Suthep’s PDRC Movement, called “Like Mussolini Black Shirts” by Cato at Liberty, has taken control of Thailand’s Government House Complex to give press conference and been violently and vicioulsly attacking anyone who moved “Traffic Cones” the movement has set up. With those activities, and no one seemingly know how Thailand can move forward, has sparked, yet again, “Military “Coup.”
To break the grid-lock, some highly respected academic, says a “Neutral Prime Minister” should be the way out. The latest poll on the issue of “Neutral Prime Minister” where poll in Thailand are rarely accurate, says, however, the majority of Thais welcome such a neutral person, but the same poll also found, that a vast majority of Thais says, “There is no one neutral in Thailand.”
Holy Press Conference:
Suthep’s movement, having long blocked access to Thailand’s seat of power buildings, meaning “The Government House Complex” have moved into occupy the building, and holding “Press Conference” there.
That Suthep’s action “Shocking” to some, is nothing new, a few years back, Sondhi’s Yellow Shirts, occupied the same Government House Complex, for months, with thousands, and literally, many of that thousands, turned the many rooms, of the building complex, into all sort of space for living activity, including well known places to go to, to have sex.
But the “Press Conference” by Suthep at the Government House Complex, while was fully reported by most journalist in Thailand, “Did Not Go Viral” on the internet. To many Thais, on social network, the “Government House Complex” is just another building, again, having been taken over before, by other protesters.
Holy Traffic Cones:
What went viral, this week, is news about, quote: “Holy Traffic Cone.”
The term went viral this week after a series of very violent and vicious attacks on motorists who moved traffic cones that Suthep’s PDRC, anti-government protesters, had arbitrarily placed near rally sites.
A Thai military colonel was shot in the legs and beaten, allegedly by protest guards, on April 25 when he tried to move a cone blocking his route home. On Friday, cell phone video footage that went viral allegedly showed protest guards repeatedly punching a motorist through his car window after he tried to move a cone on a Bangkok toll road. The third and most attention-grabbing attack came Saturday, when an ice delivery man was stabbed repeatedly in his chest and stomach for moving a cone to make a delivery. The man remained under intensive care at a Bangkok hospital Wednesday. No one has been arrested for the attacks.
AP quoted the highly respected academic Pavin Chachavalpongpun, an associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies, quote: “This is not just ridiculous and absurd, this is lawlessness,” he said, adding, “The sacredness of the law has disappeared.” “Eventually the cone parody online will die down, but the reality will continue,” he said. “Those opposing the government are creating a situation of lawlessness and simultaneously acting as though they are the law enforcers.”
Holy Neutral Prime Minister
With poll saying most Thais do not believe there is a “Neutral Person that can be Prime Minister” yet, that is exactly what many Thais are trying to achieve. For example, a large group, of well respected academic, called for a neutral prime minister, to come in and set the ground law, that can be accept by all, and then hold a general election.
While the group of academic is saying that, Suthep is adamant in having an “Appointed Prime Minister” to his approval. Suthep says the current acting Prime Minister and government are not legitimate, again, calling for a new prime minister and an appointed government. Suthep, a former deputy prime minister in a government run by the pro-establishment Democrat Party, has called on the upper house Senate, the judiciary and Election Commission to step in and appoint a new prime minister.
Of course, pro-government red shirts leader Jatuporn Prompan told thousands of supporters massing on the outskirts of the Thai capital that if state agencies bend to the demands of anti-government protesters and install their own prime minister, ”we will escalate our fight . . . we will not stand for it”. Since anti-government protesters took to the streets last November, red shirt leaders have urged their supporters to show restraint, fearing confrontation would prompt intervention by the military.
Apart from the red shirts, Thailand Interim Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan Monday insisted that elections must come before reforms because “it is the law”, rejecting anti-government protesters’ demands for changes before polls. “We cannot stop the election, that is against the law,” he said. “We can have elections first and then reforms.”
Niwatthamrong, who replaced acting PM Yingluck Shinawatra after she was ousted by the Constitutional Court last week, was hopeful that general election could be held soon. He said anti-government protesters would not succeed in getting the senate to impose an alternative premier.
He pointed out the legitimacy of the current government, despite calls from People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban’s for a new prime minister and an appointed government. Suthep, a former deputy prime minister in a government run by the pro-establishment Democrat Party, has called on the upper house Senate, the judiciary and Election Commission to step in and appoint a new prime minister.
Niwatthamrong said that would not happen. “There are a lot of steps they have to do first. They can try but I don’t believe they will be successful………We don’t want violence, we don’t want any killings I don’t think there will be a civil war,” he said. Newly elected Senate Speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai called a special session on Monday, “We will discuss how to draw up a road map to get Thailand out of this situation,” he said. “A neutral prime minister has not yet been discussed as part of the road map,” he says.
Meanwhile as all of the above, Holy Press Conference, Holy Cones & Holy Neutral Prime Minister had been going on last week, increasing the Thai political “Heat” to sky high level, Thailand’s military, decided to bring back 100s of tanks and armored personal carriers, that the army said was taken out of Bangkok for military training, back into being stationed in Bangkok. Also news, perhaps rumor, leaked, that the army is secretly and quietly, “Mobilizing” soldiers, from bases all over Thailand, to be stationed in Bangkok.
The following is from Reuters (Source)
U.S. ‘reasonably confident’ Thai military will not stage coup
Source: Reuters – Tue, 13 May 2014 03:37 PM
WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – A senior U.S. official said on Tuesday the United States was “reasonably confident” the military in close ally Thailand would exercise restraint and not intervene in the Southeast Asian country’s political crisis.
Amy Searight, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, told a discussion at a Washington think tank it was “reasonable to think there were lessons learned” after a 2006 military coup, which saw Washington cut aid to Thailand, its closest military ally in the region.
“But that is speculation on our part to some degree,” she said. “Are we confident that they will continue to be restrained and professional in all of this?
“We are reasonably confident, in the sense that it’s a complex situation and a lot of things can happen and for that reason we are monitoring it closely and keeping in close touch with our Thai counterparts,” Searight said.
“So I don’t want to say that we are over-confident about any outcome … but at this point in time we don’t have reason to expect that the Thai military will change its current stance.”
The Thai military has intervened frequently in politics in the past. But it has stayed on the sidelines of the current crisis despite calls from some pro-establishment forces for it to oust the government loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown by the army in 2006.
“The military is not planning to stage a coup and it will let politicians sort the country’s problems out,” a spokesman for the army, Winthai Suvaree, told Reuters on Monday.
The Thai military has staged 18 coups or attempted coups since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.
Searight said she believed the Thai military was being “strategic” in its restraint.
“And it has been pretty open about the fact that it has no interest in getting involved in terms of running Thai politics again,” she said.
Searight said the United States “respects Thailand’s need to address its internal issues and find a path forward that works for the Thai people.”
“But in the midst of the crisis, DOD (U.S. Department of Defense) commends Royal Thai Armed Forces restraint and professionalism that they’ve shown throughout. It really demonstrates the evolution of Thai civil-military relations in a positive direction,” she said. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by David Gregorio)
(Up-Date 1) A grenade and gun attack on Suthep’s gathering, late at night, killed 3 and injured about 20. Total number of killed since Suthep went active is about 25, on all sides. Thailand’s army chief, Prayuth, after the USA says, will likely not stage a coup, has come out, to say, if the Thai crisis, continues to be violent, the army may use force (What-ever that means). Also, Thailand’s care taker Prime Minister, is trying to come to an agreement, with the well known, anti-democracy, Thai election unit to set an election date. Today, at one of the meeting between the two, Suthep protesters disrupted the meeting. The care taker prime minister, latest statement to Reuters, is that he doubt, the July 20th “Tentative General Election Date” is still possible (End).
(Up-Date 2) New York Times reports BANGKOK — Thailand’s economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter, data showed on Monday, as exports remained weak and months of political unrest threatened to tip the economy into recession. The state planning agency, which compiles data on gross domestic product, said there had been a 2.1 percent contraction in the January-March quarter, compared with the previous three months. The first quarter recorded a contraction of 0.6 percent from a year earlier. The agency, the National Economic and Social Development Board, lowered its 2014 G.D.P. growth forecast to between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent from between 3 percent to 4 percent. The country has been governed since December by a caretaker administration with limited fiscal powers, and the crisis seems likely to continue as protest groups seek to install an unelected government. The outlook for the April-June quarter and beyond is grim, analysts say. “Chances are, we are going to see another technical recession in the economy, given that the second-quarter G.D.P. number is likely to be rather poor as well,” said Gundy Cahyadi, an economist with DBS Bank in Singapore (End).
(Up-Date 3) Reuters reports Thailand’s acting prime minister on Monday ruled out resigning as a way out of a protracted political crisis that is stunting economic growth, as anti-government protesters stepped up pressure to remove him and install a new administration. Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan has replaced Yingluck as caretaker prime minister, but the anti-government protesters say he has no legal standing and they want a “neutral” government to push through reforms. Niwatthamrong met members of the Senate, which is trying to come up with a way out of the deadlock, but he told them he would not resign. “The current cabinet is legal in every way … it must stay until a new cabinet of ministers is elected in. We cannot install another prime minister while we have an acting one in place,” Niwatthamrong said in statement following the meeting. Thailand has not had a functioning lower house of parliament since Yingluck dissolved parliament in December. Bangkok is the scene of a tense stand-off between government supporters loyal to Yingluck and her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and opposition demonstrators drawn from Bangkok’s middle class and royalist establishment. The upper house Senate, the country’s only remaining legislative body, says it could select an interim prime minister but it wants the caretaker government to step down first. That has incensed protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who wants the caretaker government removed right away. “We will take democratic power and hand it back to the people,” Suthep, a former deputy prime minister in a government run by the pro-establishment Democrat Party, told supporters late on Sunday (End).