Following the chaos in Thailand, order is now relatively restored. However, many people have questions about the ‘unusual’ stance of certain groups of high-ranking officials, particularly Army Commander-in-chief General Anupong Paochinda.
If we look back at the People’s Alliance for Democracy 193-days rally since May 25, 2008 to drive out the proxy governments of fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, it must be noted that there were numerous M-79 grenade attacks on the gathering, which is located just a few steps away from the Army headquarters and the First Area Army headquarters, under the leadership of General Anupong.
This is even discounting the same types of bombs shot into the ASTV office and the PAD gathering at Donmuang Airport.
Next is the incident at the Interior Ministry where the Prime Minister’s car was attacked by red shirt protesters on April 17. The PM told the public about the incident, stating that while his car was leaving the compound, a military vehicle pulled up to block his car in a life-threatening stance.
In his latest clarification to the joint Parliamentary session on April 22, he repeated the same thing, in the broadcast on national TV, that the conduct of the group shows their intent to take his life.
What’s more interesting is that the smoke has not even evaporated from the use of M-16, HK and M-79 guns that we saw the assassination attempt of Sondhi Limthongkul. That same Army chief concluded very speedily that it is normal for civilians to be able to get their hands on war weapons.
What people question is that the incident happened when Bangkok is still under the state of emergency and military officers have been stationed in all key areas, including near the crime scene at the Wisutkasat intersection, the Tewes intersection, and the Banglumpu intersection but there was suspiciously no soldiers at the Bangkhunprom intersection that fateful morning. That is odd because there should be military presence to protect the Bank of Thailand, located right there.
All that has happened must be linked to the direct duties and responsibilities of General Anupong as Army chief and as a member of the taskforce to oversee the emergency situation. However, he has never answered these questions or has always tried to dubiously evade them.
In addition, latest report from the police investigative team revealed the 3 mysterious M-16 bullet shells found at the crime scene have the initials ‘RTA’ stamped on them. The initials stand for the Royal Thai Army and it is stamped on ammunitions that the Army Ordnance Department issues for a particular force under the First Area Army.
If the report is true, this intensifies the questions in people’s heart.
At this minute, whether he is willing to answer questions, when everything is pointing to him, General Anupong as the Army chief is most likely very restless.