PRIVY COUNCIL President General Prem Tinsulanonda yesterday praised PM Prayut Chan-o-cha for staging the May 22 coup, saying his move was a great sacrifice and demonstrated loyalty to the country.
Prem was speaking after Prayut led his Cabinet and military top brass and high-ranking government officials to wish him a happy New Year.
The statesman said most Thais approved and were proud of Prayut’s action.
Referring to Prayut by his nickname Lung Too (Uncle Too), Prem said: “Lung Too seized power from the government. His undertaking has restored peace and order. That day, the military – including General Prawit Wongsuwan and General Thanasak Patimaprakorn – demonstrated that when it was necessary, they would come to Thailand’s rescue.
“There is only one person, one in over 60 million Thais, who said that soldiers knew nothing but only knew about shooting a gun. Lung Too showed that when it was time, he could do it, and do it well too.
“Siam’s Guardian Angel, Phra Siam Devadhiraj must have seen that Lung Too had come to the country’s rescue and restored peace and order. We have done it and will continue doing so,” Prem said.
“I had a private chat with Lung Too, telling him once you come out, you cannot step back – butneed move forward with courage like our ancestors did for the future of our children.
“I know that everyone is tired. We are all tired, but we are tired for the country, His Majesty the King and all Thais, who give us moral support to move on. I want to ask all military units to give the PM and his government full support to work for the country as friends in need who care for each other,” Prem said.
The statesman also wished the military newsbeat reporters and encouraged them to “do your duty for the country”.
When asked if the government and the National Council for Peace and Order had a timeframe of only one year to work, Prem said that was not an issue. “The PM is not a bureaucrat so he does not retire,” he said.
Wishing Prem a happy 2015, Prayut praised the statesman for his great leadership, experience, honourable track record and achievement – together with his fierce loyalty to the monarchy.
Prayut said he would follow in Prem’s footsteps and make him his role model in serving the country with honesty and bring about unity and sustainable stability.