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Thai military moves to cement relations with big business

Serving officers are becoming directors of state enterprises and private companies

The Thailand military is known to maintain cozy ties with powerful Thai-Chinese conglomerates.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- As he approaches the fourth anniversary of his coup on May 22, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has been lavishing praise on Pracha Rath Rak Samakee, a social enterprise initiative created by the military in consort with wealthy businessmen, ostensibly to help the grassroots economy.

The venture is the latest manifestation of the cosy relationship between Thailand's business-minded generals and powerful Thai-Chinese conglomerates. Its name roughly translates as "people of the state love harmony."

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