This week’s (December 1-7) cover story in Matichon Weekly is entitled “Old Solider Return” and the front page of the magazine is below:

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Source: Matichon Weekly

The text is on page 13 and have summarized it below.

There was a big event to end the year, namely Prem opening his house for visitors at New Year’s and wearing his military uniform. His wearing of his military uniform reminded people of the time he wore his uniform on July 14, 2006 and gave a speech that the military is the horse and the govenrment is merely the jockey and not the owner. The message was the military must be loyal to Prem. Also on that day, former Foreign Minister and anti-Thaksinite Prasong Soonsiri spoke to the press and attacked Thaksin.

What was also interesting was that the Supreme Court president also came and he met with Prem and Surayud for more than 30 mins.

Prem paid special attention to Prayuth and said he had known Prayuth for more than 20 years and labelled him as the protector of the monarchy. Prem said he was a role  model for other soldiers.

This singling out of Prayuth seems that Anupong has now gone from being a horse and is now the jockey. Anupong a few days before had criticized old soldiers. While this was seen to refer to Gen. Chavalit and Gen. Panlop of Puea Thai, it raised eyebrows as Anupong clearly stated that there would be no coup as the military can’t run things.

All political analysts believe things will heat up in the next two months with the Red Shirts protesting.

BP: Prem seems to be trying to maintain the status quo. A few weeks ago, ASTV Manager had an article arguing that Prayuth was a Prem loyalist and Prem was trying to ensure he became Army C-in-C on Anupong’s retirement in September. What they really mean by a Prem loyalist is anti-Thaksin/Red Shirts. The battle lines are clearly being drawn for the upcoming “battle” between Puea Thai and all and sundry with a number of anti-Prem generals joining Puea Thai. If true, it would be interesting if Anupong was really on the outer…