Yingluck-aligned public servants formally transferred as the military undertakes a major bureaucratic reshuffle
Several key officials have been moved to inactive posts as part of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order’s rotation of high-ranking figures.
General Nipat Thonglek, who had pledged full allegiance to ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, has been removed from the Defence Ministry permanent secretary post and is now chief adviser to the Defence Ministry.
He has been replaced by General Surasak Kanjanarat.
Athapol Yaisawang has been removed from the attorney-general’s post.
Also gone is Tarit Pengdith, the former director-general of the Department of Special Investigation who pledged his allegiance to Yingluck and vowed to take legal action against those responsible for the political crackdown in 2010 under the Abhisit Vejjajiva government.
The changes were contained in orders 77-79 that the NCPO ordered on Friday night. The reshuffles took effect on Friday and His Majesty the King will endorse the new officials after the government is formed.
Nine officials have been appointed advisers to the PM’s Office including Tarit, former PM’s Office permanent secretary Tongthong Chandransu, former permanent
secretary for Information and Communications Technology Surachai Srisaracam, former secretary-general of the Southern Border Provincial Administrative Centre Pol Colonel Thawee Sodsong and former House of Representatives secretary-general Suwichag Nakwatcharachai.
The rotation of officials also involved the economic ministries.
Srirat Rastapana has been removed as Commerce Ministry permanent secretary and made an adviser to the PM’s Office.
Srirat is replaced by Chutima Bunyaprapasara, the inspector-general at the ministry.
Chutima, who is well versed on international trade negotiation, was involved in the Abhisit government’s controversial measures to solve rising egg prices.
She was director-general of trade negotiations, foreign trade and internal trade before being sidelined when Yingluck came to power.
Suthep Liumsirijarern, the recently appointed Energy Ministry permanent secretary, is now an adviser at the PM’s Office while Areepong Bhoocha-oom has been shifted from secretary of the Public Sector Department Commission to replace Suthep.
When Yingluck was in power, Areepong was replaced as Finance Ministry permanent secretary because he was seen as unable to handle the post-audit committee for the debt-ridden rice-pledging scheme.
Supa Piyajitti, a new member of National Anti-Corruption Commission, was the Finance Ministry’s deputy secretary at that time and Areepong made her chairman of the committee.
In further reshuffles, Rakop Srisupa-at has been removed as Customs Department director-general and becomes Finance Ministry inspector-general.
He reportedly is closely connected to former Thaksin government minister Suwat Liptapanlop.
Office of Fiscal Policy director Somchai Sujjapongse is the new director-general of Customs Department.
He reportedly has close ties with Newin Chidchob, the de facto leader of the Bhum Jai Thai Party.
Somchai, meanwhile, attended the same class as junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha at the National Defence College.
Who is being shifted, and who their replacements are
Defence Ministry deputy permanent secretary General Surasak Kanjanarat elevated to permanent secretary
Defence permanent secretary General Nipat Thonglek, was appointed chief adviser to the ministry
Attorney General Athapol Yaisawang was moved as Adviser to the Office of the Attorney General