Thursday, November 21, 2019

Prawit taking medicine but should attend Cabinet meeting, says his adviser

May 23. 2017
Panitan Wattanayagorn, Prawit’s adviser on security affairs
Panitan Wattanayagorn, Prawit’s adviser on security affairs
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By Wasamon Audjarint
The Nation

3,838 Viewed

An adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan has said that the 71-year-old retired general will likely attend the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, despite rumors of him being unwell.

“He’s doing fine,” Panitan Wattanayagorn, Prawit’s adviser on security affairs, told The Nation on Monday night.

“He takes some medications, which is normal for people of his age. Still, he maintains working hard.”

Prawit should attend the weekly meeting on Tuesday, Panitan said, adding: “Unless there is any change, which should be updated afterwards.”

Prawit was briefed about the bombing incident at Phramongkutklao Hospital on Monday and had ordered tighter security to be implemented at several public places, the adviser said.

According to the initial investigation, the bombing was caused by explosives being placed inside a vase that was placed in a room named “Wongsuwan” – apparently in honour to the deputy PM.

But Panitan said that he would not jump to the conclusion that the bombing was meant to relate with Prawit. 

“It could be where security cameras didn’t cover. Maybe it was not crowded by the time perpetrator[s] decided to put explosives in the case,” he said. 

“There are many possibilities and we won’t be swayed by any, unless with sufficient evidence.

“This includes that we won’t judge yet whether the bombing is related to other incidents or to the three-year anniversary [of the junta on Monday].”

While the bombing of a hospital sounds new to Thailand, Panitan said, sabotage in hospitals has happened before. 

In 2000, there was a hostage siege in Ratchaburi hospitals that ended with nine rebels being killed. 

Last year, Cho-Airong Hospital in deep-South Narathiwat was seized by insurgents and used as a shield to attack a nearby paramilitary camp.

“While hospitals are internationally recognised as peaceful areas, sabotage in such places is seen from time to time,” he said.

“Still, a bombing of this scale in Phramongkutklao is rather new in Thailand. It’s possible that the perpetrators might want to stir up situations by creating a scene at the said hospital.”

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