Another plot…

16 07 2015

The military dictatorship has managed to come up with quite a few “plots” since its 2014 coup. Several of them have been for media consumption. Some have been to frighten or threaten. Others have been to jail “plotters.”

The most bizarre so far came from General Thawatchai Samutsakhon, a military member of the National Reform Council.

Before we get to that claim, recall that the same general came up with the absurd claim that the Dao Din students being under the influence of an “ill-intentioned foreign organisation” that brainwashed them. The father of one of the students claimed Thawatchai had made this stuff up.

Reveling in his role as political jester, Thawatchai was quoted a couple of days ago alleged that “two political parties, whom he refused to identify, were preparing to mobilise up to a million people to descend on Bangkok to overthrow the government.”

It seems he thinks the (anti)Democrat Party and Puea Thai are joining to overthrow the military dictatorship. Perhaps he had a dream? Perhaps he is delusional? Or just mad, for he also accused the “parties of being behind violence in the deep South.”

The response of the (anti)Democrat Party was almost as bizarre:

Democrat Party member Nipit Intrasombat said: “I would like Thawatchai to be more specific on which political party [was behind the incident] so that state authorities can sue the party concerned by sending the case to the Election Commission (EC) – to have the parties dissolved. This way, no one would be mistaken.”

Nipit seems to want to suggest there is a plot! No one else of any consequence seems to agree. While Thawatchai claimed to be citing “intelligence reports,” the National Security Council contradicted him. Despite the nonsensical claims, General Thawatchai continues to be an Army commander and puppet legislator.

Further updated: Blame and other games

12 04 2015

Readers will be aware of the deadly [sorry, not deadly, but certainly damaging] car bomb in Koh Samui, causing several injuries. There is little evidence about the culprits or about the reasons for the bombing. There has been no claim of responsibility to date.

What is remarkable is that all political sides seem to agree that the attack was politically motivated, and as The Nation reports it, “aimed at challenging the government.”

The junta claims “there were ill-intentioned groups seeking an opportunity to disturb peace and instigate violence.” It reckons that because it has cracked down so hard in Bangkok that “the perpetrators have moved to other areas.”

Democrat Party deputy leader Nipit Intarasombat said the bomb “was the work of anti-government groups and had nothing to do with the southern insurgency…. The culprits focused on a tourism place. They want to demonstrate their power…”.

Thaworn Senneam of the anti-democratic People’s Democratic Reform Committee said the attack “was the work of someone who wanted to cause problems for the government and the country’s economy…”.

Puea Thai Party’s Worachai Hema believed “the attack was aimed to discredit the government after it imposed Article 44 to keep peace and order.”

PPT got a bit lost, however, when the junta spokesman said “initial reports revealed that the people responsible for the car bomb was the same group that had planted a bomb in Bangkok.” We understood that the junta had claimed to have arrested those responsible for the Bangkok bombing. Yet this turns out to be the wrong bombing!

Military “intelligence” suggests that “there is a possibility that the perpetrators were southern insurgents or natives of southern border provinces who have expertise in assembling car bombs and were hired with the same motivation as in the case of the bomb blast on Soi Ramkhamhaeng 43/1 in Bangkok…”.

That bomb was on 26 May 2013, injuring seven people. Conveniently, those responsible were sentenced less than three weeks ago. As far as we know, these men, all from Pattani, did not give up anyone else.

That attack, when the Yingluck Shinawatra elected government was in office, has been attributed to “southern insurgents.” A report in The Nation observed that some linked 2014 blasts in “Sadao and Phuket [to] attacks back to the May 26, 2013 attack on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 43/1 by an insurgent cell.” It added that political leaders at the time “maintain[ed] the Ramkhamhaeng bombing was not linked to unrest in the deep South…”. Yet, “security officials confirmed that the attack was a bid by one of the longstanding separatist groups to enhance its leverage in negotiations…”.

That report also stated that “a group did claim responsibility for the Ramkhamhaeng operation, stating its aim was to be at the negotiating table.”

If readers can explain all of this confusion, we’d be happy to learn more.

Update 1: Not prizes for guessing what this update is about. The Bangkok Post reports that all of the politicians quoted above, as well as the junta spokesmen, may all be wrong. The report states that “might have been caused by a local business or political conflict…”. That’s “according to a report from the government committee on solving problems in the southern border provinces.” At the same time, a red shirt supporter has been detained.

Update 2: As noted in our first update, a red shirt supporter had been arrested. Khaosod reports that Narin Ambuathong was arrested in Nonthaburi on 11 April. The military dictatorship’s spokesman stated that Narin was arrested an held under the draconian Article 44 of the junta’s interim institution, which allows the military to search properties and detain individuals without warrants and to interrogate them in secret, usually military, locations for seven days. He was arrested because of Facebook posts that appeared to refer to trouble in Suratthani. This report also refers to a fire that “broke out at Surat Thani Cooperative Store on the mainland, though no one was injured. Police say the store belongs to Suthep Thaugsuban, former deputy chairman of Democrat Party and leader of the street protests…”. While the idea of a cooperative being owned by Suthep seems odd, the implication is that the bomb and fire were linked political acts. Despite the earlier claimed link to the Soi Ramkhamhaeng bombing of 2013, the report says the “military junta has also insisted that the incidents are not related to the ongoing insurgency in the southern border provinces…”. They seem to be having trouble getting their story straight.

Unenforced amnesia

21 09 2014

Our header is probably as polite as PPT can be about a report in Khaosod that says “[l]eading members of the Democrat Party have denied the allegation that their party supported the anti-government protest campaign that was launched at the end of last year.”

Any one with even the slightest knowledge of the events associated with the anti-democrat movement will recognize that this is a lie.

In amongst all of the lies of recent years, this is probably the whopper to beat all whoppers.

abhisit and whistleApparently, the “leading” members of the so-called Democrat Party was brought on by “a complaint filed by Redshirt activist Sa-ngiam Samranrat to the Constitutional Court, asking the court to dissolve the Democrat Party on the grounds that it engaged in politics through non-parliamentary means.”

abhisit whistle suthepSa-ngiam complained about “the involvement of prominent Democrat party leaders in the six months of street protests staged against then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra starting last November.” That anti-democrat movement was led by former deputy premier and secretary-general of the Democrat Party, Suthep Thaugsuban. The entire leadership of Suthep’s movement were “former” members of the Democrat Party. Democrat Party leaders including Abhisit Vejjajiva repeatedly joined the protests and appeared with its leaders.

Wirat Kalyasiri, director of Democrat Party’s legal department, fibbed that:”The party did not organise the protests…”. He said “Suthep and other Democrat leaders had already resigned from the party when they joined and organised the protests.” That may be accurate. However, Democrat Party members were all over the rallies, stage and more. Only eight resigned from the party.

Just in case this defense isn’t convincing to anyone, Wirat “insisted that previous court rulings deemed the PCAD protests legal, peaceful assembly.” That kind of lie is about having one’s cake and eating it too. We weren’t supporting it, but if we were, the courts side with us.

Nipit Intarasombat, deputy chairman of Democrat Party, said “his party never agreed to endorse the PCAD protests.”

Funny, really, that Nipit says this now when he was one of the Democrat Party leaders who was directly involved in organizing the movement that became Suthep’s anti-democrats.

As we posted at the time, Kalaya Sophonpanich was one of the “first leading Democrat [Party] figures to appear on the anti-government People’s Army stage at Lumpini Park…”. Two days before that, Kalaya “joined Democrat MPs Kasit Piromya, Nipit Intarasombat and Chalermchai Srion to meet People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders to talk about forming an alliance.”

Under the military dictatorship lies are standard operating procedure, and so we doubt that anyone will raise an eyebrow. In any case, unless The Dictator declares otherwise, the Constitutional Court is unlikely to ever find against the Democrat Party.

The Democrat Party affirms its opposition to democracy

17 07 2014

The Democrat Party is widely known to have doubts about democracy, to have trashed parliament, to have supported anti-democratic movements and to be loyal to the Army and palace. How it came up with its name is anyone’s guess. Why it keeps it is an even bigger mystery.

When its deputy leader Pinit Intarasombat – we think this is Nipit (นายนิพิฏฐ์ อินทรสมบัติ) – is quoted at Khaosod as havingthrown his support behind a military-dominated National Legislative Assembly…”, it is easier to understand just how anti-democratic the Democrat Party is. Why is Nipit so keen on the military dictatorship? He tells us:Nipit

“There has to be a guarantee that they can control the majority in the Assembly,” said , referring to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which seized power in a coup d’état on 22 May.

“The government has to be confident that it has a majority [in the Parliament],” he said. “If the NCPO cannot control the majority, the methods of reforms will not be achieved.”

He was commenting on “reports that at least half of the National Assembly seats in the interim government will be filled by military officers loyal to the NCPO.” He said he couldn’t give a shit about democracy, didn’t worry about “the persons [in the upcoming appointed National Assembly]…. I am concerned with how they will reform the country. I will evaluate them based on the interim charter and their policies in terms of reform.”

What he means is that he, as a card-carrying supporter of the anti-democratic People’s Alliance for Democracy, is happy for the military to be returning power to the royalist establishment. “Reform” is a term to describe the rolling back of democracy in favor of fascist institutions and control.

Updated: Judicial action II

1 10 2013

The royalists have pinned their hopes and dreams on the judiciary and the king. At the moment, they hope to prevent parliament amending the constitution, as it is empowered to do.

At The Nation it is reported that Democrat Party MP Nipit Intarasombat sees “no justification for the prime minister’s rush for royal approval on charter change before the judicial ruling.” In fact, as we understand it, once a bill is passed in parliament, the premier is required to have it transmitted to the palace for approval within 20 days.

Four royalist senators, headed by the bright yellow Rosana Tositakul, have “petitioned for the charter court to issue an injunction against seeking royal approval until the completion of the judicial review on charter change.” They join a list of other petitioners, and the Constitutional Court has combined several of these for consideration.

The last gasp hope is that the king would not approve the bill so that it would not become law, and would allow the royalists to then demand the ouster of the government for having “offended” the king.

Update: The Nation reports that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has sent the bill to the palace for ratification. The next step will be interesting.

PADocrat propaganda

27 08 2013

At The Nation there was a recent and interesting interview with Democrat Party member Kalaya Sophonpanich, a scion of the fabulously wealthy banking family. She has recently been pretending to be a political activist, being:

… among the first leading Democrat [Party] figures to appear on the anti-government People’s Army stage at Lumpini Park on August 18. Two days earlier, she joined Democrat MPs Kasit Piromya, Nipit Intarasombat and Chalermchai Srion to meet People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders to talk about forming an alliance. In January 2006, she joined a PAD march from Lumpini Park to Government House to pressure then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra into resigning.

Why Kalaya, Kasit, Nipit and Chalermchai? She says: “We have been friends for a long time and always talk together. If we have the same ideas and same purpose to overthrow ‘Thaksin’s regime’, we should fight together seriously.” PAD and the ‘crats as long term comrades is not news to anyone who watched Kasit and Kalaya chanting for PAD.

On PAD pushing the Democrat Party to quit parliament and join a mass protest does not mean “the end of our relationship. The Democrats [she means the Party] can join with anybody who loves Thailand.”

Bizarrely, Kalaya believes it is the government “becoming more aggressive,” not her own party’s thuggish behavior that is aggressive. Even more bizarrely, she confuses the Democrat Party for the current government when she blathers “when you fight the government and lose, they will put you in jail for sure.”

And finally, she reckons the Democrat Party is broke! With a bunch of multimillionaire backers, she seems lost in a fantasy of self-delusion.

The Nation confirms that the PAD remain onside with the Democrat Party, stating:

Although the leadership of the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy had decided to step down, they would resume their fight against the Thaksin regime when the time is right, he said. PAD supporters have approached the Democrat Party about working together to campaign against the government…

Meanwhile, at Arabian Business, it seems the Democrat Party propagandists have decided that self-delusion can be bolstered by simply making stuff up.

The Democrat Party’s propaganda arm, Blue Sky TV, has claimed that Thaksin was “threatened by Al Qaeda in a clip posted on YouTube.” While every responsible source has said the video was a fake, Blue Sky not only used it but has added a claim “that authorities in the Gulf state had asked him [Thaksin] to leave…” the UAE because of it.

The Democrat Party mouthpiece presented no evidence at all. We guess that ASTV staff are busy helping Blue Sky make stuff up.


Updated: Democrat Party threats

17 08 2013

PPT was struck by a story at The Nation where the Democrat Party is said to have been the organizer of the recent rally that was originally said to have been arranged by the so-called People’s Army.

The story says that Democrat Party leaders led the rally “in a show of force to oppose the amnesty bill now before Parliament.” If it was a “show of force,” it failed as there weren’t many there. The story goes on to say that:

… the opposition [party] has demonstrated its potential to mobilise the masses and lead anti-government rallies. It also wants to prove that many people are ready to come out against the amnesty bill if it appears the government has a hidden agenda to help fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The story then claims that the [so-called] Democrats:

knew that with only 163 votes, they could not stop the government camp from passing the [amnesty] bill, and that its first street rally against the legislation was just an “appetiser”.

Democrat Party boss Suthep Thaugsuban is said to have “warned that … the party was preparing a knockout punch should the bill pass in the third reading [of the bill].”

The reporter reckons that this refers to “mega street protests.” It is added in the “best” tradition of The Nation as a fearless reporter and supporter of yellow politics:

If the government does not keep its word, and instead resorts to underhanded tactics to help Thaksin, the Democrats may not have to resort to mass mobilisation. Other anti-government protesters such as the People’s Alliance for Democracy, the multi-coloured shirts and the white-maskers would all take to the street to oppose the legislation.

For PPT it is clear that the groups mentioned here are all the same, working together, as they did in earlier years, even if they are all much weakened. But a difference now is that the Democrat Party is ditching its parliamentary role to help bring the old anti-Thaksin alliance back together, threatening violence.

Add to this the People’s Army attempt to mobilize vocational students a la 1976 strikes PPT as being a significant threat of violence.

Interestingly, many of those involved were also privy to the coup planning in 2006. So little seems to have changed for this lot.

Update: As we prepared this post, a new report confirming much of what we said above has become available at The Nation.

The relationship between the Democrat Party and PAD has long been a strong one. Again making that link explicit and formalized, it is reported that the two groups “have agreed to join political forces to fight ‘Thaksin’s regime, Democrat [Party] MP Nipit Intarasombat said yesterday.” Of course, this is no more than a restatement of their long relationship.

Nipit has met with PAD leader Panthep Puapongpan “to discuss political strategy.” Nipit is reported as stating that the two right-wing and royalist groups “had a common ground and it was now time for the two sides to join forces to fight the regime.” Other members of the ill-monikered Democrat Party included none other than PAD speaker and former foreign minister Kasit Piromya, who stated he enjoyed the PAD occupation of airports in 2008, Party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on, and scion of the rich, Kalaya Sophonpanich.

The two groups plan to bring “unity and political clout” to the anti-Thaksin movement. Nipit even stated that Democrat Party MPs may resign their parliamentary seats to become street activists.

The rejection of parliament is a core PAD theme, and the Democrat Party seems to have decided that they will do the same. It seems that virtually none in the royalist elite can accept the will of the electorate.

Democrat Party hopping mad

17 01 2013

There’s an odd report in The Nation that may simply reflect poor reporting or it could just be that the Democrat Party MPs who “called on the government to investigate and prepare to take legal measures now that the Criminal Court has found that the red shirts also used weapons during the 2010 political turmoil” are mad as hell.barking_mad

Democrat Party MP Nipit Intarasombat “asked what the government was planning to do now that the court has discovered that the ruling Pheu Thai Party’s key supporters also used weapons against military officers.”

He is yelling about an inquest into the death of Boonmee Rermsuk on 14 May 2010o . Later in the report it is stated: “… in Boonmee’s case, the court said there was not enough evidence to establish the killer.”

An earlier report at the Bangkok Post had a fuller account of the inquest into the death of the 71-year-old, “… shot by an unidentified attacker…”. It says, the “Southern Bangkok Criminal Court ruled yesterday there was not enough evidence to establish who fired the shot that killed Boonmee…”.

It adds that the “court’s ruling was based on the testimony of members of a television camera crew. They told the court an exchange of gunfire took place between soldiers and armed men who were among the red shirt protesters.” Unlike previous inquests, there were not multiple confirming witnesses. The court stated: “The fact is that the victim was hit by a .223 bullet, but it cannot be established from which side the bullet was fired…”.

An important point is made by Boonmee’s daughter, who said Boonmee “told the family while he was in the ICU that he was shot by the military.” She quite reasonably asks: “Why would he lie to us?” We have no need to ask such a question of Nipit; we know why.

Pitak Siam fails, judiciary steps up

1 12 2012

As PPT has pointed out in the past, the anti-red shirt/Thaksin Shinawatra/Puea Thai government alliance of royalists and neo-fascists has more than one string to its bow. While the Pitak Siam dinosaur rally might have been an embarrassing failure led by an embarrassing failure, this is not the end of the royalist fight to return government to the undemocratic forces of hierarchy and royalism. It has repeatedly been claimed and demonstrated that one of the main weapons for the royalists is control of the courts.

That control was initiated early in the current king’s reign as royalists sought to wrest the political loyalty of judges away from People’s Party leader Pridi Phanomyong, who had established Thammasat University. The palace’s coaxing, which included bringing former senior judges into the Privy Council, has been successful and in recent years we have seen the king repeatedly making political demands of the judiciary and heard coaching from palace figures to influence the outcomes political cases.

Hence it is no surprise to see that as soon as the Pitak Siam rally has fizzled out, the judiciary jumps back into the political action. Two cases illustrate this. The first involves the Criminal Court, which has revoked bail of Puea Thai party list-MP and red-shirt leader Korkaew Pikulthong “for violating his bail conditions.” The Bangkok Post notes that Korkaew is one of six United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship leaders charged under the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime as “terrorists” for their leadership roles during the red shirt rallies of 2010. Another 18 were charged with the same political “crime” that carries the death penalty.

Naturally, it was a Democrat Party MP Nipit Intarasombat who filed the petition asking the court to withdraw bail from red shirt leaders. Nipit is an ultra-royalist who has previous used lese majeste allegations against his political opponents. As the Constitutional Court sees itself as kind of royal-like and thus above all criticism, that Korkaew criticized it is cause for sanction, so he gets thrown in jail. Most regular readers will know that the Constitutional Court is politically-biased and corrupt. It is protected by this action in the Criminal Court and red shirts are suitably warned that they are not meant to criticize the royalist institutions.

To add to that warning, the Criminal Court dismissed the challenge to bail granted to other red shirt leaders but has moved to silence them, “banning them from speaking or taking part in political demonstrations and from leaving the country.”

Meanwhile, in another Bangkok Post story, the judiciary gets into the act again, with the Central Administrative Court halting Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat’s move to strip Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva of his military rank when the military investigated and found Abhisit “had used fraudulent documents to apply for and obtain a job as a lecturer at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.”

The courts continue to play royalist politics and their power cannot be underestimated in the royalist struggle to unseat yet another elected government and to “punish” red shirts.

Still attacking red shirts

16 07 2012

A Bangkok Post report confirms that the judiciary remains the current royalist weapon of choice in the ongoing war against red shirts. It states that the:

Criminal Court is issuing issue summonses for Pheu Thai party-list MP Korkaew Pikulthong and 20 other core members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship to appear for questioning on Aug 9, Chief Justice Tawee Prachuaplarp said on Monday.

Tawee has states that he is demanding this following “a petition filed by Democrat Party MP for Phatthauling Nipit Intarasombat…”.

Nipit’s call is based on Korkaew’s alleged “inciting unrest by calling on his supporters to sieze the Constitution Court judges if they ruled in favour of the petitions against the charter amendment bill.”

A court working group has apparently already agreed that Korkaew “might have broken his bail conditions.” The court has also issued orders for 20 others to show up to be investigated:

Another summons will also be issued for 20 other UDD core members, including Veerakarn Musikhapong, Arisman Pongruangrong, and Nattawut Saikuar, to also report for questioning on Aug 9 because they had acted in a similar way to Mr Korkaew, Mr Tawee said.

The picture of continuing harassment is clear. The role of the judiciary as a tool of the royalist elite is also clear.

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