NATIONAL Security Council secretary-general Anusit Kunakorn yesterday dismissed reports that two major political parties had joined forces to topple the military-led government by providing funding to instigate a southern insurgency.
National Reform Council member Thawatchai Samutsakorn, a former Second Army Region commander, had been quoted as saying two large political parties planned to bring down the government by supporting an uprising. Anusit dismissed Thawatchai’s remark, saying the southern insurgency was more complicated than just a political issue.
He said national-security intelligence reports showed no such possibility. “The conflict in the South dates back [far into] history. It is about ideological differences,” he said.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday said the security agency reported back to him that it had no intelligence about what Thawatchai had claimed. “I have been informed that there is no such movement” to bring down the government, he said.
When asked if he was confident no one could bring him down, the PM said, “I am doing my work. If anyone stops me from doing my work, they must take responsibility. Whatever they do that damages the country, they must take responsibility.”
When asked to identify the two parties in question, Thawatchai refused to elaborate. He told his critics to be sensible. “I cannot reveal the parties’ names. Do not show signs of trouble on oneself. If you are not the one, there is no damage done to you,” Thawatchai said.
He said he made the remark on a personal basis, not as an NRC member. He said his remark would help prevent the fire from breaking out.
Anusit said the Fourth Army Region commander had been assigned to prevent possible violence in the southern border provinces. “Everyone is doing the best they can but it is not easy to be in control in all areas,” he said.
Responding to Thawatchai’s remark, deputy Democrat Party leader Nipit Intarasombat said that if this statement were not substantiated with evidence, it would be pure soap opera. “If he was bold enough to say this, he must prove what he said. He should not just be outspoken,” Nipit said.He urged NRC president Thienchay Kiranandana to question Thawatchai over his remark, otherwise the whole NRC institution would be dishonoured.
“NRC members must be responsible for their statements, not just accept salaries. That’s why the interim [constitution] has to be amended to dissolve the NRC,” he said.
Supreme Commander General Worapong Sanganet, who was Thawatchai’s classmate, said military intelligence had no such report. He would ask Thawatchai about the source of the information he received.
“I will ask him who was the source. What was the purpose of the source [in making] such a statement? Was it to warn or just posing a leading question to test the water?” he said.
Worapong said the country was not yet totally at peace but the military was in control.