Outgoing army chief Apirat Kongsompong, is denying that the US is seeking to establish a military base on Thai soil. At a press briefing, Apirat said that Thai and US troops have only carried out joint military drills, code-named Cobra Gold, and nothing more. The drills are a multinational exercise held annually in Thailand.
Apirat insisted the US did not ask to use Thailand as a stage for a base but admitted that US troops left behind some of their military equipment deployed during the drills, but says reporters shouldn’t read too much into this. However, Singapore has a longstanding agreement with Thailand, giving it access to a military area in Sai Yok district in the western Kanchanaburi province, in order to reportedly conduct military training. That agreement is renewed every 3 years.
Apirat also defended the 2 day visit by the US Army Chief of Staff James McConville and his delegation after an activist criticised the government for not sending the visitors into the mandatory quarantine that was imposed for all visitors. He says the delegation will be tested for Covid-19 before and upon arrival to Thailand. Tests will be performed by doctors from the Public Health Ministry, Phramongkutklao Hospital, and Thai Airways International staff. These procedures will become a model for future visits by foreign delegations.
“Don’t stir up issues that might create conflict in the region.”
The US delegation are the first group of foreigners to officially visit Thailand since the country began lifting Covid-19 restrictions. McConville will meet Apirat and PM Prayut Chan-o-cha today and tomorrow.
In a related development, General Narongpan Jitkaewthae is widely expected to replace Apirat as army chief during the annual military reshuffle at the end of September. A military source told Bangkok Post that the reshuffle dominated a pre-session discussion shortly before a meeting between top military officials and the Royal Thai Police yesterday.
The source says that this time around the reshuffle will involve high ranking personnel whose names were brought up during the pre-session discussion. The source said a list of high ranking officers up for promotion will likely be presented to the chief of the defence forces next week before it’s forwarded to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also serves as defence minister.
Apirat said yesterday he will retire at the end of September, adding he will no longer be active in handling government affairs after that month. He denies he will seek to extend his tenure as army chief. Apirat has also been rumoured to have long term political aspirations.
”I will pass the baton to the next army chief on Sept 30 when my duties will come to an end. There is absolutely no need to prolong my tenure.”Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Chiang Mai protesters perform in pouring rain
by guest writer Will Langston Pro-democracy activism continues its public display in Chiang Mai City. For the third time in a week, activists and protestors gathered under outside old walls of the city to demonstrate. The name of the performance yesterday was entitled “EAT (I’M) ARE”. The title is wordplay based on the famous steak eatery in Thailand called ‘EAT AM ARE’. According to one Chiang Mai University student the title alludes to, “Someone or something that has more power. And, that someone or something is trying to eat, limit or disqualify their freedom and rights.” Student performer named Benz […]
House agrees to Constitutional amendment
Apparently acquiescing to the demands of anti-government protesters who have held demonstrations across the nation for 2 weeks, a parliamentary committee formed to study problems with Thailand’s Constitution has resolved to change Section 256 of the charter, to clear the way for broader amendments. The protesters, mainly university students, have demanded a rewritten Constitution, a new general election and an end to what they see as government harassment and intimidation of critics. The committee’s chairman said today that without amending Section 256, it will be impossible to amend other clauses. He says the committee also considered proposed amendments suggested by […]
Protesters attempt to “wash away” government double standards
Continuing the wave of anti-government demonstrations which has swept the country for nearly 2 weeks, protesters calling themselves “Democracy June 24” gathered outside Government House in Bangkok yesterday and symbolically washed dishes carrying various political messages. The last dish, carrying a photo of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was dramatically smashed when protesters were “unable” to scrub it clean. (October 24 is the date of the 1932 revolution that transformed Thailand, then known as the Kingdom of Siam, from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy.) The leader of the demonstration said the protest was held to “voice discontent with the government’s […]
3 men saved after rescuers spotted a huge SOS in the sand on remote Pacific island
The latest twist in the ‘Boss’ case – independent panel recommend re-instatement of charges
AirAsia X forced to ground its international fleet until borders re-open
Independent panel reviews Boss case to see if it can be re-opened
Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand family ranked 21 on world’s rich list
Minister encourages Thai hotels to stop price-gouging expats
Skeletal remains found in Chon Buri may be those of missing Burmese worker – VIDEO
11 groups of people allowed to fly into Thailand, as of today
Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand
107 kilograms of cannabis seized, 3 arrested in Chon Buri drugs bust
Price of gold rises but investment not without risks
Farmlands flooded in Nong Bua Lam Phu Province as heavy rain persists
Floods cut off the main road between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
1 more body found, 3 remain missing. Koh Samui ferry disaster.
Goodbye. Evicting a tenant in Thailand
Goodbye. Evicting a tenant in Thailand
Thai baht getting stronger
Thailand ranks #1 for handling Covid-19 crisis
Facebook post from Bangkok restaurateur shows the power of social media
Central bank mulls severing baht’s gold link to weaken gains
Lopburi police powerless to stop sex-crazed, junk food-addicted monkey gangs
Worldwide Covid-19 Recovery Index puts Thailand at No. 1
Former PM Thaksin sentenced to 5 years
Phuket seeks to revive tourism with 3 major events planned
Facebook faux pas – auto translate goes rogue on message for King’s birthday
Police say “Boss” tested positive for cocaine due to dentistry
Key witness in the Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya case dies in motorbike incident
“We Travel Together” campaign may be extended through 2020
Thai Vietjet passengers treated to surprise “concert in the sky”
Truck goes for a swim at Phuket beach – VIDEO
7.5 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico
Apple reveals new CarKey to unlock your car from your phone
Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 22
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 21
Thailand News Today – Monday, April 20
Thailand News Today – Friday, April 17
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 16
Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 15
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 14
Thailand News Today – Monday, April 13
Thailand News Today – Friday, April 10
Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 9
Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 8
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 7
Thailand News Today – Friday, April 3
- Property1 day ago
Goodbye. Evicting a tenant in Thailand
- Pattaya4 days ago
Jet ski explodes in Chon Buri – VIDEO
- Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago
Phuket may be chosen as test case in phased re-opening to foreign tourists
- Phuket4 days ago
Korean man in Phuket suicide
- Business4 days ago
Thai delivery app merger gets 3.5 billion baht boost
- Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 days ago
Duterte tells Filipinos to clean masks with petrol
- Business2 days ago
Swiss clothing firm denies layoffs
- Business3 days ago
Hundreds left jobless as Air Force cancels golf club contract