More on Suthep and the judicial coup

6 04 2014

Earlier PPT posted on Suthep Thaugsuban’s speech to his supporters on this topic using a report at The Nation. It seems, however, that The Nation’s reporters and editors left out some of the juicier details of Suthep’s rant.

Khaosod reports on the speech where Suthep’s demagoguery became megalomania. In outlining his plans for how victory would be his, Suthep said that his supporters should mobilize local networks and “wait for the day of battle,” stating: “When I blow the whistle, all of these members must be present…. Bring out all the healthy persons, so we can embark on a prolonged fight, for at least 15 days.”

If there was a verdict by the Constitutional Court that removed Yingluck Shinawatra from her position, there would be an “instant mobilisation” with the anti-democrats being told they “will occupy Thailand so the sovereign power shall truly belong to the people.”

Suthep stated that:

that he would then install himself as the “Sovereign Body” who will wield absolute power via numerous “Revolutionary Decrees” and adoption of a single charter provision as a legislative blank cheque – in the same manner of military dictators in 1960s, such as the notorious Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat.

“We will have something like Article 17 [of 1959 Administrative Charter] as the highest law,” Mr. Suthep said, referring to the charter article which allowed Field Marshal Sarit to fight suspected Communist threats by all means, “[I] will be able to order anyone to be executed by firing squad, but I will only freeze assets”.

… “As a Sovereign Body who has seized power, I will have the power to appoint Prime Minister and Cabinet members at my own discretion. Then I will present this list to His Majesty the King, so that he can approve them as the People’s Government”.

Once His Majesty the King signed his approval for the “people’s coup”, Mr. Suthep said, the PCAD will proceed to appoint National Legislative Assemb[l]y and “People’s Council” as two unelected legislative bodies to engage in “reforms” for Thailand.

Suthep added that he would “return the power to the people once the ‘reforms’ are completed, but warned that he would mobilise his supporters onto the streets if the government he had appointed ‘failed to perform its duties’ as assigned by the PCAD.”

Khaosod observes that this “is the first instance in which he clearly outlined the procedures” for his so-called reforms.

Suthep was also prepared for a fight with red shirts as he “urged his supporters to be ready for prolonged rally in Bangkok for over 2 weeks in order to ‘deter’ any opponents who would march into Bangkok and challenge his status as the Sovereign Body.”

While this might be Suthep’s first public embrace of a scenario that promises civil war and extreme repression, his claims and statements in this speech bring together many statements and actions by the anti-democrat leader that have been chilling. Suthep now publicly embraces a form of 1930s-style Fascism for Thailand. While giving a nod to monarchism, Suthep promises his fascist royalists a new vision for Thailand: a civilian-led dictatorship.

Fearing Somsak

15 02 2014

In reading an op-ed by Kong Rithdee at the Bangkok Post, we at PPT were reminded that lese majeste is about something more than the display of loyalty-expressed-as-hatred that is usually associated with ultra-royalist responses to what they define as an attack of the “revered institution.”

Bombings, shooting, threats, stalking, social media campaigns and long jail sentences have all been associated with those considered to have trespassed beyond the invisible yet  constantly moving boundaries of what is “acceptable” on the monarchy for royalist extremists. Kong refers to some of these nasty witch hunts in the context of the recent attack on historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul, led by the Army and then followed up by gunmen in support of the military and/or unknown royalist fascists.

Kong refers to “thoughtcrime in the land of crooked smiles…”. He observes:

It’s a cruel irony that while everyone — of all colours and inclinations — is parroting the true worth of democracy, we’re also living in a time when thinking and writing can be a crime. Hit-and-run suspects get bail (remember the Red Bull heir?), suspected murderers get bail (remember Kamnan Poh?), but thinking aloud on highly sensitive topics, like Mr Somsak did, could get unknown thugs firing at your house, or get you thrown in jail without bail — like Somyot Prueksakasemsuk was after he was convicted under Section 112.

Why is this? We think it is because Somyos, Somsak and other like them generate tremendous fear in their opponents.

The fear is that the emperor will be seen to be naked.

The fear that if the monarchy is seen for what it really is – a dysfunctional family that has been politically and economically rapacious – will quickly undermine the hierarchical system where the monarchy is a keystone institution. If it is undone, politically or ideologically, they fear that the royalist system will also collapse.

They fear that their regime of control and repression is brittle.

Protecting against these fears requires fascism, horrendous repression and hatred.

This is a fear that makes for a royalist elite nightmare. It is a nightmare they deserve.




Updated: Anti-democrats on violence

27 12 2013

Breaking inAs expected, the anti-democratic movement has defended its violence with denials and attacks on others. Their story is supported by some of the more egregious media such as The Nation.

The anti-democrat make-believe story is that police “commenced firing tear gas on unarmed protesters from the People and Student Network for the Reform of Thailand.” That Network is a protest-hardened PAD organization made up of thugs from vocational schools and southern “rubber farmers.” Both groups have a reputation for violence.

Broken wallAs is well-known, these demonstrators were neither unarmed and nor were they peaceful (see the photo of the machete wielding thug). They attacked the Thai-Japan stadium with the specific aim of cutting and pulling open gates, smashing and scaling fences (see the pictures above and right) and attacking police with the sole aim being to sabotage the electoral process they hate and fear. Notice that in our last picture below, the gates are smashed in from the outside.

The claim that these protesters were “simply there to exercise their constitutional right to peacefully demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the 2 February, 2014 election registration…”, is a bald-faced lie. No more, no less.Machete man

The claim that they “did not have any protective apparatus and were forced to use makeshift gear made of thin surgical masks, towels, and plastic shower caps” is equally false as seen in the picture below.

The claim is made that police used “live ammunition resulting in dozens of injured innocent protesters and at least 2 deaths.” We have seen no documentary evidence that police used live ammunition.Gas mask

The anti-democratic movement says it “condemn[s] the violent means and excessive force employed by Yingluck Shinawatra’s caretaker government and the police today. Law enforcement officials were not acting in self-defense…”. All the evidence indicates that this is another lie and they make no statement in the official announcement about the shooting death of a policeman.

Smashed gatesOn stage, however, Suthep Thaugsuban condemned the dead policeman as being a red shirt supporter and continued the fabrications regarding his increasingly violent movement. Suthep supports violence as a necesary means to gain and retain power over those who champion elections. We saw that in 2009 and 2010 when he had access to state power and weapons and he is doing it again with thugs and a hatred that threatens his opponents with death.

Suthep’s lies and class hatred are piled high: he says “our movement will remain peaceful and unarmed.” The death of police and red shirts demonstrates his hatred and lies. These dead are considered lesser humans than “his” dead and injured. As in claims about his opponents being lower individuals and from the basest classes, he condemns them in death as lesser humans too. It is in the nature of the anti-democrats to claim that those with wealth and power have the right to rule over the lesser beings.

That the anti-democracy movement considers their cause righteous and their opens lesser humans is illustrated by ventriloquist’s dummy Abhisit Vejjajiva, who aping the now-disabled queen, visits “his” injured protesters with other members of the hideously misnamed Democrat Party.Abhisit It is clear that Abhisit is now no more than Suthep’s political servant and that the Democrat Party is yet another tool of the fascist royalists.

Suthep promises more violence: “I therefore renew my plea for civil servants everywhere to join us openly…”. He says his supporters must be ready to fight again: “Today’s events are a valuable lesson. After new year’s, we will stand ready to fight the Thaksin regime and this proxy government bare-handed [sic.].”

He claims that his fighters are righteous and only the violence of lesser beings is real violence: “I am confident that today has taught us much in this regard. Unlike the violent protests of 2010, we are peaceful and collected [sic.]. We must so remain until victory is ours!”

Suthep demands that his provincial gangs prepare for more violence: “Provincial PDRC units, please take note. After new year’s, we will move ahead with reforming Thailand, so please stand ready in Bangkok and across the nation.” Reform has become a metaphor for inciting violence. That violence remains targeted at preventing elections and demanding that his allies in the Election Commission support the anti-democrats: “Let me stress again that The Election Commission should recognize after today that we are not giving up.” In other words, the violence was carefully planned as a strategy to defeat any attempt at electoral politics.

Update: At the anti-democratic movement’s Facebook page, spokesman Akanat Promphan makes day into night and white into black:

Please evaluate all information with care. The caretaker government is distorting and misrepresenting events to the public to cause misunderstanding and further division. We urge everyone to take note, and we thank you for keeping an eye out for any misinformation.

As far as we are able to tell, the truth remains an elusive and endangered species in the hands of the anti-democrats. Interestingly, their Facebook page is full of stories from The Nation and the Bangkok Post.

Further updated: Double standards (again)

30 11 2013

In a recent post we had this:

Note 4: Readers will no doubt remember the pained complaints of the Abhisit government and its supporters when red shirts were accused of being too pushy, demanding and scary in dealing with the Chulalongkorn hospital in May 2010. There seems – as yet – no such outrage when the Suthep lot turn off water and power at the police headquarters and the Police Hospital next door. The Bangkok Post reports that People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) and the Dharma Army – these are essentially Chamlong’s Srimuang’s yellow shirts – potentially impacting 500 patients. Meanwhile, the hopelessly hopeless National Human Rights Commission managed to shake its biased and hopeless collective head, but suggested that the power cut was not the work of the nice royalist allies demonstrators.

We followed this post on yellow shirt bias in the NHRC and the media – where has the condemnation and outrage been? – with a post of a video link of the cutting of power.

Now there is some evidence of the anti-government protesters hurling projectiles at police as they try to restore power to the Police HQ and hospital (which did have some back-up generators).police hospital

There are also reports of demonstrators targeting the day school attended by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s 11 year-old son and a bomb scare at an after-school facility he attends. Some of these threats to a tiny boy have been justified by Democrat Party spokesperson Mallika Boonmeetrakul. She has a history of histrionic and neo-Fascist outrages.

There are also sporadic reports of serious attacks on red shirts, such as stabbings – again Asia Provocateur is a good source for some of these reports – yet almost none of this is being widely reported in the mainstream or international media.

Attacking childrenKhaosod has reported some of this – see our snip of their story – but has been lambasted by the protesters as a pro-Thaksin newspaper, while not denying the Democrat Party strategy of targeting Yingluck’s son; how could they when Mallika defends this heinous and cowardly stuff.

The Bangkok Post is downright misleading on such events, saying: “Rallies by anti-government protesters have been largely peaceful in the capital…”. That’s a fabrication, as the above indicates, but as the police have not arrested anyone or aggressively confronted any protesters and nor has the Army been sent in, the violence is limited to sporadic and provocative acts by the protesters, egged on by the Democrat Party leadership.

In that report, the Post, as is its bias, lays blame on red shirts and the whole report is of alleged red shirt/pro-government. In an editorial the Post writes: “During the past few days, there have been reports of clashes between supporters of both camps. Although they were only minor scuffles, they have the potential to trigger a much larger confrontation…”. Where is the Post’s reporting of anti-government protester violence? Where is its outrage of an attack on a hospital? In the wash with the management’s yellow shirts and double standards? To be a serious newspaper, the Post needs to be reporting all attacks and intimidation.

The international media needs to take up the challenge of TIME magazine’s headline and show the deeply and dangerously right-wing ideologies and actions that the Democrat Party promotes. Their violence has been seen in 2009, 2010, in parliament and on the streets.

Update 1: It has now been reported at The Nation that Prime Minister Yingluck has “asked protesters not to blow whistles into the face of her son as a symbol of protest against her…. She said the protesters should vent out their anger at her, not at her son…”. Yingluck added: “I won’t run away. I’m still here. Although I am a woman, I won’t run. I dare to face all the incidents.” While the report states that the school principal denies there were attacks of whistle-blowing, and the school’s website is currently down, PPT’s usually reliable sources say the protesters’ cowardly anger shown to an 11 year-old was real but short-lived.

Update 2: Khaosod has a story on Yingluck’s son being harassed and her plea. We finally got to the Harrow School site and the headmaster’s statement. The statement is ambiguous, speaking to “politically motivated attempted security breaches at School.” As far as we can tell, and Khaosod is most detailed, this does not address the issue of events outside the school’s gate or to other parents acting politically, although the latter is acknowledged when the headmaster states: “I request that all parents support the School by ensuring that no politics are brought on Campus.”

Violence and bias

28 11 2013

Readers will find Asia Provocateur Andrew Spooner’s recent post on violence and media bias of interest. His point is that these demonstrations, like those of PAD in earlier days and the various ginger groups that preceded Suthep Thaugsuban’s current lot, ooze right-wing and violent ideology. He uses the term fascist to describe the “movement.”

Their spokesperson says they are “civilized.” If they say it, the idea seems to be that it will eventually be believed. She should have just said that the protesters represent the rich, for the rich believe they are civilized compared with the nasty red shirt lot who are farmers and workers.

It seems that some of the media supporters of the current lot are having second thoughts:

It is undeniable the government has reached an impasse and lost legitimacy to run the country…. But the protesters are also destroying their own legitimacy more and more by violating the laws.

The first sentence is wrong, but the second betrays the concern that Suthep is losing momentum.

Updated: US ambassador loves the king

7 01 2012

Is U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney serious or is she misquoted? At The Nation, she is reported to have told a small group of newspaper editors meeting her at her residence: “We love your king…”.

Let’s assume she is quoted accurately.

Kenney and another royalist

We can’t think of a similar example of silliness and nonsense from someone with the exalted position of ambassador.

And who is the collective “we”? Count us out!

For us, it is quite outrageous that a foreign ambassador should behave in the manner of a maniacal royalist. For Thais reading this bizarre bleat, she is making a statement that affirms “loyalty” to a foreign head of state. In our memory, not even the remarkably compromised, coup-supporting envoy Ralph Boyce made a claim of love for the king.

Kenny seemed to want the meeting where she made this ludicrous statement to reiterate that the “United States would never interfere in Thailand’s political affairs, and that controversial Article 112 is a legal matter to be sorted out by Thais only.”

But by making the absurd claim of “love,” she is intervening in domestic politics in support of fascist royalists. Is she ignorant, driven by Facebook and Twitter, or is she simply out of her depth? Perhaps all of these.

Related, her claims continue to demonstrate the embassy’s flawed position on lese majeste victim and U.S. citizen Joe Gordon. Joe is in prison for a crime in Thailand that was allegedly committed in Colorado, a state in the country the ambassador is meant to represent.

While the embassy did precious little for Joe, apparently the ambassador has been flummoxed by the ultra-royalist backlash on the embassy’s exceptionally mild comments about Joe’s conviction. How weak-kneed can an ambassador be?

In case the ambassador hadn’t noticed while she decked her halls and went to society events, Joe’s still in jail!

Update: For more on solidarity with Joe, PPT suggests a visit to this website.


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