Updated: Funds dispute

10 02 2010

Update: In The Nation (11 February 2010) it is reported that Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has said that the “government is checking for a flow of funds allegedly destined to finance the violence-prone red shirts, but there has been no confirmation of any transfers so far…”. Two things to notice. First, there is no confirmation, indicating that the government is operating on rumors or creating rumors. Second, the use of “violence-prone red shirts” is now embedded as a term of abuse by The Nation and other pro-government media. This is part of a campaign against the red shirts that is expanding rapidly.

Suthep went on to say: “The government is determined to enforce the law strictly against any groups planning to stir up violence…” and added that “riot forces – soldiers, policemen and civilian personnel – would not allow an eruption of violence and that instigators of any mayhem would be penalised as traitors.” The use of “traitors” is back in vogue with the Abhisit Vejjajiva Democrat Party-led government.

PPT notes the huge effort to establish the red shirts as violent and as traitors, a well-used tactic in the past, presaging some action against them. We also observes the huge deployment of forces with considerable trepidation. The attempts to restrict the movement of people to Bangkok is both unlawful and intimidatory.

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The Nation (10 February 2010) reports that “Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva confirmed the detection of suspicious funds flowing into Thailand from the Middle East.

The premier is reported as stating: “There is no reason for the government to try and frame any groups…”. That can rank as another one of Abhisit’s falsehoods. Of course the government has multiple reasons to want to implicate red shirts. The Nation adopts the government’s terminology for their opponents: “violence-prone red shirts.

How good is the government’s information? The Bangkok Post (10 February 2010) reports acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn as stating that the “government has reliable evidence of unusual flows of money from abroad into the country since late last year…. Panitan said “reliable” and Abhisit said “confirmed.” Where do the confirmed and reliable reports come from? Panitan said the government had obtained information about the money transfers from the general public and some senators...”. That would be the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra senators.

This means that the government has no reliable information at all. It has rumors and allegations. And this is admitted: “Since the inflows of money began late last year, when the economy began to pick up, the government needed to sort out which ones were unusual and where they were from.

Red-shirt leaders are fighting back,demanding real evidence and claiming that the story is a fabrication by the government. They also “threatened to expose the forest encroachment involving Panitan’s close relative and privy councillor. He was referring to Privy Councillor Saneh Wattanayagorn.

PPT has no idea if red shirt leaders are receiving funds, but this process is looking like the beginning of a major crackdown. But when this set of allegations is linked with rumors of several arrests of activists seen as anti-government and anti-monarchy, something in happening. These arrests, if confirmed, could well be pre-emptive, hoping to lessen criticism that would follow a government crackdown or some other controversial action.


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3 responses

11 02 2010
Update: Red shirt leaders get sudden fund boost? « GJBKK Blog

[…] Political Prisoners Thailand also covers […]

14 02 2010
Double standards again « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Democrat Party of funds allegedly being transferred to the opposition red shirts from abroad (see here and here). The prime minister, deputy prime minister, justice minister and a gaggle of spin doctors […]

18 02 2010
Red shirts, Bangkok Bank and lies « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] to smear the red shirts.” Another lie. PPT has posted on Panitan’s own comments previously, here and here. Panitan would not reveal “which agency had detected these questionable funds.” […]




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