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Old 24-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #159 (permalink)
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Bangkok Post : Sukumpol: Stop asking about a coup

Sukumpol: Stop asking about a coup The media should stop asking about the possibility of another coup because nobody wants to do it, and it is not easy anyway, new Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said on Tuesday.

ACM Sukampol said this after attending a ceremony at the Defence Ministry to bid farewell for Gen Yutthasak Sasiprapa, the former defence minister who has been appointed deputy prime minister, and to welcome him as new defence minister.

The ceremony was also attended by Gen Sathian Permthong-in, the permanent secretary for defence, Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn, the supreme commander, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army commander, Admiral Surasak Roonroengrom, the navy commander, ACM Itthiporn Suphawong, the air force commander, and other top-ranking military officers.

In his speech to the top brass, ACM Sukampol said he would look into policies laid by Gen Yutthasak, his predecessor, to see what should be reviewed and what should to be continued, taking into consideration the need for the military to safeguard national security and provide assistance to people in need of help.

Concerning the navy's proposal to buy used submarines, the new defence minister said he would look into the purchase plan.

He said there should be no problems if the navy was able to clearly explain it to him and the people why they were needed.

However, the people must also understand that the military could not disclose every detail of its plans because some information was necessarily classified.

ACM Sukumpol said that while having breakfast with the supreme commander and chiefs of the armed forces the issues of unity and reconciliation were raised for discussion.

"I would like to ask the media not to raise the question about a coup with me or any other military leaders again. Let's stop raising this question.

"Please do not asked about it anymore because the answer would be the same, that nobody wants to do it.

"I have seen the army chief repeatedly assure the press about this three or four times. It's boring.

"Nobody wants to do it . It's not easy to do. Let's not raise this question again. Please stop saying that there is speculation about it," the defence minister said.

ACM Sukumpol reiterated that he had no problems with ACM Itthiporn, the air force chief.

Asked about the military reshuffle, he said he had not thought about this matter.

ACM Sukumpol said it is important and necessary for him to assume the role of a coordinator between the political sector and the military.

"Political interference in the military affairs is normal. What is of importance is cooperation," he said.
"Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar
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