STATE OF THE NATION
Military flags concern over political mess
Abandon vendettas and heed the court, warns Navy's commander-in-chief
The military is concerned about the current political crisis and wants to see politicking put back on course in a timely manner, Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Satirapan Keyanon said yesterday.
"The Navy is worried things have not fallen into place, even though military leaders have been trying to encourage relevant parties to sort out the political mess," he said.
Satirapan urged people to abandon their vendettas and heed the recommendations of the three top courts in order to end the crisis quickly.
"Every Thai should play by the rules as laid down by the top three courts, hence ending all troubles," he said.
He said the commanders of the three armed forces would meet and discuss how they could help bring an end to the political crisis.
The meeting could take place any time between now and before next week, he said.
He was the second member of the country's top brass to comment on politics this week, after his Army counterpart, General Sonthi Boonyaratklin, on Wednesday said he was seeking a royal audience, to allay the concerns of His Majesty the King about the current fractious nature of politics.
Sonthi said His Majesty was dispirited by the political void confronting the Kingdom, the fact the country had no government and its election had failed.
"I regret that political problems have caused so much suffering to the King," he said.
He said he planned to report on military developments and future plans, and the progress in quelling violence in the South, with the hope of conveying some good news to His Majesty.
He also reiterated his pledge not to allow military intervention in politics.
"A military coup is not acceptable under the circumstance," he said.
He said he had told Thaksin Shinawatra that his premiership would suffer severe public backlash if he chose to condone a military takeover.
"I also told Thaksin's classmates from Pre-Cadet Class 10 that the prime minister would bear the brunt of a fallout if they usurped [existing] powers," he said.
The classmates, including Assistant Army Commander-in-Chief General Pornchai Kranlert, agreed a military coup was not an option to end the political crisis, he said.
Even though many individuals had sent him letters supporting military intervention, the armed forces would not become involved in politics, he said.
One military analyst pointed out that the top brass's comment at this juncture also carries implications for the annual military reshuffle due for October this year.
By that time, if the Thaksin camp were still in power, the Pre-Cadet Class 10 would rise to all the key deputy positions in preparation to assume full power in October 2007 when all the military chiefs retire, he said.
"It is possible that some military elements would not want the Pre-Cadet Class 10 to rise to power. For at this point, you may assume that either Thaksin or one of the Thai Rak Thai members would be prime minister by October next year, which would give him a chance to sign the military reshuffle list," he added.
Assume that the Pre-Cadet Class members take over all the top military positions, they will be in power for three years before facing a mandatory retirement at 60 years old. If that were to be the case, chances of the Pre-Cadet Class 9 to rise to power would be slim.