06BANGKOK2149 PRIVY COUNCILLOR CONFIRMS – KING DID NOT GIVE THAKSIN THE BOOT
“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
120754Z Apr 06
“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 002149
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2016
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TH
SUBJECT: PRIVY COUNCILLOR CONFIRMS – KING DID NOT GIVE
THAKSIN THE BOOT
REF: BANGKOK 02048
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Alex A. Arvizu, reason 1.4 (b) (
1. (C) SUMMARY: During a meeting with Ambassador Boyce,
Privy Councillor Surayud said that Thaksin had planned since
late March to \”take a break\” immediately after the election.
The Privy Councillor confirmed that the King had not
encouraged Thaksin to step down. END SUMMARY
2. (C) The Ambassador met on April 11 with Privy Councillor
Gen.Surayud Chulanont, one of the most respected political
figures in the country. Surayud told the Ambassador that he
had heard an account of the April 4 meeting between PM
Thaksin and the King directly from the King\’s principal
private secretary, who had been present during the meeting.
Because the meeting immediately preceded Thaksin\’s nationally
televised announcement that he would \”take a break,\” many
Thais have concluded (or chosen to believe) that the King
somehow encouraged Thaksin to step down. In fact, Surayud
said, the King said very little in the meeting, beyond noting
that the political situation was very tense. Thaksin did most
of the talking; when Thaksin told the King he had decided not
accept appointment as PM in the next government, the King
\”only nodded,\” according to Surayud.
3. (C) Surayud said that the decision to step aside was
consistent with a plan Thaksin had formed before the
election. During a meeting on March 2, Surayud said, Thaksin
had told the King that he would only stay on as PM through
the June celebration of the King\’s 60th year on the throne.
By March 27, at a meeting with Surayud, Thaksin had revised
his plan, saying that he would step aside immediately after
4. (C) The Ambassador asked Surayud how he saw the political
situation developing. Surayud expressed concern that several
of the opposition leaders (especially Sondhi Limthongkul and
Chamlong Srimuang) were not being rational in their approach.
Sondhi in particular was still fixated on further undermining
Thaksin. Surayud believed that the opposition should stop
obstructing the process of seating the new Parliament. They
should focus instead on getting to the next step, which is
political and constitutional reform.
5. (C) The Ambassador asked about Thaksin\’s comment that the
King did not like him (reftel). Surayud, weighing his words,
said that the King had gotten wind of certain under-the-table
transactions that had not pleased him.
6. (C) Comment: We believe that Surayud is a credible and
knowledgeable source; this account reinforces our view that
the King did not intervene to get Thaksin to step aside.
Nonetheless, that story is likely to continue to circulate;
many Thai will find royal intervention more believable than
the idea of Thaksin\’s backing down, even temporarily. End