Red shirts and Prem, Abhisit and red shirts

19 10 2009

Bangkok Post (19 October 2009: “UDD takes legal action against Prem”) reports that the UDD has “filed a libel complaint with the police against Privy Council president and Statesman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda for his comments about former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh joining the Puea Thai Party.” This relates to an earlier PPT post here.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva  has vowed that no red shirt will get anywhere near the ASEAN summit venue (The Nation, 19 October 2009: “No red shirts in Cha-am and Hua Hin : PM”). Abhisit made this promise while referring to events in Pattaya that led to the Songkhran Uprising. He blamed the red shirts for the violence there, forgetting that his deputy, Suthep Taugsuban and his defacto coalition deputy Newin Chidchob played a large role in this by mobilizing so-called blue shirts to attack red shirts.

Abhisit was responding to reports that one red shirt leader “wanted to submit a petition to Asean leaders scheduled to meet in Cha-am and Hua Hin.” Impossible he said.  Suthep responded by saying that the “government may deploy additional security officials to the summit venues.”

Given that the government has the ISA in place and more than 10,000 troops stationed at the ASEAN meeting sites, why is the Democrat Party so spooked? Whenever the red shirts rally, the government attempts to appear strong and in control. In fact, though, they appear frightened and it seems that the red shirts have learned how to pull the government’s strings so that they over-react.


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