Military commander-in-chief General Chalermpol Srisawat, Army chief General Narongphan Jitkaewtae, Navy chief Admiral Chatchai Sriworakhan, Air Force chief Marshal Airbull Suttiwan, and National Police chief Pol General Suwat Jangyodsuk have all refused to receive the “Jak Dao Honorary Award 2021” in the category of governing and promoting security.
The AFAPS awards are given every year to holders of high ranking military and police positions as well as selected alumni with outstanding career record.
The ceremony is scheduled for January 27, which is the school’s 63rd anniversary, and will be presided over by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The military and police chiefs announced their decision on December 15, during the AFAPS alumni meeting at the school located in Nakhon Nayok province.
Besides military and police chiefs, next year's awards will also be offered to National Security Council secretary-general General Nattapon Nakpanich and Deputy Agriculture Minister Captain Thammanat Prompao, who are qualified to receive the awards by their positions.
Seven others will be selected by the alumni committee based on their work.
The five security honchos, who were chosen by their positions, declined the awards, saying, “we wish to be recognised by our work and would rather wait until our accomplishment become more apparent”.
It is speculated that their decision will lead to the awards being offered to other nominees by position, and the names of Nattapon and Thammanat may eventually be scratched.
If this is true, it will not be the first time that Thammanat’s name is scratched from the awards recipients list.
Last year, 36 alumni of AFAPS had agreed to remove Thammanat's name from the list for Jak Dao awards that he was automatically qualified to receive due to his position. They cited his alleged involvement in a drug case 20 years ago and the alleged use of a fake doctorate degree, which had led to a no-confidence debate in Parliament.
Although Thammanat was cleared of all the allegations and resumed his position as Deputy Agriculture Minister, it is believed that he could be the reason the military and police chiefs decided not to receive the award, in order to prompt the alumni committee to stop giving awards to those who are qualified only by their position. Their move was supposedly to ensure that the recipients of Jak Dao Honorary Award have a truly clean record and are a good role model for current students of AFAPS.
Published : December 19, 2020
By : THE NATION