Who is paying the piper?

14 11 2012

While the Puea Thai Party-led government is trying to play down the Pitak Siam rally planned for 24 November, it is clear that ardent yellow shirts are hoping for confrontations. Their social media are reflecting this desire as part of a broader mobilization strategy for the groups that came together in 2006 and 2008, then under the banner of the People’s Alliance for Democracy.

National police chief General Adul Saengsingkaew, who will be responsible for overseeing the protest and maintaining law and order during the rally, seems far less sure. He states that he will “propose the cabinet invoke the Internal Security Act.” That too would please the more agitated amongst the royalist anti-Thaksinites.

Most interesting in Adul’s comments was the report that he “confirmed that reports that a group of people had contributed a total of six billion baht to a fund for the ousting of the Yingluck Shinawatra government matched information in a Special Branch Police intelligence report.” If such a huge amount is even considered likely, that is a large war chest indeed, and social media accounts have some of this coming from disgruntled rice traders.

Adul added that “the same group also supported the “anti-government rallygoers”, but declined to give further details.” In the past, rumors have circulated about support to yellow shirts from anti-Thaksin Sino-Thai tycoons from banking conglomerates and including industrialists like  Prachai Leophairatana. In earlier posts on this funding, PPT stated:

Prachai became a solid member of the group of Sino-Thai businesspeople who opposed Thaksin and, some suggest, he became major funders to PAD. Readers might also recall that one of the cases that saw the Democrat Party get off charges that originated in the Election Commission, where Prachai and TPI Polene stood accused of an illegal transfer of funds to the Party.

As we have been saying in recent posts, it really is beginning to look like the old gang is getting back together. If they have solid funding, then a long standoff, violence and political gridlock are not out of the question.


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