Quantcast
Latest Stories

Thai PM takes over key defense post in Cabinet reshuffle


Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday, June 30, 2013, became the first woman to head the kingdom’s defense ministry in a cabinet reshuffle that gives her more influence over the powerful army that ousted her brother. AP FILE PHOTO

BANGKOK—Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday became the first woman to head the kingdom’s defense ministry in a cabinet reshuffle that gives her more influence over the powerful army that ousted her brother.

As defense minister, Yingluck claims a seat on Thailand’s defense council, which appoints army top brass in a nation where the military has carried out numerous coups, the most recent toppling her brother Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006.

The leadership of the army is due to undergo an annual reshuffle in October, although it is unclear whether its current chief will retain his position despite approaching the end of the customary three-year term.

Speaking before the reshuffle was announced, Yuthasak Sasiprapha, who was appointed deputy defense minister, said Yingluck would not cause problems with the military.

“She can do it, she can work with the army,” he told reporters.

Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanjana said the prime minister had considered the reshuffle “carefully and “selected suitable people” for cabinet posts.

The hugely influential army is the official protector of the revered monarchy and is also seen by many as the guarantor of the establishment.

It draws a large budget and is fighting a rebellion in the kingdom’s southernmost provinces which has killed more than 5,700 people in nearly a decade.

But the army has also been a key player in the nation’s tumultuous political history.

Thailand has been plagued by political divisions and sometimes violent street protests involving so-called “Red Shirt” supporters of Yingluck—and her self-exiled brother Thaksin—and “Yellow Shirts” who support the pro-establishment opposition.

Thaksin was ousted by an army coup in 2006, prompting years of bitter political jousting that has at times spilled into bloodshed.

The country is still recovering from street protests by Red Shirts in 2010 that culminated in a bloody crackdown by security forces.

About 90 people were killed and nearly 1,900 wounded in a series of clashes in May 2010 between demonstrators and security forces.

Courts have ruled that some protesters were killed by security forces, leading to charges of murder being laid against then-Prime Minister and current opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva—accusations he strenuously denies.

No army officials have been charged over the unrest.

Several protest groups have sprung up in recent months against the government of Yingluck and the influence of her brother, who is seeking a return to the kingdom but faces jail over corruption charges.

On Saturday the Bangkok Post predicted the move would allow Yingluck—much pilloried as Thaksin’s stooge—to tighten her grip on power, and indicated that she enjoyed a “rock-solid relationship” with army top brass.

Elsewhere in the reshuffle, outspoken former deputy prime minister and staunch Thaksin loyalist Chalerm Yubamrung was downgraded to head the labor ministry.

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom was axed after facing weeks of flak over a controversial scheme guaranteeing prices to rice farmers that caused the kingdom to lose its place as the world’s top exporter of the commodity last year.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cabinet reshuffle , Military , Politics , Thailand , Yingluck Shinawatra




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement