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.

The Democrat Party gets off (again)

9 12 2010

As suggested by many, the second Constitutional Court case was no great threat to the Democrat Party. Even so, the  Bangkok Post report that the case was dropped on a technicality is still a surprise for the fact that it was done so quickly. The Post reports the “Constitution Court on Thursday decided, by a 4:3 majority, to drop a case seeking the dissolution of the ruling Democrat Party accused of unlawfully receiving a 258 million baht donation from cement giant TPI Polene Plc in 2005.  The court dismissed the case on the grounds that the process of filing the case with the Office of the Attorney General seeking the dissolution of the Democrat Party was procedurally incorrect and unlawful.”

Chuan Leekpai is again all smiles (from the Bangkok Post)

The four judges who voted to drop they case are Jaran Pakdithanakul, Jaroon Inthacharn, Nurak Mapraneet and Supoj Khaimuk.  The three minority judges are Chat Cholaworn, Boonsong Kulbuppha and Udomsak Nitimontree.

This is the second case dismissed on a technicality. Double standards? Pravit’s failed state scenario? Whatever the diagnosis, the twin decisions will be seen by many as politically charged and evidence of the way that the judiciary works for the establishment.

Juxtaposed outcomes

19 07 2010

For those seeking double standards, two reports in the Bangkok Post could provide further confirmation. PPT doesn’t know any more than is in the reports, but the juxtaposition of them makes for interesting reading:

17 July 2010: “Watchdog says Thaksin culpable in TPI scheme.” The report states that arch-Thaksin Shinawatra enemy Klanarong Chanthik “said yesterday an NACC inquiry panel found that in 2003 Thaksin, then prime minister, endorsed the Finance Ministry’s bid to apply to be an administrator for TPI’s rehabilitation plan.” The essence of the story is that the Ministry of Finance stepped into the festering sore of corruption and double-dealing at TPI. Wrong it seems, so Thaksin gets another charge on a 6-2 vote in the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

19 July 2010: “DSI drops case against TPI.” The highly politicized Department of Special Investigation that operates hand-in-glove with the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime in all of its political machinations has dropped the case against “TPI Polene Plc – alleged to have violated the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act of 1992 by giving 258 million baht to the Democrat Party through an advertising company – for lack of evidence, DSI chief Tharit Pengdit said on Monday.” Tharit has been a real beaver in digging up all kinds of “evidence” against red shirts and against “anti-monarchists,” but not against the bosses in the Democrat Party. His evidence this time: “TPI’s annual report and a contract made with Messiah Business and Creation Co…”. Recall that this is the same “investigator” who used a government sketch map to bring in all kinds of people he says are part of the anti-monarchy movement.

One could easily conclude that there is something rotten in the state of Abhisit’s Thailand.

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