Minister of Interior Wattana Kowit of Thailand

Sonthi Limthongkul of the Manager claimed in a speech on Friday night (January 5), that Kowit was in Had Yai on December 31 singing Karaoke at J.
Gen Kowit has been replaced by Pol.
There was great speculation about the motivation behind the replacement, as Kowit had earlier arrested several military personnel for alleged involvement in the 2006 Bangkok New Year's Eve bombings.
On 2 August 2008, Kowit was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, replacing unpopular Chalerm Ubumrung for the latter position.
Top generals all in", The Bangkok Post (20 September 2006.
Since the New Year's Eve bombings in Bangkok and its suburb which killed three persons and injured some 40 others, Kowit has been under great pressure from the current Surayud-led government and its military backer the Council for National Security (CNS), whose members earlier were quoted by local media as implicating that Kowit, as police chief, should take responsibility if the police's investigation into the bombings produced no material results in time, as the situation has so far suggested.
Kowit said he is worried about flooding situation in the two regions, especially in the northernmost province of Chiang Rai and the three northeastern provinces – Nong Khai, Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom – which are now under floodwaters after the water level in the Mekong River overflowed its banks.
Speaking in a NBT TV programme on Wednesday night, Kowit said he and police have duties to protect the country.
Kowit has failed to charge anyone for the nine explosions that took place in Bangkok last New Year's Eve, killing three people and severely undermining confidence in the current government, an interim regime that was appointed by the leaders of the September 19 coup that ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
Kowit had been similarly unsuccessful in tracking down the culprits behind two grenade attacks on a Bangkok newspaper's office and a hotel garden last week.
It's unclear if Kowit was incompetent or just toeing the line Surayud and Sonthi put out right after the bombings.
Pol Gen Kowit said CNS chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin had been briefed on the incident.
Asked if the bombers would shift their attacks from the public to the press, Pol Gen Kowit said every issue needs equal attention.
Despite recent reports that the military was sceptical of the police investigation, CNS spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Pol Gen Kowit had breakfast with Gen Sonthi just before the meeting and briefed the CNS chief on progress in the investigation.
Asked whether operational strategies would be changed because daily violence in the area is still continuing, Pol Gen Kowit said officials in the area would deal with the unrest while the government would provide budget and the necessary equipment.
Kowit has been under pressure to quit.
Kowit was incompetent or just toeing the line Surayud and Sonthi put out right after the bombings.
The CDRM order states that police general Kowit has been assigned to the former prime minister?s duty on police matters, whilst at the same time abolishing the national police commission which had been chaired by Thaksin.
Now tasked with holding the spectrum of police responsibilities which Thaksin had taken for himself, police general Kowit has full control of the police mission and a new national commission which he himself chairs.
Police General Kowit has been entrusted with assisting flood victims in Tambon Tup Kwang in Saraburi province as well as Baan Mhee district in Lopburi province.
Following the 2006 coup d'état, Kowit was named third chief deputy of the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy.
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Pol Gen Kowit had previously taken his case to the Administrative Court, asking to retain his top police post, where he had been granted such retention for the past several months.
The prime minister indicated that Pol Gen Kowit had temporarily served as his adviser since the beginning of February.
Kowit had filed a complaint with the Administrative Court against Gen.
Pol Gen Kowit is due to retire by the end of this month and the next national police chief would assume office on Oct 1.
An assistant to the former police chief, Pol Col Yongkiat Monpraneet said that Pol Gen Kowit had already been reported of the cancellation order.
Kowit had been under pressure due to the police's failure to bring any of the New Year's bombers to justice, or stop a string of mysterious torchings of rural schools.
Kowit was police chief to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a September coup.