The National Council for Peace and Order has put "the right man on the right job" by appointing Lt-General Kampanart Ruddith, an assistant army chief of staff, to head the new Reconciliation Centre for Reforms (RCR), observers say.
The RCR is tasked with the key mission of “dissolving political colours” in order to bring about national unity and reconciliation, a major reason for the NCPO seizing power.
Kampanart graduated from the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School or Pre-Cadet Class 16 and the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy Class 27. He was awarded the best personality student.
Being in the powerful “Wong Thewan” group, he rose through the ranks and possessed a good track record.
He served as commander of the 31st Infantry Regiment (King’s Guard) that directly reports to the 1st Division (King’s Guard). He headed the Narathiwat special Task Force before assuming the post of commissioner of the 1st Division, which played an important role in crowd-control operations during red-shirt protests.
He was later promoted to become the First Army Region deputy commander and assistant Army chief of staff, respectively.
Even though he has been in charge of the war units through his military career, his strength lies in his ability to work with the masses and provide public service, which is regarded as important for psychological operations in any modern war. At the same time he is decisive and bold.
Kampanart’s ability will be put to the test because the mission of dissolving political colours will not be easy, as the country has been hit by a deep political divide for more than a decade now.