Democrats under pressure on Kasit

7 07 2009

PPT thought that the summons to the PAD leaders who occupied the airports in Bangkok might have resulted, at least in part, from a need for evenhandedness and international pressure on the Democrat Party leadership. While Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva seems to be taking a position that the law must be followed, this is causing concern amongst other members of his party, who are rushing to support embattled foreign minister Kasit Piromya.

We note that former Thai Rak Thai Party leader Chaturon Chaisaeng has praised the police (Bangkok Post, 6 July 2009: “Kasit under pressure to give up portfolio”), saying that the “police had acted ‘courageously’ in summonsing Mr Kasit over his alleged role in the protest.”

The Bangkok Post reports that “Thepthai Senpong, a spokesman for the prime minister, said it was too soon to conclude Mr Kasit was guilty. The police summons was only the first step in legal proceedings to follow…”. He added that the “Democrat Party would assign the party’s legal experts to look into the case to see how they could help him [Kasit].”

Democrat Party executive Sathit Pitudecha said the “terrorism charge was too severe because the airport seizure was only meant to press the Somchai Wongsawat government to give up power as he was believed to be a proxy of Thaksin Shinawatra.” He added that “It shouldn’t be regarded as a terrorist act.” Double standards at work?

In the Nation (6 July 2009: “Kasit Not to resign”), Kasit is reported to be standing firm: “Panit Wikitset, vice foreign minister, said Kasit would be ready to comply with the law but he would not stop working and he had informed Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of his intention not to leave the office.”

In the Nation, PAD spokesman Suriyasai Katasila is reported to have said that the “summonses against the total of 36 PAD leaders in the two airport cases were apparently aimed at certain political goals.” He added that the “charges were exaggerated and groundless and might later be ordered by the court to be dropped like the sedition charge against the PAD earlier.”

Suriyasai complained that “the red-shirt movement had rioted and disrupted the Asean summit in Pattaya and attempted to capture and harm the prime minister, but the red-shirt leaders faced much less severe charges than the PAD leaders” and wondered if the charges were a move to “weaken the PAD, which has set up its own political party.”

In the Bangkok Post (5 July 2009: “PAD leader raps terrorism charges”), Suriyasai was earlier reported to have claimed: “The blockades of the two airports were not intended to create unrest but an exercise of the right to peaceful assembly under the constitution to oppose the then government which was illegitimate. We did no damage to property of the airports. Moreover, we were attacked with M79 grenades several times but police have not been able to arrest any suspect…”.

Supporting Kasit, Suriyasai stated, “it is not necessary for Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, who will also be charged in connection with the seizure of Suvarnabhumi airport, to resign since only a summon has been issued for him to report to police, not to mention the fact that the terrorism charges are too far beyond reality.”

It will be enlightening to see how this case impacts on the Democrat Party-led government and the further reaction of PAD supporters in the party.


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13 07 2009
New: Abhisit and Kasit in a pickle « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Minister Kasit Piromya’s decision to stay on in cabinet despite a police summons. As we reported here, Kasit was summonsed by the police for his part in the November 2008 PAD occupation of Bangkok’s […]

3 09 2009
New: National security benefits the Democrat Party « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya? He was charged (or was it interviewed? or summonsed?) back in early July, along with other PAD […]

18 09 2009
Investigating the Suvarnabhumi occupation very, very slowly « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] it is now clear why this investigation has been proceeding at a snail’s pace (remember this?). But will things […]

1 03 2016
Warning the conservative elite II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] former ambassador, anti-Thaksin foreign minister, defender of human rights abuses and lese majeste, PADster, coup supporter, anti-foreign media, etc. Kasit Piromya. He’s often sounded lazy, bizarre and […]

1 03 2016
Warning the conservative elite II | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] former ambassador, anti-Thaksin foreign minister, defender of human rights abuses and lese majeste, PADster, coup supporter, anti-foreign media, etc. Kasit Piromya. He’s often sounded lazy, bizarre and […]




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