Mr Thanon was not alone in his request to postpone taking part in the lucky draw draft, conducted at Piboonsawasdee Municipal School on Damrong Rd in Phuket Town this morning (April 3). Those interned as monks as well as ladyboys also applied to defer their military engagement.
The military conscription event at the school was for all eligible candidates within Phuket’s Muang District, which includes Phuket Town, Kata, Karon, Wichit, Chalong, Rawai and Nai Harn.
Present to led the event this morning was Lt Col Peerapong Kamwilai, who serves as the Commander of the Royal Thai Army 16th Tank Battalion Division 5, based in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, and Col Surachai Triyang from the Royal Thai Army Region 4 headquarters, which is also based in Nakhon Sri Thammarat and is the leading Army base for all of Southern Thailand.
Joining them were staff from the Andaman Power Phuket network led by Sompon Sittiwet. The group serves to uphold ladyboy’s rights in society. The group was present today to advise ladyboy potential conscripts on their rights in taking part in the service.
By law, all Thai males in the year of their 21st birthday must attend conscription “lucky draw” in their home province to see if they will spend the next two years of their lives in military service.
Drawing a red card means military service, while drawing a black card means no military service but conscription duty fulfilled.
Mr Thanon, though, will not be performing his military service just yet, after deferring his service last year. (See story here.)
“I have to postpone my selection for the second time because I have to study in my second year in the Faculty of Communication Arts (Broadcasting) at Bangkok University,’ Mr Thanon explained.
“I have no problem if I have to do national military service because my father used to be a solider. The reason that I have to postpone is because I have to focus on my studies,” he added.
Mr Thanon did not dodge questions about his professional obligations while completing his studies in Bangkok.
“My jobs are mainly on attending events. I am now in the process of writing a new song. My work that is now on air is ‘Journey The Mission’. It is a tourism show that I am producing with my friends. There are more songs that will be launched soon,” he said.
“I have just arrived in Phuket last night from Chiang Mai. I always think about Phuket. I am planning to stay a little bit longer this time but I have to go back urgently,” Mr Thanon told his fans.
“I am very glad to be back home. I met my friends here. Officers here are nice to us. If I have a chance I’ll be back,” he said.
Col Peerapong noted that 3,131 Thai men from Phuket’s three districts – Muang, Kathu and Thalang – took part in the draft draw, of which 2,818 Thai men were from Muang Phuket District alone.
The conscription draw was held over two days from Apr 3-4.
“We have already conducted the draws for Kathu and Thalang Districts. Phuket needs 498 draftees in total,” Col Peerapong said.