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Army 'needs martial law to shield itself'


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Army 'needs martial law to shield itself'
Pakorn Puengnetr
The Nation

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Prayut

BANGKOK: -- Current power structure puts too much pressure on Prayut: academic

The military is expected to have increased political roles in this new year although there is a unity problem among top commanders in the Army, according to sources familiar with the armed forces.

Observers say martial law - imposed shortly before the coup in May - is likely to be retained for a long time, to help ensure that the military will have the power to deal with unexpected problems when they arise.

"There are uncertainties in the Army. The decision-making is done from many sources of power in the Army. So it is inevitable for martial law to be retained. The military needs some tool to deal with problems that may happen in the future," said one source, a high-ranking officer in the armed forces.

Wanwichit Boonprong, an expert in security affairs from Rangsit University, said the military would continue to consolidate its power this year, and martial law would serve as its "fangs and claws".

He said arrangements had been made after the coup to increase the military's power. These included the junta's orders to expand the martial court's authority to try cases involving lese majeste and war-grade weapons, as well as the upgrade of military districts into military circles to allow increased roles in civilian affairs.

Wanwichit, who lectures at Rangsit University's College of Public Administration and Political Science, said he expected many military commanders, as well as senior bureaucrats, to become senators as a new constitution is likely to require that members of the upper house are appointed, instead of elected.

He said a situation like this is similar to the one ahead of the Black May incident in 1992, when the military dominated politics and served as mediator between the elite and a new power clique.

"The military should be able to control the [political arena] in 2015. They will continue to get cooperation from many sectors," the academic said.

For him, a key weakness in the junta is the fact that all the problems will push towards General Prayut Chan-o-cha, as head of the government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

"The problem is that the focus is too much on the prime minister, particularly the issues that affect security. The prime minister's mood changes quite easily and this makes it easy for him to be the target of criticism," Wanwichit said. "Without relegation of power to other people, particularly over security matters, there will be negative consequences on the government and the Army."

The academic added that Army chief General Udomdej Sitabutr, who also serves as deputy defence minister in Prayut's government, needed to be given more responsibility on security matters.

The military source, who requested anonymity, said the current Army might seem to be united but in fact potential conflict is brewing under the surface. This is because the Army is now controlled by three different and powerful figures.

The first person is Prayut, who was the previous Army chief and now serves as prime minister and leader of the NCPO. The second is General Prawit Wongsuwan, deputy prime minister and defence minister who commands Prayut's respect as his former boss and senior at the military academy. The third figure is Udomdej, the current Army chief.

Unlike his predecessors, Udomdej also serves in the government as deputy defence minister, and therefore is obliged to follow orders from the prime minister and the defence minister, who are his former boss in the Army and his ex-senior in the military school respectively.

The sources warned that conflict could stem from a contest to become the next Army chief between two leading candidates - Prayut's brother General Preecha Chan-o-cha and General Teerachai Nakwanich - who are both assistant Army commanders-in-chief. Teerachai is Udomdej's former classmate from the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.

Preecha is from Class 15 while Teerachai is from Class 14.

The Army source said the Army chief would feel uneasy having to choose between his former classmate and the brother of his boss to become his successor

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Army-needs-martial-law-to-shield-itself-30251125.html

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-- The Nation 2015-01-03

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So martial law is for the benefit of the military not the country ?

" Unexpected problems that may arise " can cover simply anything that's not approved of.

If the PM is under too much pressure it's self inflicted injury as he didn't seek the role and the pressure, he took it.

I wish he had not taken the role on, would have been much better if he stepped back and let the entire population, including the north-eastern people, turn on the Shins.

It was beginning to happen and would have been much more fun to watch. biggrin.png

(I truly believe the main reason the coup happened was because of the redshirts killing innocent people on the streets)

Edited by mikemac
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So martial law is for the benefit of the military not the country ?

" Unexpected problems that may arise " can cover simply anything that's not approved of.

If the PM is under too much pressure it's self inflicted injury as he didn't seek the role and the pressure, he took it.

I wish he had not taken the role on, would have been much better if he stepped back and let the entire population, including the north-eastern people, turn on the Shins.

It was beginning to happen and would have been much more fun to watch. alt=biggrin.png>

(I truly believe the main reason the coup happened was because of the redshirts killing innocent people on the streets)

Mike, there is none so blind as he who will not see.

All your posts offer excuses for this pathetic farce which gets more pathetic by the day.

There never will be a better way to allow the Thai people to work out how their democracy will work than letting them elect their own governments.

All this is doing is keeping the military and their masters in power at the expense of the people.

Your feeble attempts to bring the "shins" into every post as some sort of excuse to justify this ongoing (20 coups) interference by the military in Thailands burgeoning democracy are transparent.

Read your history.

The Shinawatra family are on the back burner and the sooner their supporters realise this the better , I stand corrected but I think they are now banned from political activities , hence no New year message from Thaksin as it would have landed the carrier in the sh!!t big time, this excludes others that are still in the PTP , backing might come from the Shins, but will need to be declared.

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I had been under the impression that martial law was imposed to protect the country from upheaval,or civil strife. While this itself is debatable, this article now tells us that martial law is needed to somehow " protect the army".. From what, the article does not tell us, though it does tell us there may be rivalaries wthin the military which could lead to conflict. Unwittingly, the article thereby provides the ultimate argument for democratic elections as the only sustainable means of reglme change in the world of politics. As the article implies, military coups and martial law only breed more military coups and martial law - and that a recipe for disaster.

You bring up a good point; why is martial law needed to protect the army?

Under normal circumstances the army already has its own justice system. If they have internal problem it will come for a military court no matter if there is martial law or not.

The reason they need to keep martial law is either that they will clean up the civilian justice system (unlikely given their track record) or they will walk over basic human rights soon again, which can involve civilian courts, and they have no plan whatsoever to take responsibility for it.

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I had been under the impression that martial law was imposed to protect the country from upheaval,or civil strife. While this itself is debatable, this article now tells us that martial law is needed to somehow " protect the army".. From what, the article does not tell us, though it does tell us there may be rivalaries wthin the military which could lead to conflict. Unwittingly, the article thereby provides the ultimate argument for democratic elections as the only sustainable means of reglme change in the world of politics. As the article implies, military coups and martial law only breed more military coups and martial law - and that a recipe for disaster.

You bring up a good point; why is martial law needed to protect the army?

Under normal circumstances the army already has its own justice system. If they have internal problem it will come for a military court no matter if there is martial law or not.

The reason they need to keep martial law is either that they will clean up the civilian justice system (unlikely given their track record) or they will walk over basic human rights soon again, which can involve civilian courts, and they have no plan whatsoever to take responsibility for it.

I'm not for this Mob at all , but i can see why they don't want to relax Marshall law , If they relax it and everything turns to pooh in a few months you could find a secondary coup being on the cards. Also if they are forever relaxing it and then imposing it when things start to go tits , it will lose its significance

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If it's not bad enough this bloke with the mood swings taking over the via the barrel of a gun now we have the military in possible conflict with itself .

As for the army needing martial law to shield itself that's just another excuse to keep the boot on the throats of the thai people while they rort the system to keep the true peoples government out.

.... via the barrel of a gun ....

Like many of your posts, less than truthful.

.... rort the system ....

Big statement, please expand with some details.

Where's fabie? Or are you trying to keep the total post count up for both of you?

Please explain why this is not so. Loath as I am to bring up certain elected governments, they were the choice of the majority and should have been left to be hoist by their own petard, decades ago. If this were not the case, what you are suggesting is absolute dictatorship in perpetuity. Is that what you are are suggesting is the better option?

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You guys are missing what is really going on. There will be a seismic power shift occurring in

a few years in Thailand. Thus the military wants to be sure they are in the proper spot so as

to not get shut out. The old cycle was the piggies getting too greedy at the feeding trough, a coup

to throw out the piggies for around a year, then vote buying elections, and then fresh piggies at the

trough. The military learned its lesson from the coup of 2006, when after the coup was over a

Thaksin surrogate was right back in the driver's seat. So that will not be happening again..

The military will be running the government for years to come. Hence the constant evasion

when he is asked about elections. When Prayut first took power, I was pretty impressed with

his seeming crackdown on corruption. Only realized later that what appeared to be a crackdown

was really a purge of specific people with the wrong connections. The other corrupted people

are still in power, and still have mansions with Ferraris in the garage........ Pongpat with his

60 billion baht of money stolen from the Thai people was just a tiny peek behind the curtain

of what is really going on in this country.

I agree with what you say to an extent. Would be very difficult and probably not conflict free to re-mobilize the Army to reimpose Marshall law

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Wow some real zingers in that story from Chavalit..... So guess elections in his eyes

are a bad thing ? No wonder Thailand is in such trouble.

"He viewed that if the prime minister comes from election or elected by the people, then it might breach the power of the king as past appointments came from royal commands."

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