Prem Tinsulanonda in Context

Above: From Thairath, April 22, 2012

2019, Bloomberg – Royal Aide Accused of Plotting Thai Coup on Thaksin Dies at 98
…More than 100,000 pro-Thaksin supporters rallied outside of Prem’s house in 2009 to demand that he step down from the king’s Privy Council, saying he engineered the former leader’s ouster in 2006. Prem had denied involvement in the coup, which has destabilized Thai politics ever since… [Perhaps they are confusing the attempted raid on Prem’s residence in 2007 with the first Red Shirt siege of Bangkok in 2009 when Red Shirt leaders demanded the Privy Council be replaced with Red Shirt people’s representatives.]

Prem Tinsulanonda (1920 – 2019)

As the international media repeats Thaksin’s accusations that Prem caused recent coups while also implying that opposing Thaksin equates to being opposed to democracy, it might be time to reflect on a more nuanced view of both recent events as well as Prem’s legacy during his rule as prime minister in the 1980’s.

2005 – Privy Councillor Prem accuses Thaksin of employing “double standards” and Thaksin’s response

2005 – A tale of two newspapers: Privy Councillor Prem “rebukes” Thaksin

2007 – Surprise strike attacking Prem’s residence

2007 – Linking Prem to coup is irrelevant
An editorial from The Nation positing that the coup happened because of Thaksin’s actions.

2009 – Red Shirt publications, from the mainstream to the most radical, constantly attacked Prem as their greatest enemy

In 2012, while Red Shirt media was ramping up attacks on Prem and insinuating Thailand was now ripe for a communist revolution, then Prime Minister Yingluck publicly visited Prem in an attempt at reconciliation:
February, 2012 – Govt moves to keep Prem on side amid shaky times
May, 2012 – Red Power: Prem Named as Coup Leader & Unity Under Communism
Red Shirt faithful reacted in horror when Yingluck was sent to fawningly greet Prem in 2012 (Yingluck attempts detente with Privy Council President Prem and Editorial cartoons: Yingluck Sent to Honor Prem)
April, 2012 – Editorial cartoon: How to Explain the Prem Meeting to the Red Shirts
May, 2012 – Editorial cartoon: What Yingluck and Prem talked about

October, 2012 – Editorial cartoon: Prem Attacks the Government

May, 2015 – Thaksin also blamed Prem for the 2014 coup

December, 2016 – Editorial cartoon: Thaksin’s nightmare: He still can’t get rid of Prem

I always receive buckets of hate emails as well as attacks on the site when I dare to re-post these three links, but here we go again:

1. Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy
This is a description of Prem’s time as Prime Minister. This period of time is also the inspiration for Thailand’s present “half democracy.”

2. Also see Do all Thai roads lead to Singapore? for more context on the distrust of democracy.

3. The Roots of the Thai Political Crisis: Thaksin as Prime Minister

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