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06BANGKOK1470 THAILAND POLITICAL UPDATE: EXPLOSION NEAR PRIVY COUNCILLOR’S RESIDENCE; DEMONSTRATION AT THE SINGAPORE EMBASSY

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“55873”,”3/9/2006 9:44″,”06BANGKOK1470″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,”06BANGKOK1445″,

“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 BANGKOK 001470

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/09/2016

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

SUBJECT: THAILAND POLITICAL UPDATE: EXPLOSION NEAR PRIVY

COUNCILLOR\’S RESIDENCE; DEMONSTRATION AT THE SINGAPORE

EMBASSY

 

REF: BANGKOK 1445 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR RALPH BOYCE. REASON: 1.4 (D)

 

1. (U) Summary: An explosion at a police box near the

residence of Privy Council Chairman General Prem Tinsulanonda

on March 9 afternoon has reportedly injured two persons. No

motive or suspects have been found at this point. Privy

Councillor General Surayud Chulanont on March 8 called for

Thaksin and his opponents to establish a dialogue in order to

end the current political turmoil. The anti-Thaksin People\’s

Alliance for Democracy (PAD) mounted peaceful demonstrations

at the Singapore Embassy and the Thai Stock Exchange office.

End summary.

 

EXPLOSION NEAR PREM\’S HOUSE

 

2. (U) An explosion at an unoccupied police box near the

residence of Privy Council Chairman General Prem Tinsulanonda

on March 9 afternoon reportedly injured two persons. Police

sources tell us that the booth was not dedicated to security

for General Prem and had not been used for a year. Those

injured are believed to have been passersby. No motive or

suspects have been found at this point.

 

PRIVY COUNCIL MEMBER URGES DIALOGUE

 

3. (U) On March 8, Privy Councillor and former armed forces

Supreme Commander General Surayud Chulanont issued a call for

Prime Minister Thaksin and his opponents to sit down and find

a solution to the current impasse. Surayud said that he

supported Police Spokesman Pol. Gen. Achirawit Suwanphesat\’s

earlier call (Bangkok 1445) for both sides to reconsider

their stances.

 

DEMOCRATS TIRED, BUT STILL FIGHTING

 

4. (SBU) At a dinner at the Ambassador\’s residence for

visiting DAS John on March 8, several members of the

boycotting Democrat Party discussed the political situation.

They focused on the bubbling resentment over the PM\’s Shin

Corp deal, insisting that their research had uncovered

violations of law that were not being addressed in the legal

system due to the PM\’s abuse of power. We asked one whether

he really thought that these highly technical accusations

would have much resonance with the voting public. He agreed

that these might be \”technicalities\” but said they were worth

pursuing. \”They got Al Capone on a technicality.\”

 

5. (C) Meanwhile, another Thai guest challenged the Democrats

to articulate what they stood for — besides being against

Thaksin. The Democrat responded, \”We won\’t be populist.\”

(Comment: thus demonstrating the mostly negative nature of

their party position. End Comment.) More substantively,

they discussed the problems with some of TRT\’s most popular

programs. The 30-Baht health program allows anyone to visit

a government health facility and pay only 30 baht (75 cents)

per visit. The Democrats argue that this is unsustainable

and the benefit should be limited to the really needy. They

criticized the village investment funds, the \”million cow

program\” and other government give-aways as patronizing to

the rural public, and an economic dead end that keeps them

dependent on government handouts rather than providing real

income growth. They also agreed, however, that their party

had done a very poor job in the last election articulating

their platform.

 

DEMONSTRATORS MARCH ON SINGAPORE EMBASSY AND STOCK EXCHANGE

OFFICE

 

6. (U) On March 9 a crowd of about 800 demonstrators

marched on the Singapore Embassy and later to the Stock

Exchange of Thailand (SET) office. This was far less than

the \”thousands\” promised by PAD earlier in the week. The

Singapore Embassy told us that the crowd was peaceful.

Outside the SET office across from the American Embassy, the

demonstrators heard anti-Temasek sale speeches and chanted

anti-Thaksin slogans.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 10, 2011 at 4:35 am

Posted in Confidential, Prem

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