|Commander in Chief of
the Royal Thai Army
1 October 2007 – 30 September 2010
|Prime Minister||Surayud Chulanont
|Preceded by||Sonthi Boonyaratglin|
|Succeeded by||Prayuth Chan-ocha|
10 October 1949 |
|Service/branch||Royal Thai Army|
|Years of service||1967 - 2010|
General Anupong Paochinda (Thai: อนุพงษ์ เผ่าจินดา; RTGS: Anuphong Phaochinda; born October 10, 1949) is a former Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army. He held the position from 2007 until his retirement on 30 September 2010.
While a Lieutenant General holding the position of 1st Army Region Commander, Anupong was also an appointed member of the Council for National Security, the junta that staged the 2006 Thai coup d'état and deposed the caretaker government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Anupong completed a primary education from Bangkok's Phanthasuksa Pitthaya School in 1965 and Thai-British Curriculum Amnuay Silpa School in the following year, a military education from Thailand's Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School in 1967 (Class 10, meaning that he was a classmate of Prime Minister-to-be Thaksin Shinawatra) and from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in 1972 (Class 21), as well as a degree of political science from Ramkhamhaeng University in 1993, and a master's degree from the National Defence College of Thailand's Class 26 of Thailand's National Institute of Development Administration in 2004, respectively.
Anupong has been appointed to many military offices, including inter alia, commandant of the 21st Infantry Regiment (Queen's Guard), commandant of the 1st Army Division, deputy commander and commander of the 1st Army Region. Anupong was selected by the Council of Ministers of Thailand to hold the position of the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army on 19 September 2007, and promoted to such position by Bhumibol Adulyadej on 1 October of the same year. He succeeded coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin.
Like his direct successor General Prayuth and former defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan, Anupong is a member of the "Eastern Tigers" clique within the army. Most of them have—like Anupong—started their career in the 2nd infantry division (with quarters in Eastern Thailand), especially in the 21st infantry regiment (Queen's Guards).
On 2 October 2008, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, following a civil insurgency of the People's Alliance for Democracy ("Yellow Shirts") demanding his resignation or impeachment, imposed a state of emergency throughout Bangkok Metropolis and appointed Anupong as the leader of the officers in charge of the state of emergency. After the Constitutional Court verdict dissolving the People's Power Party and two of its coalition parties, Anupong reportedly led behind-closed-doors meetings, convincing Newin Chidchob's Bhumjaithai Party to desert the government coalition, and organising a new parliamentary majority led by the Democrat Party and Abhisit Vejjajiva.
On 14 January 2010, Anupong ordered the suspension of Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol, the controversial "Seh Daeng", after an inquiry committee found that Khattiya had publicly proclaimed his loyalty to the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship ("Red Shirts"), a political pressure group supporting Thaksin Shinawatra, breaching military discipline. The following day, Anupong's office in the Royal Thai Army Headquarters was attacked by unknown parties using an M79 grenade launcher. The unoccupied office was slightly damaged. During the 2010 "Red Shirts" uprising, the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva appointed General Anupong chief officer of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), in charge of restoring law and order. Thus he was responsible for the bloody military crackdown on the protest movement in mid-May 2010.
Anupong retired on 30 September 2010. He was succeeded by General Prayuth Chan-ocha.
- Avudh Panananda (June 8, 2010). "Is Prayuth the best choice amid signs of Army rivalry?". The Nation. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- Wassana Nanuam (December 12, 2013). "'Silent' military coup beats having a real one". Bangkok Post. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- Wassana Nanuam (January 2, 2014). "Will this crisis lead to another coup?". Bangkok Post. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- James Stent (2012). "Thoughts on Thailand's Turmoil". Bangkok, May 2010: Perspectives on a Divided Thailand (Singapore: ISEAS Publishing). p. 33.
- Federico Ferrara (2010). Thailand Unhinged: Unraveling the Myth of a Thai-Style Democracy. Singapore: Equinox Publishing. pp. 78–80.
- The Nation; 2010, 14 January ; Online.
- Thai Rath; 2010, 21 January.
- Stent, James (2012). "Thoughts on Thailand's Turmoil". Bangkok, May 2010: Perspectives on a Divided Thailand (Singapore: ISEAS Publishing). p. 25.
- "Prawit, Somkid, Pridiyathorn named advisers". Bangkok Post. 27 May 2014.
- Post Today. (2008, 3 September). Anupong say 'Stop this civil war.' Extra page 2.
- Thai Rath. (2010, 21 January). Army Commander's office at the RTA Headquarters bombed. [Online]. Available: <click>. (Accessed: 21 January 2010).
- The Nation. (2010, 14 January). Khattiya to cease his activities. [Online]. Available: <click>. (Accessed: 21 January 2010).
- The Royal Thai Army. (n.d.). Short Biography of General Anupong Paochinda. [Online]. Available: <click>. (Accessed: 4 September 2008).
- 2008 Thai political crisis
- 2006 Thai coup d'état
- Council for Democratic Reform
- Council for National Security
|Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army