. That is strong evidence in my book. In the big scheme of things does it matter? probably not.

So far Generals Prem and Surayud are not making waves about taking anybody to court for false allegations. I wish they would. Prem and Surayud committed treason, obviously, when they conspired to overthrow the government. The Democrats won't take them to court for that, because the Democrats don't believe in indicting their political patrons and allies, which is why there has been no movement against the PAD.

Of course, the worthless Thai media won't go to the other generals involved in the coup and get them to corroborate or deny the accusations. I wonder what Thaksin ally and coup maker, General Ruengroj, thinks about this. Was he out of the loop?

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