Doubt cast on MFP MP's conscription exemption

Doubt cast on MFP MP's conscription exemption

Jirat Thongsuwan (photo: his Facebook account)
Jirat Thongsuwan (photo: his Facebook account)

Lt Gen Taweepool Rimsakorn, commanding general of the Territorial Defense Command (TDC), on Monday cast doubt over the validity of a claim made by Move Forward Party (MFP) MP Jirat Thongsuwan that he has been exempted from mandatory military service.

The senior officer was responding to calls for a probe of Mr Jirat's exemption claim that the MP said was backed by a Sor Dor 43 certificate.

The TDC has gone through its database and found no stub in the original Sor Dor 43 kept in its archive that matches the paper shown to the media by Mr Jirat, said Lt Gen Taweepool.

Normally, the Sor Dor 43 is issued by the conscription committee to those exempted from military service via an annual lot-drawing procedure.

The TDC chief also noted Mr Jirat had changed his name from Nawarin to Jirat. While his conscription might exist in the TDC's archive under the name of Nawarin, the MP is legally required to provide an official document certifying the registration of the new name, according to Lt Gen Taweepool.

The name change certificate released by the district office is normally required to be submitted before the Sor Dor 43 is issued, or else the name already written on the issued Sor Dor 43 cannot be changed afterwards, he said.

Lt Gen Taweepool also found to be remotely plausible the claim by Mr Jirat that because he failed to show up on the conscription day, he then reported himself one day after that to the military recruiting officer, paid a fine and then was issued the claimed Sor Dor 43.

If he was absent from the conscription day without a justifiable reason, he must have automatically faced enlistment in the following conscription year, said Lt Gen Taweepool.

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