UDD rallies, PAD parties, Thanphuying Viriya talks

10 05 2009

It seems like a big news day in Thailand. PPT wants to briefly link to three stories.

First, the UDD is about to rally in Bangkok. The police expect 20,000 to attend, while Democrat spokesman Buranaj Smutharaks worries that the” UDD leaders could be stirring up violence and security units were ordered to stay on high alert” (Bangkok Post, 10 May 2009: “Tight security for red shirts meet”). The police estimate of possible attendance is remarkable given the events of the Songkhran uprising and the negative propaganda campaign since.

Update: The Bangkok Post reports that 20,000 showed up in pouring rain to meet in a field that became a mud patch.

Second, PAD seems to be moving ever closer to forming a political party (Bangkok Post, 10 May 2009: “PAD decides on party creation on 25th”). PAD “figure Sirichai Maingarm said PAD members would vote in the upcoming general assembly to decide whether the group would establish a political party. The first round of voting would take place when around 700-800 leading members from throughout the country convene on the 24th. The mass would make their votes the following day. No less than 30,000 supporters were expected to turn up for the voting…”.

Mr Sirichai said if a party was to be created the group would still have room for members who disagreed with party establishment so they could still conduct mass demonstrations. Should the verdict be against party establishment, the PAD would vote on which political party it would support so it could take its political fight into parliament.

The third story is the interview with Thanphuying Viriya Chavakul, accused of masterminding the assassination attempt on PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul (Bangkok Post, 10 May 2009: “Thanphuying speaks out on Sondhi and Thaksin”). PPT found the whole interview quite remarkable, so rather than quoting from it, we urge readers to click through to it.We only point out the insight it provides into the apparently divided world of palace politics.


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11 05 2009
New: Palace politics « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Palace politics Yesterday, PPT commented on Thanphuying Viriya Chavakul’s interview (Bangkok Post, 10 May 2009: “Thanphuying speaks […]