They'll never prove me wrong, says Sereepisut

They'll never prove me wrong, says Sereepisut

Ex-top cop's remarks applauded at dinner

Pol Gen Sereepisut Temeeyaves had no problem or interruption while he made a brief address and received a string of awards for his crime-fighting career during a dinner in his honour at the Islamic Foundation of Thailand Saturday night. (Bangkok Post photo)
Pol Gen Sereepisut Temeeyaves had no problem or interruption while he made a brief address and received a string of awards for his crime-fighting career during a dinner in his honour at the Islamic Foundation of Thailand Saturday night. (Bangkok Post photo)

A defiant Sereepisut Temeeyaves has dared authorities to prove his charges of high-level military corruption are wrong, but said he will not add to the accusations "for now".

The former police chief and anti-graft fighter appeared on Saturday evening at an awards dinner function at the Islamic Foundation of Thailand mosque.

He received warm applause when he made a brief speech defending his recent attacks on the military hierarchy on the Fahai TV station.

"I won't give you any new information tonight," he said. "If you need more, you'll have to ask Gen Udomdej."

He was referring to Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, the deputy defence minister and former army commander, at the centre of Pol Gen Sereepisut's charges.

"But I will tell you that those military people will never prove me wrong."

Although there are security forces stationed at the mosque around the clock, there was no attempt by military or police personnel to interfere with Pol Gen Sereepisut or the dinner, which was sponsored by the Wuthisuwanwat Foundation.

The warm applause following his short reference to the Rajabhakti scandal could indicate public reaction to the sudden spat between the government and the former crime-buster and Bangkok governor candidate.

Bangkok's Muslim community is a stronghold of the so-called "yellow shirt" political side, and generally supported the 2014 military coup and government takeover. However, the support for Pol Gen Sereepisut at the mosque event showed strong scepticism about the regime's claim that there is no evidence of corruption in the Rajabhakti Park project.

Pol Gen Sereepisut's talks on the previously obscure Fahai TV station, known mainly as an outlet specialising in health, resulted in a quick reaction from the military regime.

It shut down the station, arrested six of eight people involved in producing the crusading talks by the popular ex-policeman and charged that Pol Gen Sereepisut and the station were engaged in actions that "posed a threat to national security".

In a catch-22 situation, the military regime claimed it could not discuss details of Pol Gen Sereepisut's speech because it was seditious, so could not release to the public details of the charges that will be laid against him.

Pol Gen Sereepisut is known both as the "hero of Na Kae" for his anti-communist actions in the district of that name in Nakhon Phanom province, and as a credible authority on fighting corruption.

While he has faced down many accusers during and after his time as a police officer, he never has found himself aligned against the military.

He appeared unworried on Saturday about threats of arrest or legal charges the regime has threatened against him. He arrived and left without security.

Meanwhile, the owner of the Fahai TV station, Porntipa "Fah" Supattanakul, began a high-profile, sit-down strike at Government House on Saturday to demand her broadcasting licence back. The regime claimed last week it shut down the station because it didn't have such a licence.

"I spent my whole life building that TV station but the military misunderstood me and thought it belonged to Pol Gen Sereepisut," said Ms Porntipa, 43. "In fact, I had nothing to do with Pol Gen Sereepisut, who only hosted a programme for an hour a week on Saturday."

When police raided her house without warning, she was not there. "What they did makes me looks like a terrorist," she said.


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