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06BANGKOK1521 THAILAND POLITICAL UPDATE MARCH 10

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“56057”,”3/10/2006 12:24″,”06BANGKOK1521″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,

“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 001521

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

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

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TH, Thai Prime Minister,

Thai Political Updates, TRT – Thai Rak Thai,

Protest/Demonstration

SUBJECT: THAILAND POLITICAL UPDATE MARCH 10:

 

Classified By: Political Counselor Susan M. Sutton, reason 1.4 (b) (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: Suspicions fall on a rogue element of the

military or police in the case of the small explosion at a

privy councilor\’s house. Boycotting parties are challenging

the suspicious candidates they claim have been paid by TRT to

run. Civil servants in the tax department are

surreptitiously checking the PM\’s tax records looking for

transgressions to leak to the opposition. Planning for the

next round of demonstrations continues. End summary.

 

BOMBING AT PRIVY COUNCILOR\’S HOUSE — CUI BONO?

——————————————— –

 

2. (C) Most contacts, including those in the military, seem

to believe that rogue military or police officers were behind

the small explosion at the house of revered Privy Councilor

Prem Tinsulanonda on Thursday. The argument is that some

elements in the military who support PM Thaksin believe that

the perception of dangerous disorder would give the military

an excuse to intervene, shut down the opposition protests,

and appeal to the King to endorse the April 2 elections and

therefore support Thaksin. Several opposition politicians

told us on March 10 that the act could be an effort by some

on the government side to justify imposition of the Emergency

Decree that was adopted last year, and so far been applied

only in the South. (Comment: we still see no evidence of

planned military intervention. However, tensions are

increasing and this mysterious bombing certainly raises

everyone\’s level of concern. End comment.)

 

THAI RAK THAI WORKING HARD

————————–

 

3. (C) During lunch on March 10, opposition Chart Thai (CT)

party MP (and son of Chart Thai leader Barnharn Silpa-archa)

Warawut Silpa-archa, said that there are six candidates for

his constituency seat in Suphan Buri, in contrast to his one

opponent in last year\’s election. Warawut complained that

these individuals were obviously ringers hired by the TRT to

furnish an opposition for its candidate, due to the national

opposition parties\’ boycott of the elections. (See Bangkok

1475 for an explanation of why it is so important for TRT to

have at least one opposition candidate in constituencies

where it is weakest.) Warawut said that despite the

susceptibility of these candidates to legal challenge he

expects that Thaksin will manipulate the election process

successfully and the full 500 seat Parliament will convene

within 30 days of the polls as constitutionally mandated.

(Warawut claimed that one candidate slipped and admitted to a

TV interviewer that he had backdated party membership

document. The press is full of similar colorful stories.)

Warawut also said that some of his pals in TRT are unhappy

with the PM, since he is jeopardizing the whole party for his

personal interests.

 

CIVIL SERVICE OUT TO GET THAKSIN?

———————————

 

4. (C) A high-ranking civil servant in the Ministry of

Finance told us that the employees in the Revenue Department

were busy combing through Thaksin\’s tax records looking for

dirt to leak to the opposition. He also confirmed that some

civil servants were wearing black on designated days to show

their opposition to the PM. Contacts in the MFA has also

confirmed that some employees there are participating in this

action.

 

DEMONSTRATION ISSUES

——————–

 

5. (C) A contact in the military who is also Chairman of the

Bangkok Mass Transit Authority said he was ordered to have

several thousand buses in standby mode during the upcoming

demonstrations. These are to rapidly evacuate a massive crowd

from the city center if the situation deteriorates. He told

us he had several thousand bus drivers with their buses

standing by throughout last weekend. No one had made

allowances for the overtime pay this extra effort would

require, so he paid for them out of his \”Chairman\’s Fund\” of

500,000 baht.

 

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 10, 2011 at 4:41 am

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