Abhisit versus CRES

27 11 2010

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has been engaged in a spat with army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha over red shirt souvenirs and flip-flops with his own face on them.

This story goes back to the arrest of a flip-flop seller in Ayudhya back in early October (see here also). PPT is pretty sure that Abhisit’s current response on this arrest has more to do with the fact that the military has asserted its prime role rather than his own position on the flip-flop sellers. After all, Abhisit could have come out with a strong statement almost two months ago and squashed the flip-flop arrest nonsense. He didn’t.

It was only a few days ago that Abhisit commented on the issue, saying that the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES) should not ban all red shirt paraphernalia. Abhisit’s call was simply rejected by Prayuth. The royalist army boss essentially told Abhisit to butt out. He claimed that the monarchy was being offended, but seemingly ignored the lese majeste laws already in place for a century and more.

Worrying for Abhisit, this rejection of the civilian leader of the royalist regime was seen by many commentators as a clear statement of who runs the country, and it wasn’t the prime minister.

Prachatai now tells us that Abhisit has responded. It says he remains “concerned about the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation’s ban on rally merchandise. It should be made clear that prosecution will proceed in the case of any materials which offend the monarchy, but the CRES must not get involved in cases of offences against individuals…”.

He went further, declaring: “Those who want to put their feet on my face just go ahead. That’s an offence against an individual, against me. I will not sue. I will take it. It has to be dealt with in this way to bring society back to normal law enforcement as far as possible…”.

As noted above, he could have said this many weeks ago. However, CRES has stepped back. The Nation reports that it has lifted its ban. But even The Nation notes how oddly this was done, with CRES discounting the premier’s pleading and saying that no one was selling such items. This despite at least two arrests!


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27 11 2010
Tweets that mention Abhisit versus CRES | Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Drama and NEWSpace, อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร. อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร said: Abhisit versus CRES: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has been engaged in a spat with army commander General Pra… http://bit.ly/e6jRHf […]

6 12 2010
Abhisit and repressing red shirts | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] and “opposition” to hard line repression. One related to Abhisit’s apparent rejection of bans on red shirt paraphernalia, including flip-flops that had his face on them. The second was about […]