When under pressure, use the monarchy

21 02 2010

In a very recent post, PPT briefly mentioned a statement by General Boonlert Kaewprasit, talking up a coup to save Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda from further criticism. The Nation (21 February 2010) reports that Boonlert is a “former chief of the Army’s advisory board”.

It is reported that in “a radio interview, Boonlert said attacks on Prem could be construed as an attack on the institution of monarchy and soldiers may eventually stage a coup to defend the institution.” He added, “Those who are [Prem’s] enemies may not be aiming only at him but at those higher up…. The general called on the government to arrest those attacking the Palace.

It seems that this theme is useful for the Democrat Party. When frightened and challenged, it seems that the yellow-shirted rhetoric is seen as most valuable and damaging to the red shirts. Taking up the republicanism theme, Thepthai Saenphong, speaking as a spokesman for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, insisted the red shirts were mobilising in tandem with the monarchy-abolition movement.

He also “urged people to come out and tell the red shirts to stop mobilizing,” while making the rather tired accusation that Thaksin Shinawatra was paying each and every red shirt protestors. Thepthai is reported to have made the extraordinary claim – call it a fabrication because there seems no evidence to be presented – that Thaksin is spending 200 million baht a day. He makes this claim as other yellow shirts claim Thaksin is just about broke, a claim they have been making for months.

It seems that the Democrat Party and government are ratcheting up the attacks on the red shirts as Friday approaches. There have been threats, the military and police are deployed and several thousands of police and military have been staging practice clashes with “demonstrators” as a show of force and a threat to any potential protestors.

Red shirts have also done a bit of ratcheting up as well, but their demonstrations remain small, effective and peaceful. The only threats have come from former military men Seh Daeng and Panlop, while the mainstream red shirt leadership continues to say there will be no organized rally on 26 February. Even the People’s Alliance for Democracy seems to think that there won’t be violence after the assets case decision, but does warn against a “third party” inciting trouble.

But just to be sure, the government is preventing people from traveling to Bangkok. The Nation reports that in “Nakhon Ratchasima province, checkpoints along the roads have been set up to prevent the red shirts from joining the protests in Bangkok. Police patrols are also being launched every 30 minutes. Pickups and six-wheeler trucks are expected to be the main transportation mode carrying protesters to Bangkok.” The police usually stop these vehicles anyway to extort payments from them. But this is trying to limit free movement.

As a footnote, this report makes acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn appear again as a liar as he recently was reported as saying this was not happening while admitting that the government’s 37-page plan for stomping on the red shirts is real. Panitan deserves to cop plenty of criticism.


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21 02 2010
ไฟลนก้นเมื่อไร ดึงสถาบันกษัตริย์ลงมาหากินได้เมื่อนั้น « Liberal Thai

[…] by chapter 11 When under pressure, use the monarchy February 21, 2010 ที่มา – Political Prisoners in Thailand แปลและเรียบเรียง – แชพเตอร์ […]

23 10 2012
Incoherence and double standards « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] being shown to the monarchy. In fact, he has repeatedly talked of a military coup in this context or to protect General Prem Tinsulanonda. Boonlert was once reported to be a close aide to former Deputy Prime […]

23 10 2012
Incoherence and double standards « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] being shown to the monarchy. In fact, he has repeatedly talked of a military coup in this context or to protect General Prem Tinsulanonda. Boonlert was once reported to be a close aide to former Deputy Prime […]

24 10 2012
Bring on the coup, again and again and again « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] talked of a military coup to prevent “disrespect” being shown to the monarchy, of another coup to protect General Prem Tinsulanonda. A military coup for Boonlert is a solution for many ills, a bit like any […]

24 10 2012
Updated: Bring on the coup, again and again and again « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] talked of a military coup to prevent “disrespect” being shown to the monarchy, of another coup to protect General Prem Tinsulanonda. A military coup for Boonlert is a solution for many ills, a bit like any […]