Sukumpol brushes off coup rumour

Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat on Thursday rejected a rumour of a movement to topple the government by force, saying that the media should not pay any attention to it.

  • Published: 21/03/2013 at 12:32 PM
  • Newspaper section: news

He said this when asked to comment on a remark by Pheu Thai MP for Samut Prakan Worachai Hema that "the old power clique" was assembling an armed force in the eastern province of Chachoengsao as part of preparations to overthrow the government.

"We have closely followed the news, and believe nobody would do that. Don't make much news out of it," ACM Sukumpol said.

A source in the 11th Infantry Division based in Chachoengsao said a refreshment training course was being held for about 500 reservists, and some regular forces.

This could be the basis of the rumour mentioned by Mr Worachai.

The 11th Infantry Division is under the command of Maj Gen Apirat Kongsompong.

"We don't know how such a rumour emerged. Maj Gen Apirat has a low profile. The 11th Infantry Division is a unit of reservists, not a main combat unit. How could it be used to stage a coup?" said the source.

The refreshment training now under way is for reservists who completed territorial defence courses of three to five years. The training course was scheduled from March 18-24.

The source said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would be in Chachoengsao on March 30 for a mobile cabinet meeting.

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Writer: Wassana Nanuam
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