Anti-red shirt/pro-yellow shirt

8 07 2010

It has never really been clear why the government didn’t push ahead with earlier allegations against red shirt leaders. But with regime boss Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday saying “a group of red shirts are planning further political activities,” the government is now pushing, trying to crush its opposition.

The public prosecutor has just “indicted four leaders of the UDD on charges of leading red shirts in laying siege to the Si Sao Thewes home of Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda in July 2007. Veera Musikhapong, Natthawut Saikua, Wiputhalaeng Pattanaphumthai and Weng Tojirakan were indicted yesterday in the Criminal Court.” Three others Nopparut Worachitwutthikul, of the 2006 White Pigeon group, Weerasak Hemathilin and Wanchai Naphuttha have also been charged.

Apparently, the prosecutor alleges that the red shirts “violated the rights and liberties of Gen Prem while causing difficulty to people who could not use the roads around his home.”

Meanwhile, yellow shirt sympathisers have mobilized against the ICG report PPT posted on yesterday. While the Bangkok Post seemed to cautiously welcome the report, the yellow-hued editorialized as follows [with PPT comments in brackets]:

“The recommendation of this think tank shows a complete lack of awareness of what the recent and current unrest is related to [We are not at all sure how such a conclusion could be reached, but read on]. It is incredible that the International Crisis Group could issue such a high-handed recommendation without commenting that they realize they are asking the government to completely accede to Thaksin’s goals of elections so budgets and military appointments can be influenced [Aha! Thaksin’s evil plan all along has been to gain control of government via the ballot box. The evil genius stumbled upon such a devious plan and it undercuts the elite’s usual way of ruling via the barrel of a gun, dictatorship and royalist nonsense.]

Even though their recommendations might be perceived as fair [Hmm. Perceived as fair… well, maybe they are! See the Bangkok Post], it seems ridiculous to make this sort of call knowing the government would never give into the Red Shirt’s key demands–especially after the recent turmoil that threatened the authority of the state itself [Can’t have the authority of the state being challenged! That would be mutiny. A bit like the PAD demonstrations and the military’s failure to follow orders]. Any call for elections before November would not “bridge Thailand’s divide” as International Crisis Group suggests, but undoubtedly result in a new coup [Yes, can’t have elections when the election-shy Democrat Party might lose].

Nearly every part of their report has assumptions from a Westernized perspective with very little Thai historical perspective [When in doubt, use jingoism]. For instance: “The ruling royalist establishment cannot unilaterally push forward its “road map” to national reconciliation while simultaneously suppressing the Red Shirts’ dissenting voices.”

In fact, this is exactly the two-pronged approach the Thai establishment has historically used after bloody political upheavals of the past [Now we have Thai-style reconciliation, and it probably has its roots deep in Sukhothai]. Rightly or wrongly, the establishment will be believing that this approach would be the appropriate and customary one for Thai society [We assume the reference is to the 1980s. But look at “historical reconciliation” by the elite post 1932…. Look at the reconciliation with Pridi…. Look at post 1976…. Nonsense really.]

It is usually thought that “think tanks” are commissioned to validate partisan political opinions and stances [PPT does not understand the reference here and in the Thai media about ICG being a “think tank”. That seems a misrepresentation]. However, it is just as likely that the International Crisis Group has no understanding of the background of present Thai events and are simply drawing conclusions based on Western notions of common sense [When in doubt, hit the nationalism button].



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