Ousted PM's allies receives lenient punishment
Pre-Cadet Class 10 officers, seen as allies of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, were given a second chance Friday to rehabilitate themselves in lieu of facing an outright purge following the last week's military takeover.
The Council for Democratic Reform (CDR) released the royal command on the annual military reshuffle, showing leniency for strayed officers to rejoin the ranks; Thaksin's military cronies were duly promoted but delegated to lesser positions.
The new military line up for 612 senior officers will take effect on Sunday.
General Winai Phattiyakul, a top aide of CDR leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, is rewarded to take the position of permanent secretary for Defence Ministry.
Winai will retain his concurrent position of CDR secretary general. Before the coup, the previous government wanted to remove him from the position of secretary general of the National Security Council to an inactive post.
General Lertrat Rattavanich, seen as close to the previous government, is promoted to a ceremonial post of Defence inspector general. Under the deposed leadership, he was tipped to be elevated from the position of Joint Chief of Staff to the seniormost post for Defence.
Sonthi's fellow officer from Pre-Cadet Class 6, General Boonsarng Niampradit is elevated to become the Supreme Commander.
Another Sonthi's classmate, Lt General Saprang Kalayanamitr is to be elevated from the position of commander of Third Army Area to become a full general as his assistant. Saprang played a decisive role for the coup.
Two top officers from Pre-Cadet Class 10, General Pornchai Kranlert and Lt General Anupong Paochinda, will see a reversal of fortune.
Under the Thaksin regime, Pornchai was billed as the lead contender to carry the Army's torch following Sonthi's retirement next year.
Presently, he is to be dislodged from the position of assistant Army commander-in-chief to become the deputy joint chief of staff.
In contrast, Anupong will be elevated from the position of commander of the First Army Area to a full general replacing Pornchai and becomes the contender to succeed Sonthi.
Other key officers from Pre-Cadet Class 10 will be promoted a rank and assume ceremonial assignments instead of command positions.
These officers include Maj General Prin Suwanathat who is to relinquish his command of the First Infantry Division to work in the Defence Ministry as an expert.
Lt General Jirasit Kesakomol, commander of the First Army Corps; Maj General Ruangsak Thongdee, commander of the Anti Aircraft Artillery Division and Maj General Sanit Phrommas, commander of the Second Calvalry Division are assigned to the ministry.
Maj General Manas Paorik, deputy commander of the Third Army Area, is to be elevated a rank and take up an inactive post in the Army headquarters.