Surayudh as peacemaker

21 12 2009

It is interesting that Privy Council deputy Surayud Chulanont would consider himself a likely peace maker for Thaksin Shinawatra and the Abhisit Vejjajiva government. Surely, as a privy councilor he is considered tainted by previous actions?

Surayud has been accused by red shirts and Thaksin of political interference prior to the 2006 coup, and some say he was involved in the planning of the coup. He then became the military’s appointed prime minister following the coup. His royalist government put the problematic 2007 constitution in place and did its very best to support those trying to prevent pro-Thaksin parties getting votes in the 2007 election. His government established all kinds of bodies that were meant to destroy the so-called Thaksin regime.

It’s no surprise, then, to see negative responses. Thaksin is said to have responded at his Twitter internet page (which PPT does not follow): “Having listened to what Gen Surayud said, I wonder whether it was his own idea or was he ordered to take that step.” This is from the Bangkok Post (21 December 2009: “Political peace talks remain elusive”). Thaksin set pre-conditions for talks: ” restoration of the 1997 constitution; a general election; a fair trial on all the cases against him, both those already judged and those pending; and … the return of his legally acquired assets currently frozen by the government.”

Prime Minister Abhisit said he’d talk, but only after Thaksin “first returns to face his two-year jail term for abuse of authority relating to the Ratchadapisek land deal – a condition that Thaksin has always rejected because he believes the judiciary applied a double-standard against him.”

In his op-ed cited above, anti-Thaksin commentator Veera Prateepchaikul cries crocadile tears about reconciliation and then attacks. He says that the “political temperature is bound to heat up with the Thaksin camp stepping up their campaign to destabilise the government with the objective of forcing a snap general election or the overthrow of the government. A two-pronged attack is anticipated with the Puea Thai Party mounting a censure debate against the government in the parliament, and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship will simultaneously launch its street protests.” Veera thinks Thaksin will direct actions from Cambodia.

Veera’s peddling a line that PPT has commented on previously, when we pointed out that several journalists, including Veera, had taken up a PAD story and promoted it as a factual prognostication. Veera is beginning to sound like he should get a position as an op-ed writer at The Nation.


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