Bringing down the Puea Thai government

23 08 2011

Thaksin wanted?

In an earlier post, PPT referred to an emerging pattern being used by the broad array of anti-Thaksin Shinawatra groups, including the Democrat Party and its supporters, to challenge and eventually bring down the government led by Yingluck Shinawatra. In this post we will outline that strategy. It is no earth-shattering revelation, for the opponents haven’t really changed much since 2005-06 and their strategies remain pretty much the same as before. It’s looking a bit like Groundhog Day Thailand.

Essentially, the strategy is to reignite the anti-Thaksin opposition in a fight with Thaksin, viewing the Yingluck government as a proxy regime. In other words, the strategy is pretty much the same as that following the shocking loss by the Democrat Party in the 2007 election following all the work done by royalists and the military to discredit Thaksin and his supporters.

There are already plenty of signs that this strategy – and that word may give it more coherence than it currently has – is for the Democrat Party to put on its pious royalist hat and attack the government in parliament, while giving support to all groups that oppose Thaksin outside parliament. This includes the yellow/no/multi color shirts and the military. Behind the scenes, the palace and business leaders will be supporting and sniping.

Let’s look at some recent examples of this strategy being rolled out:

The various groups are best brought together by directly targeting the hated Thaksin with nationalist zeal. At Thai-ASEAN News Network, we read of an editorial in Khom Chat Luek newspaper, referring to Foreign Minister Surapong Towijakchaikul:

However, the faith of the country is now in the hands of a politician who is inexperienced in international affairs yet tasked with daunting responsibilities in the maelstrom of international politics. Many cannot help but be wonder whether Thailand’s foreign policy could sink even lower than where it is at the moment from this lack of experience. Thailand is in imminent danger of falling prey to crafty foreigners.

The international community may have already realized that it would not take much work to exploit Thailand which is currently ruled by a puppet government who came to power on the false pretense of democracy in order to benefit only a certain group of people.

… In the time when the Foreign Ministry is headed by a politician who is subservient to only a certain group of people, the bureaucrats are the only hope of installing the ministry back to its glorious days.

In this, the language mimics that of the People’s Alliance for Democracy and also reflects its concerns. Perhaps the claims by the Network that: “Despite the same broadcasting entity, TAN Network is absolutely independent from ASTV” need revision to match reality.

Surapong’s decision to respond to Japanese questions about Thaksin created an opportunity for the Democrat Party to get pious on rule of law and parliament. For example, the Bangkok Post states:

The opposition Democrat Party is seeking to take legal action against Foreign Minister Surapong Towijakchaikul for helping ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra to enter Japan.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday said it was wrong for the government to arrange for Thaksin, who is on the run from justice, to get special permission to visit Japan between Aug 22-28.

… Mr Abhisit said the Yingluck government is obliged to comply with the verdict and enforce the law by bringing Thaksin back to face justice.

Government officials who are found to help a fugitive could also face prosecution, Mr Abhisit said.

He said the Democrats’ lawyers are looking at legal steps to be taken against Mr Surapong and other government officials who may be involved.

Thaksin not wanted?

Abhisit has said that he sees a real opportunity to attach the new government on this issue and will push it in the courts and in parliament. Forget all the stuff about charges against PAD supporter, speaker and booster Kasit Piromya who was foreign minister for the entire period of the Democrat Party-led coalition. The Democrat Party is seeking nothing less than the impeachment of the foreign minister, and as The Nation has it, will ” take the case to the National Anti-Corruption Commission for an investigation into whether there was any individual behind the foreign minister’s moves and whether Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – who is Thaksin’s sister – was involved with this matter.”

Abhisit has maintained his “rage,” with the Bangkok Post stating that:

Abhisit also warned that Yingluck government should not do anything considered as a double standard. He was apparently referring to Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who is behind the victory of Pheu Thai in the July election and the appointment of Yingluck to the premiership.

It is quite a surprise to hear the master of double standards making such a statement. We imagine that Abhisit was simply being a smart-ass.Of course, the anti-Thaksin media does it part, keeping Thaksin on the front page as “a fugitive”” day after day. And just to make it feel more like a re-run (this time of 2005-06), Surapong has responded by lodging “a complaint with Phaya Thai police against Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and three other Democrats for defamation and filing a complaint with false accusations against him.”

A related Democrat Party approach is to target Yingluck as a political beginner, but also to “show” her puppet status vis-a-vis Thaksin:

Former PM’s office minister Ongart Klampaiboon challenged Yingluck to clarify her party’s position and answer the questions on government policies herself to prove her leadership.

Ongart added that the premier had said her party has working groups on policy and that she had selected her cabinet by herself, so she should answer the questions herself to show that she was really involved in policy drafting.

Tul at the Japanese embassy

The re-mobilization of the yellow shirts as an anti-Thaksin movement is also beginning. This time led by Chulalongkorn University medical doctor Tul Sitthisomwong, who has “submitted a letter at the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok this morning, opposing the special entry permit given to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.” He also led a protest by yellow multi-color shirts at the Japanese Embassy.

And just to round things out, even relations with the military, which some think is a part of a palace-Thaksin deal, is suggesting that tensions are bubbling up in a way that will see the royalist military plotting and scheming.

PPT assumes that this is just the beginning….



6 responses

23 08 2011
The anti-Thaksin media at work | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Skip to content HomeAbout usPending casesConvictionsCommentaryTake Action ← Bringing down the Puea Thai government August 23, 2011 · 7:59 […]

25 08 2011
บทความแปล: การล้มล้างรัฐบาลพรรคเพื่อไทย | ThaiUK Press

[…] บทความแปล: การล้มล้างรัฐบาลพรรคเพื่อไทย อ้างอิง: […]

30 08 2011
รัฐซ้อนรัฐ | ประเทศไทย Robert Amsterdam

[…] แต่ก็ไม่ได้ทำให้ความพยายามใน การทำให้รัฐบาลชุดใหม่อ่อนแอ, […]

2 09 2011
Yellow shirt re-branding | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Earlier in the week the  media reported that elements of the yellow shirts continue to re-brand. We have already seen yellow-shirt demonstrators opposing red shirts become no color/multi-color demonstrators led by the re-branded People’s Alliance for Democracy acolyte, airport occupation speaker and representative Tul Sitthisomwong. […]

3 09 2011
4 09 2011
PM assigns red shirts to deal with protests By The Nation The prime minister has ins - Page 2 - - The Thailand Forum

[…] People’s Alliance for Democracy acolyte, airport occupation speaker and representative Tul Sitthisomwong. During the election, as PAD pushed its failed No Vote campaign, the link between its New Politics […]

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