They will not go home

9 11 2013

Yesterday we asked: Will they go home? That question was followed by another: “Has the Puea Thai Party hierarchy’s foolish attempt to promote a Thaksin Shinawatra-focused amnesty bill unleashed a political fire storm that will be impossible to contain?”

The answers were pretty obvious when we asked the questions and are now very clear following a seemingly bizarre political action by the unelected, royalist, military spawn in the Senate.

Readers will recall that protesters were initially begging the Senate to vote down the flawed amnesty bill after the House passed it. But with a whiff of victory in their flared nostrils, the royalist opposition smells a chance of bringing down yet another elected government. By our count, if successful, this would be the third overturning of a legally-elected government by the right-wing royalists.

The Bangkok Post has reported that Senate failed to muster a quorum to vote down the “contentious blanket amnesty bill that could pave the way for the return from exile of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.” They are the Post’s words, and we need to again point out that one of our oppositions to the bill was that even as a flawed bill, it did not include the victims of the draconian lese majeste law, making the Post’s repeated use of the term “blanket amnesty” simply a politicized and deliberate error.

But back to the unelected men and women of the so-called group of 40 yellow-shirted senators.

For the Senate to meet, a quorum of half the senators is required, but with “13 senators … away on overseas trips, …[and] up to 30 … in the provinces,” the boycott of the session by the unelected military spawn meant that the bill they claimed to hate could not be voted down!

Indeed, these senators, some of whom were present at parliament, simply “refused to attend the meeting.” The bill is now scheduled to meet on Monday.

Also at the Bangkok Post it is reported that the royalist senators claimed “the group was not ready for it.”

One unelected senator who was not said: “If the session can’t take place, it means some people don’t want the country to remain peaceful. They want to bring down the government…”. Another observed that “an early debate would help defuse tensions. He said it was difficult to tell what would happen if the protests continue, citing the 2008 airport seizures by the People’s Alliance for Democracy as an example.” Of course, all of the group of 40 senators have a long history of supporting PAD. And, PAD is back.

And, one more senator made an observation that PPT had in an earlier post: “the Senate delay would only exacerbate tensions over the weekend because protest leaders want to keep the momentum of their rallies going until Monday when the International Court of Justice rules on the Preah Vihear territorial dispute.” This senator added that “these [yellow-shirted] senators are working with the Democrat Party and others to box the government into a tight corner and facilitate political changes.”

“Political changes” means the ousting of this government.

The prime minister’s secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva observed that “[c]ombining the amnesty bill with the Preah Vihear dispute would be disastrous for the country…”. At least in the first instance, this self-inflicted disaster is the government’s problem.

It will soon become the problem of the red shirts, who will again be asked to sacrifice body and soul to protect the principle of elections and representative democracy. They are the only group that the elected government can rely on with the yellow shirts mobilized.

The red shirts need to ensure that government releases all red shirt prisoners now. And, they must deal with the issue of those jailed and charged with lese majeste.


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