With 3 updates: Rejectionism

11 11 2013

Whatever the result of the amnesty bill [in the Senate], the “anti-amnesty” protesters will bring down the government.

Whatever the result of the World Court decision on Preah Vihear, the protesters will reject it.

Rejectionism is now the modus operandi for the protesters who hope to bring down the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

The Bangkok Post reports that “three protest groups – the Anti-Thaksin Coalition comprising civic groups in all 77 provinces, The People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism and the Dhamma Army – are now marching to the Defence Ministry.” They do this to “demonstrate their intention to reject the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling on the Preah Vihear dispute, no matter what it may be.”

They do it, led by a retired general, to seek the support of the military for their plan to overthrow another elected government. It is the political equivalent of “going home.”

Chamlong Srimuang and the Dhamma Army – so central to all PAD rallies in 2005 and 2008 – is now fully in support of the protesters and he is now taking a leadership role that sees him move from the shadows into the light. Sondhi Limthongkul’s media are at Chamlong’s disposal.

Chamlong is keen to oust the government, a position he has taken repeatedly over a very long period back to 1976.

Update 1: We guess that former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban is take seriously by his frothing yellow-shirted supporters. We also guess that they must be the only ones who can’t see the cruel irony in Suthep’s sick claim that “he is the target of a government sniper…”. Of course, it is known that Suthep is one of those who ordered snipers to murder red shirt supporters in April and May 2010. Suthep’s crass statement is on a par with his previous claim that protesters got killed because they ran in front of Army bullets. He is a disgrace and a thug or is slug the word we are looking for?

Update 2: The Senate rejected the amnesty bill that after 10 hours of debate. Can anyone suggest why 10 hours was required to get a more-or-less unanimous vote against an already dead bill? Our guess is that the royalist-yellow-shirted lot amongst the unelected senators simply wanted to grandstand in the hope of stirring further anti-government street action.

While the lower house can resubmit the bill, that house has already withdrawn all amnesty bills.

This hasn’t stopped Suthep continuing his “anti-amnesty” rally, saying: “This amnesty bill is still not dead, even though the Senate is voting to block the bill,” and calling for a “general strike by workers Nov. 13-15, and urged people to join rallies to oust the government, which won a majority in elections in 2011.”

Update 3: At The Nation, Suthep is reported to have made further calls for “a civil disobedience action against the government” that involved strikes, go-slows, “schools, colleges and universities throughout the country to cancel all classes … and display banners with messages against the amnesty bill.” He also urged  “businesses to delay their corporate tax payments…”. Finally, he “told people to show their opposition to the government-backed amnesty bill by raising the national flag at home, carrying it with them, or displaying one on their car.” Many Thais display the flag anyway, so Suthep is simply being politically too clever by half on this.

In line with this kind of cynical maneuver, Suthep suggested that people harass government ministers and MPs in public places.

Suthep also announced “that he and eight other Democrat MPs had decided to resign their seats to fight alongside the people against ‘the evil government’.”





Updated: They ain’t going home

10 11 2013

The Yingluck Shinawatra government now faces a largely self-inflicted crisis that can now easily escalate into something resembling the events of 2008.

The Bangkok Post reports that anti-government groups calling themselves “the Anti-Thaksin Coalition _ comprising civic groups in all 77 provinces, the People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism and the Dhamma Army [Chamlong Srimuang’s lot]” – read PAD reincarnated – now aims, as we predicted, “to expel the government and the heads of the parliament because they have proved to serve the interests of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra…”.

What would this group want in place of the elected government? It seems “major reforms by the people’s council.” What could a “people’s council” be? We imagine it is something like an assembly appointed by notables of the king, or maybe the military following a coup, that would act without election or through some fake process of acclamation.

In other words, representative democratic forms of government will be chucked out.

That will require a palace or military (or combined) intervention a la 2006. A 2008 scenario seems unlikely as the opposition Democrat Party has too few seats to be again hoisted into place.

One more false move by the Yingluck government and it can be brought down – the protesters hope to create that out of the World Court decision tomorrow.

After having insulted, betrayed and condemned red shirts in recent weeks, the government now needs them. Will they rally to it or has the damage been too great?

Update: The Nation is now providing a schedule of anti-government actions for Monday. The newspaper is in full campaign mode (again).





Yingluck, lese majeste and the need for “loyalty”

6 11 2013

We at PPT was not at all sure why the “Deputy spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, Lt. Sunisa Lertpakawat,” has felt the need to “reassure” Thailand and the world that “the Yingluck [Shinawatra]-led government has remained absolutely loyal to the monarchy – doing everything it can to defend the royal institution from any defamation.”

However, in the final paragraph of the short but very revealing story, it was revealed that this was a response to a proclamation by royal bloodline ninnies that came out for the Democrat Party-led opposition to the faulty amnesty law:

to clarify and reaffirm members of the royal lineage and concerned citizens of the government’s loyalty to the monarchy, Ms. Yingluck’s government has given full support to projects and activities aimed at promoting and showcasing the glory of Thailand’s royal institution, Lt. Sunisa pointed out.censorship-1

Sunisa shows that the present government is proud to record that the “Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have been working hard, in cooperation with the Royal Thai Police, to bring the [lese majeste] offenders to justice.”

Even more remarkably, Sunisa boasts that:

Yingluck’s government blocked and closed down nearly 22,000 URLs found violating the lese-majeste law, between December 7, 2011 and October 21, 2013; compared to the 2,700 closed down by former prime minister Abhisit’s administration. The number of cases reported cases has also dropped, said the deputy spokesperson.

Certainly, the number of cases has been reduced under the Yingluck government, which should be cause for some satisfaction. And, we do not believe that this is due to increased online censorship as much to the change of government and the decline in the use of lese majeste against political opponents, as was the case when Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Democrat Party government was wielding 112 like a legal mace.

We might assume that the Yingluck royalists are indeed blocking almost 22,000 monarchy-related URLs, but earlier reports from this government made claims of higher numbers, with one report stating: “By mid-2012, MICT authorities claimed to have blocked 90,000 Facebook pages because of anti-monarchy content.” We are not sure that the figures for the Abhisit period of blocking are accurate, either. Earlier PPT posts on such data are mixed, depending on source, but this report seemed somewhat authoritative:

…[I]n 2007 there was one court order to block 2 URLs. In 2008, there were 13 court orders to block 2,071 URLs. In 2009, there were 64 orders to block 28,705 URLs. And in 2010, there were 39 court orders to block 43,908 URLs. Altogether within three years after the enforcement of the CCA, there have been 117 court orders to block access to 74,686 URLs.

The reasons of the order for the blocking of websites can be ranked as follows: 1) lèse majesté content (57,330 URLs); 2) pornographic content (16,740 URLs); 3) information about abortion (357 URLs); 4) content related to gambling (246 URLs); 5) other reasons such as blasphemy, phishing/pharming (making fake websites), and even websites with content seeing the government differently on issues related to the dispersal of protesters thus were deemed to create chaos and division within the public.

So while being boastful about censorship seems an activity of lunatics, the data are screwy. Revealingly, Yingluck’s minions seem as prepared as the previous lot of royalist lunatics to boast of their censorship “successes.”

As revealing is the final claim to “loyalty”:money

the government has allocated more budget from the 2014 national budget towards the promotion and protection of the institution of monarchy, increasing it to over 13 billion baht, 1.1 billion baht more than it did in 2013.

Clearly, the declining monarchy craves and needs “promotion and protection.” That protection will cost the taxpayer US$434 million in 2014! We’d guess that’s more than all of the remaining European monarchies put together. Throw in the vast earning of the Crown Property Bureau and the royals themselves, and this monarchy is drowning in lucre. But here’s the punchline on taxpayer funding: we think that amount represents just one of many budget lines for the monarchy.

That the Yingluck government feels under pressure is not in doubt, but boasting of its monarchism won’t save it, for the lot that support the Democrat Party, PAD, the Dhamma Army and so on believe that they are the rightful custodians of the monarchy and better placed to dole out protection and promotion.





Wikileaks: Thaksin’s Chamlong and palace problems

23 12 2012

PPT finally has time to get back to Wikileaks cables and is trying to look through the 6,000 or so cables and see what we missed in our past searches of them. We are doing this in a systematic way, trying to ensure that we don’t double-up and re-post something we’d commented on previously.  At present, we have worked through 2005 and are now slowly getting through 2006.wiki

In a cable dated 21 February 2006, Ambassador Ralph Boyce discusses Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s political problems, including mounting opposition from the palace. He concludes that “[t]hings are getting worse for the Prime Minister.” Boyce states that Thaksin’s options are few as “the opposition,” while “not enormous, just won’t quit.”

Boyce sees the “anti-Thaksin coalition” as boosted by “Chamlong Srimuang, a retired general and former governor of Bangkok, was a prominentpolitical figure in the 1980’s and 1990’s” and a “prominent leader of the 1992 democracy movement” joining. He says Chamlong has “star power” and adds that his “criticism of Thaksin is especially noteworthy as he was the PM’s first political mentor…”.  Chamlong’s “Dharma Army” was set to participate in an upcoming anti-Thaksin rally. Boyce says the opposition “smells blood.”

Part of the reason for this change and polls showing a decline in Thaksin’s popularity is attributed, Boyce says, to “the modest but notable shift in the media…. Papers that formerly ignored political stories or toed the government line are cautiously increasing their coverage of criticism, particularly of the Shin Corp deal.”

Boyce then refers to “a surprisingly candid comment from a Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defense…. Admiral Banawit … noted that the [anti-Thaksin] demonstration on Sunday would be big and that ‘the government would fall’ because ‘Chamlong is very effective.’ He seemed pretty cheerful about it.” PPT assumes this is Admiral Bannawit Kengrian for Boyce comments: “Banawit is an acolyte of Privy Council Chairman Prem Tinsulanonda, which makes his enthusiasm for Thaksin’s downfall doubly interesting.” This move to palace and Prem opposition is what Boyce sees as “interesting.”

Boyce also mentions a meeting with Thaksin adviser Pansak Vinyaratn where the ambassador asks “what would happen if the situation got worse and something provoked an intervention by the Palace.” Pansak is reported to have said “TRT would not allow this to happen, tacitly acknowledging that such an intervention would be inimical to Thaksin’s interests.”

While Boyce says he can’t see any “sign as yet that the King or his closest advisors want to get drawn into this kind of political role,” the simple fact that he asks Pansak and the link to Bannawit and Prem says that the palace is deeply involved in political scheming and suggests a link to the anti-Thaksin opposition.





Bringing down the government

23 11 2012

Many in Pitak Siam are gleeful that the Constitutional Court has refused to seriously consider petitions against its rally and that the Yingluck Shinawatra government has been spooked into invoking the Internal Security Act.

But apart from that, little seems to have changed amongst the groups that are coming together to further undermine the elected government.

According to the Bangkok Post, the big rally supporters are from “the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) … [and] several active and retired soldiers will also join the ranks, along with strategic and tactical advisers…”.

Then there is the misnamed “multi-coloured-shirt group led by Tul Sitthisomwong,” which are simply ultra-royalist-fascists; the equally misnamed ultra-nationalist “Peace-Loving Thais group led by Kanchanee Walayasevi.” Of course the shock troops provided by PAD’s Chamlong Srimuang’s Dhamma Army will be there. So will the Democrat Party-aligned “Group of People from 16 Southern Provinces led by Sunthorn Rakrong” and the dinosaur  “group of state enterprise labour union activists led by Somsak Kosaisuk, a former PAD co-leader.”

The Post tries to claim that there will be new groups attending, including “the People’s Movement for a Just Society (P-move), which consists of landless farmers, displaced people, and those affected by state projects; the Network of Small-Scale Northeastern Farmers; and the Assembly of the Poor.” All were part of the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movements in the past and aligned with the PAD, so there is nothing new here.

It is somewhat surprising that the AoP is returning to the fascist-yellow side given that its grassroots supporters have previously rejected PAD. PPT imagines that the old pro-PAD leadership is struggling to regain control of the AoP.

For all of this claim to “variety”, the basic hue remains yellow and the “anti-government rally tomorrow is expected to be mainly Bangkok residents and supporters of the opposition Democrat Party, many of whom are unhappy with the Yingluck administration.”

 





Updated: The old gang regroups

26 10 2012

Prasong

The Nation reports that former intelligence boss Squadron Leader Prasong Soonsiri has agreed to join the anti-government rally nominally organized by old soldier General Boonlert Kaewprasit and his Pitak Siam royalist front. Prasong is one of those who claims to have been a coup plotter in 2006 along with senior military figures. Palace insider Prasong has explained that a cabal of serving and retired military leaders, including then Army boss Sonthi Boonyaratglin, began planning the coup in July 2006. As in previous coup-plotting, Prasong says he “wants this administration ousted.”

Prasong knows quite a bit about coups. He has been involved in a range of political campaigns over many years. Prasong has a short entry at Wikipedia that mentions his role as head of the National Security Council. The entry finishes by noting that “Prasong was a central figure in the 19 September 2006 Thai military coup that overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra’s elected government…. A palace insider and favorite of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Prasong was later appointed by the junta to the National Legislative Assembly.” Prasong has also been a strong supporter of the People’s Alliance for Democracy and a strong opponent of Thaksin. Also close to the military brass, Prasong acted as a palace and junta lackey in being chairman of the committee which drafted the 2007 constitution.

Pitak Siam is boosted by Prasong’s decision to again emerge from the shadows and push for extra-judicial and extra-constitutional politics. The paper also reports that the infamous Dhamma Army is going to show up. These royalist militants are rabid supporters of the PAD’s Chamlong Srimuang and the Santi Asoke sect.

Also rejoining his old anti-Thaksin allies is General Pathompong Kesornsuk, said by the report to be a “former chairman of advisers to the Armed Forces.” That’s a pretty innocuous way to describe a man who is a rabid nationalist and royalist who appeared, in uniform, on the PAD stage back in 2006. Close to the yellow elements of the Democrat Party, like Boonlert, he has repeatedly made the unconstitutional call for the military to carry out coups, laced with neo-fascist ideology.

Boonlert

Boonlert, Prasong and Pathompong all have close relations with figures in the palace.

This group has stated “that they could no longer stand the rampant corruption and moves to defame the monarchy.” The latter is a nonsense claim, but one that will always be used even against the monarchy-timid Yingluck Shinawatra regime. They criticized Yingluck for having “failed to heed criticism from academics.” Shame on her! Heavens, the “academic” is just so very significant! While that hardly seems like a battle cry, this is a dangerous group that is able to mobilize like-minded neanderthals.

Interestingly the old gang’s almost all here! The gang that conspired to bring on the 2006 coup and then engineered the judicial coup in 2008 is coming back together. Sure, Sonthi Limthongkul is absent, but there are plenty of yellow shirts and he can make a grand entrance later. The question is how much of the old palace, military and capitalist support is also there.

Update: The Bangkok Post has a story on the participation of The Dhamma Army. Describing it as an “ultra-conservative religious group allied to the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy,” the Dhamma Army is one piece of the conservative apparatus that must come together if they are to achieve yet another unconstitutional royalist overthrow of an elected and popular government.

As another story in the Post points out, “Gen Boonlert is also trusted by Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda and by Gen Prem’s inner circle.” It is that inner circle which will be watching this test of the political waters.





With several updates: Abhisit reveals the contradictions of dealing with PAD

9 01 2011

Yes, we dubbed him “Teflon Mark,” but we think Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is digging himself into an ever deeper hole on the yellow-shirted border crossers.

The Bangkok Post reports that Abhisit is talking tough,warning Cambodia, reassuring the nationalists in Thailand that his government is not caving in to Cambodia: “The ruling cannot be used to support any claim by Cambodia over border demarcation,” he said in a statement indicating that the yellow shirted nationalists remain important for his government.

The prime minister sent Panich Vikitsreth, a Bangkok Democrat MP to the Thai-Cambodian border, saying “a group of Thai citizens had lodged a complaint with the government, saying they could not  make use of their land within the disputed border area.”

Recall that he earlier denied sending Panich to this particular location. That particular untruth seems now forgotten.

Panich was sent to the border with Veera Somkwamkid, co-ordinator of the Thai Patriot Network joined to the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and with members of the conservative Santi Asoke sect, another PAD ally that often sends it members into the front line of militant of nationalist actions. They follow PAD leader Chamlong Srimuang.

Abhisit says that “the PAD and Santi Asoke were also concerned about the issue, so Mr Panich volunteered to join them in an inspection of the area.”

It is clear that Abhisit knew of the trip and who was involved. Of course, the Democrat Party has a long-established connection to these groups,even if it is criticized from time to time by the yellow-shirted media.

Then Abhisit joins those who have managed to deliberately lied in the face of clear evidence to the contrary when he says:  “I don’t believe those seven Thais intended to either trespass on or spy in Cambodia…”.

PPT doesn’t believe spying was involved, but the intent to cross the border to provoke arrest is clear.

Abhisit is under pressure from PAD for more militant actions, but he is also dealing with them on this issue. And that is where his problem lies, for the extreme right pushes him for more. For example, Prasong Soonsiri, former National Security Council chief, former foreign minister and a royalist coup planner close to PAD, accuses the government of being “too submissive.”

His view is that “the government to insist that the seven Thais were arrested on Thai territory and not to accept the Cambodian court’s verdict if they are found guilty.” He adds that these seven have “contributed to society.”

Abhisit is locked into these lies and alliances with the conservative right.

Update 1: The problem for Abhisit continues as PAD scream for “no retreat,” yelling a nationalist mythology that claims land that is both in dispute but also land that “is Thai” even if not within its current agreed boundaries. See this in the Bangkok Post, where PAD issued a statement demanding that “the government to force Cambodia to free seven detained Thais without any condition.” PAD claims there is evidence – has anyone seen it? – “showing that the seven Thais were arrested in Thailand’s territory.”

PAD “condemned” all those “who had told reporters that the Thais had entered into Cambodian territory.” This included: “Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon and Sakaeo provincial governor Sanit Naksuksri.” Notice that Abhisit is missing from the list, because he hasn’t fallen into this traitor’s trap. Still, he gets a bollocking for “failing to use their authorities [sic.] to pressure Cambodia to free seven Thais.”

The yellow-shirt people group also condemned Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodian government and soldiers for arresting the Thais in Thailand’s territory and brought them into Cambodia court, despite Thailand had helped Cambodian refugees during the civil war in the neighbouring country. PAD called on the government to reject any ruling by the Cambodian court – what if they are declared innocent and freed? – and demands an “an official ultimatum to Cambodia…”.

As we noted above, Abhisit cannot easily escape the alliance that was forged in the period when the Democrat Party needed PAD activism to get them closer to snatching power. That debt is large and difficult to repay in full.

Update 2: In The Nation, Abhisit says this: “I want to bring back the seven now and all other issues will be dealt with at a later date…”. The yellow shirts really have him jumping!

Update 3: Bangkok Pundit has a neat twist on this story, linking Panich to the Santi Asoke sect: “Panich’s involvement arose because he is a Santi Asoke follower and former Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs.” This is followed-up with another interesting statement: “Panich was strongly supported in the by-election in 2010 by Santi Asoke’s Dharma Army.” The Democrat Party can’t escape its debt to the yellow shirts.





Updated: PAD and other nationalist rants on Cambodia

3 01 2011

A few days ago PPT briefly posted regarding yellow shirts arrested and held in Cambodia after going with Democrat Party MP Panich Vikitsreth to “inspect” the border in Sa Kaeo. As we reported back then, according to the Thai government, they were inside Cambodian territory by several hundred meters when arrested. Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya was about to fly off to Cambodia to rescue them while Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has called for the “immediate and unconditional release.” At about that time  Siam Voices had a round-up on the arrests in Cambodia story. This was followed by  Foreign Minister Kasit returning from Cambodia, admitting that ” a survey by officials from the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs and the Royal Thai Survey Department found that the group, which included Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth and yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid, were about a kilometre inside Cambodia.”

Bangkok Pundit now has a post on how the reporting of this story and the government’s position was rolled out.

In that post, BP has an account of an old general and yellow shirt Preecha Iamsuphan, a classmate of PAD leader and ultra-nationalist Chamlong Srimuang, demanding: “Thai soldiers must invade to obtain the return of Thai territory…”. He ranted on: “Now, there is only one answer, that is go to war. A battle to teach the Cambodians a lesson that when Cambodians take a gun over the Thai border then Thais need to take their guns over the Cambodian border in return. To chase off the Cambodians from all parts of Thai territory that they have encroached on so that it can be returned.”

Of course, it makes no difference to him that the evidence is of no entry by Cambodian soldiers into Thailand. He is talking about long-disputed territory and even Preah Vihear, where Thailand lost a World Court case. He wants it all “back.” And, he isn’t the only one. As Bangkok Pundit points out, when the yellow-shirted nationalists bang drums and rattle sabers, there is a lot to be lost for even the yellow-loving Democrat Party. At the time we checked, the last 9 stories at MCOT News related to Cambodia, PAD and the arrests:

Thai PM: Preah Vihear dispute won’t affect Thai-Cambodian relations
Monday, January 03, 2011 7:52 AM

Activists urged to avoid further conflict, not rally at Cambodian border
Monday, January 03, 2011 4:49 AM

Activists to rally at border, demanding release of Thai detainees
Sunday, January 02, 2011 6:23 AM

Thai activists submit letter to UN seeking help to release 7 detained Thais
Saturday, January 01, 2011 7:13 AM

Thai officials conduct investigation to secure release of Thai detainees in Cambodia
Saturday, January 01, 2011 6:32 AM

Cambodian Court sets no date trial of seven Thais detained for illegal entry
Friday, December 31, 2010 7:48 AM

Thai, Cambodian commanders hold border talks
Friday, December 31, 2010 3:48 AM

Thai FM fails to free Thais detained in Cambodia
Thursday, December 30, 2010 11:04 PM

Thai FM leaves for Phnom Penh for talks on release of seven detained Thais
Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:01 AM

The so-called Thailand Patriot Network has petitioned the UN and then gathered at Government House to protest the case of seven detained in Cambodia. They announced plans to rally at the border aiming “to pressure the neighbouring country to release the group.” The group is led by Chaiwat Sinsuwong and Karun Sai-ngam. PPT readers may remember Chaiwat from this post in October where he was charged with various offenses, including “terrorism” as a PAD leader occupying the airports. Expect Chamlong’s Dhamma Army to be the bulk of the protesters and local residents may oppose the yellow shirted rally.

Update: For those who think he wasn’t in Cambodia, watch this clip and hear Panich on the phone asking a colleague to tell the prime minister’s secretary that he was inside Cambodia.

http://www.youtube.com/v/5YTbiVA16Ss?version=3





Abhisit, PAD, Thaksin and Cambodia

24 08 2010

Okay, call us slow, but PPT seems only now to have worked out what the Abhisit Vejjajiva government has been up to on Cambodia. The light bulb went on when we read the article in the Bangkok Post about Thaksin Shinwatra resigning as economic adviser to the Cambodian government. Some accounts have him being sacked, but that’s the yellow-shirted press and other unnamed government sources in the Post story.

The story says that the “resignation of Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser to Cambodia and subsequent return of Thailand’s ambassador to Phnom Penh have boosted hopes of an easing of diplomatic tensions between the two countries.” Abhisit moved faster than the speed of light on this. Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya stated that the resignation “satisfied a Thai condition – that he not play a role in the Cambodian government – before bilateral ties could return to normal.”

While “Cambodian government spokesman Khieu Kanharith also said yesterday Thaksin’s resignation was unrelated to the Thai-Cambodian border dispute,” PPT can’t help joining some dots. Yes, relations between the two governments have been strained since the People’s Alliance for Democracy used the Preah Vihear historical site as an attack on the pro-Thaksin government under Samak Sundaravej.

But the sudden resurfacing of the issue around a seemingly innocuous meeting of the UNESCO committee on the site, which saw PAD leader Chamlong Srimuang mobilizing a crowd of demonstrators and then Abhisit showing up to talk with a PAD rally – all technically illegal acts under the emergency decree – suggests coordination between PAD and the government. The question for us is: did the Abhisit government mobilize PAD to bring pressure on the Cambodian government? Presumably PAD can now be demobilized now that the government appears to have gotten its way.

If that scenario is in any way accurate, it is an interesting commentary on the links between Kasit, Abhisit and Chamlong’s Dhamma Army wing of PAD.





Abhisit and PAD united

7 08 2010

The Nation reports that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has again shown that he is a close ally of Chamlong Srimuang, his Dhamma Army and the mainstream People’s Alliance for Democracy.

Not only has Abhisit appeared on the PAD stage at their ultra-nationalist rally, but he has reportedly invited the yellow shirts to “send their five representatives to join a special television programme on Phra Viharn controversy on Sunday.”

On stage, Abhisit told “the cheering crowds that he would like to thank you everybody here [at the PAD rally] as they are gathering to express their wishes to protect the country.” He even seems to have promised to overturn an MOU with Cambodia signed by a previous Democrat Party-led government in 2000.

Abhisit, in bed with ultra-nationalists, is showing just how right-wing he is. Thailand today has a leader who is in bed with the army, the yellow shirts and the rest of the right wing. Such political promiscuity is in line with the use of draconian laws to repress opposition.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has invited yellow shirts to send their five representatives to join a special television programme on Phra Viharn controversy on Sunday.
Abhisit said he and other five representatives including experts would join the programme on the National Broadcast Television or Channel 11 to be held between 10am and 1pm.

He extended the invitation as he took the stage of yellow shirts who rallied on Saturday at Thai-Japanese Stadium. The rally was led by People’s Alliance for Democracy leader Chamlong Srimuang.

Abhisit joined the forum in the afternoon after finishing some works in Hua Hin.

Abhisit told the cheering crowds that he would like to thank you everybody here as they are gathering to express their wishes to protect the country.

“I can assure you that the government has been working for the benefits of the country. We have no reason to exchange Thai territory with any benefits,” he said.

He stressed that he should neither remain as the prime minister nor be allowed to be in the Thai soil if he did so.

The premier had on Friday managed to cut a deal with the Chamlong’s PAD faction, which was initially planning to rally in front of Government House to demand that Abhisit revoke the 2000 memorandum of understanding on boundary demarcation with Cambodia as well as voice their opposition to Preah Vihear’s inscription as a World Heritage Site.

Chamlong’s the Dharma Army Foundation, agreed to gather at the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Din Daeng today to express their views, concerns and visions with respect to Preah Vihear.

He emphasised that the 2000 MOU with Cambodia is just an agreement for both countries to start border demarcation, not boundary demarcation.

The substance of the MOU is that pending the demarcation, no country should not invade into the disputed sites.

Apparently trying to compromise, the premier said we should have discussed the matter basing on the country’s benefits and after that if it is better to cancel the MOU, then do it.

Meanwhile a PAD faction, led by Veera Somkwamkit who led a rally near the Government House vowed to remain there for seven days in defiance state of emergecy.