Top brass approve PM's choice
- Published: 30/08/2013 at 07:34 PM
- Online news:
All military leaders have thrown their support behind Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's choice for a new permanent secretary for defence, a Defence Ministry source said on Friday.
Prime Minister and Defence Minister Yingluck Shinawatra smiles to reporters on her way to chair the Defence Council meeting on the reshuffle list at the Defence Ministry on Friday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Ms Yingluck, who doubles as defence minister, refused to talk to reporters after emerging from an hour of talks on the annual military reshuffle at the Defence Ministry, only smiling and nodding her head before going to another meeting of the Defence Council.
One of the premier's priorities was to convince all the top brass to accept Nipat Thonglek as the new permanent secretary.
The source said she invited the supreme commander and all armed forces leaders for talks one by one to explain her desire to see Gen Nipat promoted from deputy permanent secretary.
Gen Nipat Thonglek deserves promotion for his work on key defence issues, according to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Gen Nipat is also supported by permanent secretary Gen Thanonsak Apirakyodhin as his successor after he retires at the end of September.
But the source said some military leaders preferred other candidates as the prime minister's favourite still has three years of service left and could always get another chance later.
She told the top brass she wanted to see Gen Nipat move up the career ladder because he had worked closely with her for two years on major issues. These include including attempts to resolve the southern insurgency, negotiations with Cambodia on the disputed area near Preah Vihear, and other border issues with neighbouring countries.
All eventually agreed to her choice before officially endorsing Gen Nipat in the subsequent Defence Council meeting, the source said.
Former prime minister and Thaksin Shinawatra, the premier's brother, is close to both Gen Nipat and Assistant Army Commander Gen Jiradet Mokhasamit. Thaksin gave Ms Yingluck a free hand to pick one of the two to be the new permanent secretary, according to the source.
The seven-member council also endorsed Adm Narong Pipatthanasai, currently the deputy Navy chief, to take up the top naval position, the source added.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam