December 30, 2005.
Statesman and Privy Council chairman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda has
urged the military to do its best to bring peace back to the South
and to stay out of politics. He also lauded the police for their
improved performance during the tenure of national police commissioner
Pol Gen Kowit Wattana.
former prime minister made the statements to Defence Minister
Gen Thammarak Isarangkura na Ayudhaya and around 30 military top
brass who paid their respects to him at his Si Sao Thewes residence
to mark New Year yesterday.
Prem said military officers must work harder due to the current
difficult situation which has challenged both their capability
and unity. He added that Gen Thammarak was a military leader with
''real military spirit and blood'' who could lead the military
to return peace to the country no matter what the political situation
was like. ''The military is not involved with politics. Gen Thammarak
may feel uncomfortable in being both [a soldier and a politician].
But, actually it's not hard because he knows what part he's playing
now,'' the privy councillor said.
wished Their Majesties the King and Queen and the sacred spirits
would inspire all soldiers to ''think, speak and act well'' to
express their gratitude to the country.
Prem also asked all soldiers to adhere to two principles to be
soldiers with all their hearts and do their best to fulfil their
duties according to their oath of allegiance to protect Thai sovereignty
and to develop the country.
general later greeted the national police chief and senior police
officers. ''The unusual situation in the South is a challenging
task. But now is the time for police to show real police spirit
to brace for challenging situations after hiding from them for
a long time. No matter what happens I'm watching and by your side.
I wish you success sooner or later, but I hope it will be soon,''
Gen Prem said.
yesterday, the defence minister said he had no problem being both
a soldier and a politician because his focus was directing security
affairs which would help strengthen and unite the military. Gen
Thammarak quoted Gen Prem as saying that he must work with pride
and strength and that the military must understand its duties
and have determination in doing its work.
He said the military has always worked with Gen Prem and believed
the situation would improve due to its unity. ''Sometimes the
situation was serious and we could not just walk towards them
and speak to them [southern instigators] because they would shoot
us. There are better ways out. Anyway, the National Reconciliation
Commission's proposals submitted to the military will be applied.
Our ideas match, but we must find a way to improve the situation
and work together well,'' Gen Thammarak said.
chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin said the army has always borne
in mind that political strategies must lead military ones in terms
of problem-solving and it was urgently trying to improve intelligence
work and community relations.