The old gang gets a crowd II

28 10 2012

The Nation and the Bangkok Post estimate 20,000 attended the the military-royalist Pitak Siam rally at Royal Turf Club. Police claimed 6,000, but photos suggest it was larger than this.

The report says that this is a “surprisingly successful first rally…”. Not really. As PPT pointed out earlier, Boonlert said his “organisers hope to draw about 25,000 people to fill up the Royal Turf Club stadium…”. We don’t believe seasoned coupsters and ultra-royalist organizers like Chamlong Srimuang and Prasong Soonsiri were about to allow a small rally. In addition, the links to former classmate and privy councilor General Surayud Chulanont and with links to his boss General Prem Tinsulanonda were always sure to mobilize ultra-royalists.

Now the challenge for the Yingluck Shinawatra government is the Pitak Siam plan “for a bigger demonstration at Government House…”. The challenge for the old soldiers and yellow-shirted coupsters is to find reasons for people to rally with them. One strategy is the claim that the “government had done nothing to stop several people from attacking and violating the royal family…”. This is fabricated nonsense, but ultra-royalists have always been sure that “red shirts are republicans.” So the search will be on for acts of “disloyalty.”

In our original post, we noted that we expected yellow-shirted intellectuals to increase their sniping; it seems that has begun as the aged anti-Thaksin economist Ammar Siamwalla has rejoined the political fray. The Post report refers to “Surachai Sirikrai, a political scientist from Thammasat University” damning the government and making bizarre claims that Pitak Siam could grow to be a “Thai Spring.”

Meanwhile, the Democrat Party has coordinated with the Pitak Siam events by launching a campaign to “save democracy.” Again plagiarizing red shirts, the idea-less DemoPADs have begun “opening political schools and calling on their supporters to fight against Thaksinomics.” The conservative elite’s pin-up boy Abhisit Vejjajiva made an opening speech entitled “Major institutions in a democratic system in Thailand’s constitutional monarchy.” As we noted above, the monarchy will again be front and center in the renewed attempts to overthrow an elected government.

Abhisit apparently “said the reason the party decided to launch the political schools was that the country’s political fighting had intensified and the objectives of opponents were different from the past. Democracy was being used as a tool for self gain.” None of this is new and, in fact, Yingluck’s politics have been so timid that there is simply no intensification. This is a beat-up by Abhisit and his military-royalist allies.

Old and failed former Democrat Party leader Chuan Leekpai expresed his support for the military and designated the main threat to the country as not the murdering royalist military but “… a new political disease since Thaksin has joined politics and bought political parties with majority votes…”. In other words, the majority vote amounts to nothing for the anti-Democrat Party. And, as expected, Chuan declared: “… there is a move to topple the monarchy with the committing of lese majeste offences…”. As we said, nonsense, but the plan is to destabilize, again with palace and royalist support.

The picture is pretty clear. This is a coordinated and planned move against the elected government.

As a footnote, PPT thinks it worth observing that yet another royalist overthrow of an elected government is likely to mean the end of the monarchy as republicanism will be the only alternative for those who want elections as expressions of political will to be respected.



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