What PAD and associated pink/“no”/”multi” shirts want

7 05 2010

When the no and multi-colors suddenly emerged and were trumpeted by many in yje mainstream media as “independent” of the People’s Alliance for Democracy. Of course, as PPT and others showed, this ignored a remarkable amount of obvious links between PAD and the pink/no/multi shirts.

Now that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has offered to deal with the red shirts and has met with the leaders of PAD and the no/multis, what do PAD and the no/multis say? Do their positions vary? The basic answer is unsurprising with both opposed to any “deal” that doesn’t crush and/or punish the red shirts.

PAD have been clear. In the Bangkok Post (5 May 2010), several PAD leaders were cited following the meeting with Abhisit. PAD spokesman and New Politics Party secretary-general Suriyasai Katasila stated that the premier’s proposals are “not a solution to the country’s ills.” Suriyasai saw the proposals as a kind of deal between the Democrat Party-led government and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship. Suriyasai said that “while the country faced terrorists and movements threatening to topple the royal institution which were linked to the red shirt protesters,” Abhisit essentially avoided these issues. Most worrying for PAD was the possibility of an “amnesty for … Thaksin Shinawatra, terrorists, anti-royal movements, red shirt protest leaders and politicians banned for electoral fraud.”

At My.sinchew.com (6 May 2010), PAD are quoted as calling for the resignation of the prime minister after accusing him of secret deals with the red shirts.

They opposed the announced early election plan and “vowed to oppose any attempt to change the constitution or grant an amnesty for politicians hit with bans after their parties were dissolved.” The militant Chamlong Srimuang claimed Thailand’s problems would only worsen after the dissolution of the lower house, and subsequent elections…”. He slammed the prime minister for reconciling with “terrorists” to dissolve the house. He added: “it’s extremely bad for the country and the monarchy…”.

PAD leader Somsak Kosaisuk “called on the government to decisively enforce the law against Red Shirts…” while others “accused Abhisit of abandoning those who have supported the government in its fight against Thaksin’s allies.”

In the Bangkok Post (7 May 2010), the pink/no/multi group said to also be opposed to the dissolution. PAD affiliate Dr Tul Sithisomwong, cited as if he is a leader of an independent group, claims that he had told the prime minister to wait until a budget was in place. He seemed to think that the premier was under pressure from the red shirts. This is seen as a “bad precedent.” In addition, Tul said his group opposed any attempt to amend the constitution. And, just like PAD, Tul worried about an amnesty for banned politicians and wanted strong action against red shirt leaders on “various charges including offences against the monarchy.” He confirmed that his group would continue its anti-red shirt rallies. While Tul didn’t call on Abhisit to stand down, the space between PAD and his group is negligible. The group would continue to stage rallies to counter the red shirts until the red shirts stopped their rally.

Abhisit, who seems to be uncomfortable with his “own” proposals and is apparently canvassing those opposed to “his” proposals. On amnesty, he stated that “there would not be an amnesty for politicians on criminal charges. However, he said whether there would be an amnesty for politicians on political offences depended on the people throughout the country to decide.”

PPT have a feeling that opposition to the proposals may well suit Abhisit. He’s clearly not happy with them and has been forced into a narrow set of “principles” that lead to a political solution. Many of his supporters, including many in the Democrat Party seem to want a “final showdown” rather than what they see as a not-so-final stepdown.



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