Top brass: Thaksin has shown disrespect for high institution

Top brass: Thaksin has shown disrespect for high institution

Armed forces support 'governance by good people'

Gen Pornpipat Benjasri, chief of defence forces, announces the top brass's stance on fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and politics, at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Gen Pornpipat Benjasri, chief of defence forces, announces the top brass's stance on fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and politics, at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had disrespected the high institution and failed to maintain his honour, and was deservedly stripped of his armed forces alumni awards, the military top brass declared on Thursday.

Gen Pornpipat Benjasri, chief of defence forces, delivered the message during a news conference at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bangkok, in the presence of the chiefs of the armed forces and police and the defence permanent secretary.

Gen Pornpipat confirmed a report that the board of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School alumni foundation had removed the name of Thaksin from the school's hall of fame and stripped him of his Chak Dao alumni achievement awards. Gen Pornpipat is chairman of the board.

"I believe that fellow people know the reason well and have seen it through websites and social media. One thing affects military morality and doctrine. If there is offence and unawareness of what is high and low, it is time for us to make a decision," the defence forces chief said.

"The honourable Chak Dao Award is an award of honour. Awardees must retain their honour. If there is proof that any of them cannot do this, we must withdraw it."

The action followed the wedding reception for Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Thaksin's youngest daughter, in Hong Kong last Friday. Princess Ubolratana presided over the party. Many pictures taken at the event were posted online and went viral through social media.

Gen Pornpipat said the action against Thaksin was not aimed at having any political impact.

The defence forces chief also took the opportunity to announce the post-election stance of the armed forces and the police, saying they supported governance by good people in accordance with the guidelines of King Rama IX. 

Thaksin was a member of Class 10 at the preparatory school and graduated from there in 1968. He received a Chak Dao achievement award in 1991 for his contribution to economic development. He received a similar award in 2011 for management achievement.

In 2008 he fled the country shortly before the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail for abuse of authority while prime minister.

The judgement was linked to his then-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejr winning the bidding for the  purchase of state-owned land in inner Bangkok in 2003.

The Royal Thai Police Office earlier proposed Thaksin be deprived of his rank of police lieutenant colonel, and he was stripped of the rank on Sept 5, 2015.


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