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06BANGKOK1408 THAILAND POLITICAL UPDATE: ANTI-THAKSIN FORCES TO MOUNT FURTHER PRESSURE TO OUST THAKSIN

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“55545”,”3/7/2006 10:05″,”06BANGKOK1408″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“06BANGKOK1376”,

“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 001408

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/07/2016

TAGS: PGOV, TH, Thai Political Updates, TRT – Thai Rak Thai, Thai Prime Minister, SNAP Elections

SUBJECT: THAILAND POLITICAL UPDATE: ANTI-THAKSIN FORCES TO

MOUNT FURTHER PRESSURE TO OUST THAKSIN

 

REF: BANGKOK 1376 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR SUSAN M. SUTTON. REASON: 1.4 (D)

 

1. (C) Summary: At a March 6 rally at Sanam Luang Park,

People\’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders called for a

large scale march on Government House next week to coincide

with the meeting of the caretaker cabinet. The organizers

also plan a \”rehearsal\” demonstration at Sanam Luang on March

13, the night before the cabinet march. An umbrella group of

state enterprise employees has called for a general assembly

on March 10 to discuss possible labor actions. Thaksin

remains defiant of his critics, insisting that he will not be

intimidated and has the support of millions. An academic

leader within the anti-Thaksin movement told us that further

measures to pressure Thaksin are planned and that he feared

clashes between demonstrators and police (and possibly

Thaksin partisans) could break out. End summary.

 

LATEST RALLY CALLS FOR MASSIVE MARCH ON CABINET MEET

 

2. (C) At a March 6 rally attended by an estimated 30,000

anti-Thaksin protesters at Sanam Luang Park, People\’s

Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders called for a large scale

march on Government House next week to coincide with the

meeting of the caretaker cabinet. The marchers will

reportedly try to hand a petition to Thaksin calling for him

to resign. PAD core member Pibhop Dhongchai told the crowd

that the morning procession on March 14 could be challenged

by the Prime Minister. PAD has called for continuing

demonstrations at Sanam Luang every evening until March 13,

when a large \”warm up\” demonstration will be held on the eve

of the cabinet march.

 

ACADEMICS PROMISE MORE ACTION; SAYS CLASHES PROBABLE

 

3. (C) Chulalongkorn University lecturer Dr. Surat

Horachaikul, a leader of the Academic Network for Democracy

(AND – a part of the anti-Thaksin coalition) told poloff on

March 7 that the movement plans to mount boycotts of Thaksin

family-owned companies AIS (cell phones) and ITV

(television). AND will also stage protests outside the

Singapore Embassy in the near future and postpone scheduled

academic cooperation programs because of alleged Singapore

support for Thaksin through the Temasek Corporation. Dr.

Surat said that the movement was keeping things on a \”low

boil\” this week, but that next Tuesday\’s march to petition

Thaksin at his cabinet meeting would signal a new push to get

him out of office.

 

4. (C) Surat said that he believes Thaksin wants to exit

gracefully but will not do so until he is sure his assets are

safe. Surat said that, regretfully, some academics had

called for Thaksin to be stripped of his (presumably

ill-gotten) assets. This, said Surat, leaves Thaksin little

choice but to fight it out. Dr. Surat told poloff he

believes that in the end Thaksin will be forced out and that

the King will eventually and reluctantly intervene under

constitution article 7. He could not give poloff any game

plan by Thaksin\’s opponents save that Thaksin\’s resignation

must be followed by free and transparent polls under a strong

Election Commission. He cautioned however that he expects

the spiraling level of anti-Thaksin demonstrations will lead

to a clash between demonstrators and police (and possibly

pro-Thaksin partisans). Dr. Surat vowed to prevent Thaksin

from claiming legitimacy through what he predicts will be

rigged polls next month.

 

5. (C) Another academic from Thammasat University told

poloff in a separate meeting on March 7 that students plan to

launch a \”Vote No Vote\” campaign as soon as exams conclude at

the end of this week. The campaign would focus on convincing

voters to go to the polls on April 2 and mark the space for

\”No Vote\” on their ballots.

 

AND LABOR GROUPS CONSIDER ACTION

 

6. (C) Press articles on March 7 report plans by personnel

of a number of state firms — the Electricity Generating

Authority of Thailand (EGAT), the Metropolitan Electricity

Authority (MEA), the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA),

the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWWA) and the

Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA), to conduct a work

stoppage from next Monday to pressure Thaksin to step down.

However, Embassy labor contacts tell us that these threats

were not likely to be carried out. Some in the movement fear

a public backlash if services are disrupted, while others

question the relevancy of the anti-Thaksin movement to their

union members, saying that anti-Thaksin leaders such as

Sondhi and Chamlong have agendas that do not include labor

issues. The State Enterprise Relations Confederation (SERC)

has notified the Labor Ministry that it would like to hold a

general meeting on March 10 and may call for state enterprise

workers to ask for personal leave on March 14 to join the

anti-Thaksin march.

AND EVEN TROUBLE IN THE MALL FOR THAKSIN

 

7. (C) According to a senior editor of an opposition

newspaper, Thaksin\’s wife and children were confronted by

shoppers at an upscale Bangkok mall several days ago.

Wanchai said that they were booed by many of the shoppers and

assailed with the anti-Thaksin movement\’s slogan \”Thaksin Get

Out!\” \”Thaksin Get Out!\” Finally, security guards rushed to

the scene to escort them out of the shopping mall.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 10, 2011 at 4:31 am

Posted in Confidential, PAD, Thaksin

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