A brief post about a story that has received little international coverage, but which is worth pointing out to Thailand-watchers…
Local media has reported that on Jan. 15, a grenade was fired into the sixth-floor office of General Anupong Paojinda, in the Thai Army headquarters. The attack happened at night, and no one was hurt.
Still, the incident — and the government has now confirmed it happened, though it was initially dismissed as a rumor — highlights tensions within the Thai army.
The government suspects that army specialist Khattiya Sawasdipol, known for being sympathetic to Thaksin and the red shirts, is behind the attack.
For more, you can find some (inside baseball) stories from the Bangkok Post here (Jan. 26) and here (Jan. 25), as well as analysis pieces here (Jan. 23) and here.
And here’s a Jan. 22 AFP story, as well as a Jan. 23 The Star column from Philip Golingai.
As Golingai points out, here are a couple of graphs from the last Post story I linked to above, by Veera Prateepchaikul:
For the time being, the army chief appears safe, with a tight security cordon around him. But the big question remains in the minds of the general public: how can ordinary people feel safe and secure if the army chief’s life is threatened and he needs extra protection?”
This outrageous incident is a direct challenge to the authority of Gen Anupong in his capacity as the army commander-in-chief – not mention a huge slap in the face.
Food for thought.