The Nation



Defence perm sec dismisses call from retired top brass

The permanent secretary for Defence appreciates the concern of a former Army chief, a former Navy chief and a former Air Force chief on the current situation but says that the military will comply with the charter and support the election, the Defence Ministry spokesman said Monday.

Col Thanathip Sawangsaeng, the spokesman, said Gen Nipat Thonglek, the permanent secretary for Defence, had received a letter signed by former Army chief Gen Wimol Wongwanit, former Air Force chief ACM Gun Pimarnthip and former Navy chief Adm Wichet Karunyawanit.

The three called on the caretaker government to resign and all sides to join the country's reform before an election.

They also called on the military to announce that they would stand by the people. The three, who also claimed to represent other retired military officers, said the armed forces could support the people without staging a coup.

But the spokesman quoted the permanent secretary as saying that the Defence Ministry would defend the Constitution and all operations and actions would comply with the charter.

Nipat was also quoted as saying that the military would be ready to dispatch troops to support the holding of the election holding if requested by the Election Commission.

Thanatip said Nipat also joined the forum held by the government on Sunday and pledged that the military would support a clean and fair election and would base all its actions on the charter's provisions.

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