Abhisit’s political chaos

21 09 2010

While it is true that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his palace and military backers want the government to stay in power for as long as possible, it is looking a ragged and pathetic government at present.

Earlier, PPT posted on the army’s missing weapons. Not surprisingly, exactly the weapons involved in recent “bomb attacks” in Bangkok and nearby. Just today, even more stunning revelations and actions have left PPT amused and appalled at the same time.

The Nation reports that the political police at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) have “received autopsy results of the 89 people killed during the recent political unrest” but is now not sure that these much-awaited reports “can be made public…”. That’s according to the seemingly befuddled DSI chief Tharit Pengdit. He now wants to have “the results verified by the Office of the Attorney-General, the Metropolitan Police Bureau and the Central Institute of Forensic Medicine.” That sounds like stalling and posterior protection.

But are the reports truly finished or is this just political grandstanding? Tharit’s still calling for more evidence from the public. What is going on?

The second bemusing story relates to a public scuffle between the dueling auditors-general. Both The Nation and the Bangkok Post report that stay-put, arguably unconstitutional, but yellow-shirt supported auditor-general, Jaruvan Maintaka clashed in a very public and unsavory way with her deputy-cum-acting-replacement Pisit Leelawachiropas when she “crashed a meeting he had called with senior agency officials.”

The Nation reports that there were some “40 people, including deputy auditors-general and senior officials from the agency’s offices throughout the country, gathered in the morning at the meeting room of the Auditor-General’s Office to hear Pisit explain the agency’s problems. Soon after the meeting started, Jaruvan entered the room, tapped Pisit on the shoulder and gestured for him to move out of the seat at the head of the table. She then took over his seat as well as his microphone…”.

She is said to have “snatched” the microphone. The Post says Jaruvan “physically fought to grab a chair and a microphone.” It adds that she “slammed files of documents on to the table. Witnesses said she tried to push him from the chair and grabbed a microphone from his hand.”

Jaruvan went on to harangue the assembled persons and “insisted she still had the legal authority to retain her post and noted the Administrative Court did not order her to be suspended from duty pending a ruling on a petition filed by the Ombudsman. While Jaruvan was talking, Pisit and some others left the room. Then the lights went out but she continued speaking with the microphone.” It would seem that Jaruvan is now unstable.

The Bangkok Post used words like “farce” and “fiasco” to describe the meeting and such words adequately describe the situation in the Auditor-General’s Office. Come to think of it, the words are apt descriptions of a government with few policies and a rapidly deteriorating authority and international profile. Perhaps the word “joke” is also appropriate in describing the current government that has always looked like a puppet but now looks like a puppet where the strings are tangled and the puppet masters are incompetent.

Though the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has already received autopsy results of the 89 people killed during the recent political unrest, it has yet to decide if the information can be made public, DSI chief said yesterday.
DSI director general, Tharit Pengdit, said his agency had to first get the results verified by the Office of the Attorney-General, the Metropolitan Police Bureau and the Central Institute of Forensic Medicine.

He also encouraged members of the public as well as Pheu Thai Party who witnessed killings to come forward and testify with the DSI.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday praised new national police chief General Wichean Potephosree for ensuring that there were no untoward incidents during the red-shirt rally on Sunday held to mark the anniversary of the 2006 coup and four months since the crackdown on the red-shirt protest.

The prime minister said he expected Wichean to face tougher tasks in the future.

He also thanked all sides for helping keep order during the rally. “In all, things went smoothly. When a lot of people gather, it is always difficult to handle the situation. But there were no clashes on Sunday, and that is a good thing, so I must thank all sides,” Abhisit said.

The police chief yesterday spent about 20 minutes telling the premier about the red-shirt rally. Wichean admitted that police estimate of 5,000 red-shirt demonstrators was incorrect, when the turnout was more like 10,000 people. He also noted that any large public gatherings without a leader had a good chance to getting out of control, adding that police would improve its intelligence work.

Wichean said a public demonstration act was needed to control such large crowds in the future, though at present the existing Internal Security Act could be imposed to ensure efficient crowd control.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday expressed concerns about prolonged rallies by the red shirts, though agencies in charge of security are keeping an eye out for any suspicious movements. He s



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21 09 2010
Tweets that mention Abhisit’s political chaos « Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

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27 09 2010
Bombs and the elite’s ponies « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] “movements” of the past. This remains in the arena of speculation, but Abhisit does look politically shaky at […]

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