National Security Council secretary-general Thawil Pliensri risks being prosecuted for taking to the anti-government rally stage and may have a hard time working at the NSC, former secretary-general Lt-General Paradorn Pattanatabut said.
Paradorn made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Nation News Agency’s Jeerapong Prasertpolkrung and Anapat Deechuay.
The Cabinet on Tuesday resolved to accept the Supreme Administrative Court’s order that Thawil be reinstated to his post. The court had earlier ruled that caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s order to transfer him out of his post was unlawful.
Paradorn has now swapped positions with Thawil as prime minister’s adviser on security.
Responding to the fact that Thawil is among 58 leaders of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) who face summonses by police, Paradorn said the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) would have to take action against him in accordance with its authority, and prosecutors were likely to indict him.
“The government has the power to consider whether [Thawil’s action] is a criminal offence or a disciplinary one,” he said.
“Do not forget that the stage that he took to belongs to someone [PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban] who [allegedly] broke the law and faces arrest warrants.”
Right after the court ruling on Thawil’s reinstatement this month, Chalerm Yoobamrung director of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), sidelined Thawil and said he would not have a role at the centre.
Paradorn said his new role involves screening policies on intelligence, security and the military proposed by Thawil to the government.
“Working in the security field, your boss must fully trust you, otherwise there will be problems or finally you cannot continue your work,’’ Paradorn said.
Asked to comment about the frequent politically initiated transfers in the NSC, Paradorn said the Cabinet was empowered by the law to transfer government officials of Levels 10 and 11.
He said officials must follow the order since the people elect the government to run the country.
“If you respect the rules, you should not feel that it is not fair,” he said. “Otherwise we must ban politicians from transferring high-ranking officials.’’
Asked if he would take to a rally stage, Paradorn said he would definitely not.
“On the PDRC stage, no one else except Thawil did that,” he said.
“There are Level 11 officials who see things differently from the government but they know they are bureaucrats who wear two hats … they are [also] civilians.
“They have to consider whether their speech touches on appropriate content. If they speak on content that causes conflicts with the government, then they must be cautioned. If they touch on issues on rights, then it is okay.”