Confused in government

3 12 2009

Recently Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban was telling reporters that he expected “small protests … from December 15 to 31″ but that big rallies would be “planned after New Year’s Day celebrations to January 21.” With precise intelligence, he claimed that the Peua Thai Party is organizing rallies against the government by trying to “incite hatred before it resorts to parliamentary means to oust the administration…”. He also warned of  “sabotage in public places similar to the incidents in 2006.” That’s bombs, expected until 1 January.

No evidence was provided for any of this and Suthep’s comments seemed close to those by PAD spokesman Suriyasai Katasila and the article in the Bangkok Post PPT posted about earlier today.

PPT thought that Suthep was scare-mongering in ways that would allow the government to oppose red shirts by using the Internal Security Act. One thing does seem clear: the “intelligence” agencies, the government, PAD and friendly reporters all seem keen to promote the same stories, with no evidence presented to the public who are the target of this kind of scare mongering.

Now, however, just 48 hours later, Suthep has a new story, reported in the Bangkok Post (3 December 2009: “ISA won’t be imposed to control UDD rally”). He says there is “no need to invoke the Internal Security Act in the capital to control red-shirt rally on Dec 10…” which coincides with Constitution Day.

Suthep said “he was surprised by the UDD’s decision to rally. He called on the group’s core leaders to reconsider the planned political demonstration,” but added that the police would maintain “peace and order.”

This seems an odd turnaround. Yes, we know that 10 December is not in the “planned” dates mentioned by Suthep earlier, but shouldn’t he explain why one rally is considered “safe” enough to leave to the police and others more “dangerous.” More confusing is that one red shirt associate, and one with a reputation for dangerous actions and human rights abuses in the past, Major General Kattiya Sawasdipol, has made a statement that the government might consider a threat.

So what is it that is causing Suthep to so quickly change his mind  on the “red threat” in Bangkok?

Meanwhile, the report suggests that security forces and the Ministry of Interior seems to be working assiduously to undermine red shirt domination in Chiang Mai.



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4 12 2009
Red Shirts coming back for January - - The Thailand Forum

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