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06BANGKOK1825 NSC SECRETARY GENERAL JOINS CHORUS: THAKSIN’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED

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“57973”,”3/24/2006 10:44″,”06BANGKOK1825″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“06BANGKOK1767″,”VZCZCXRO0473

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #1825 0831044

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 241044Z MAR 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7444

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC”,”C O N F I D E N T I A L

BANGKOK 001825

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TH

SUBJECT: NSC SECRETARY GENERAL JOINS CHORUS: THAKSIN\’S

DAYS ARE NUMBERED

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 01767

 

B. BANGKOK 1667

 

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce reason 1.4 (b) (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: NSC SecGen Winai told the Ambassador on

March 24 that PM Thaksin had lost the support of the educated

and middle class, and would have to step down. He pointed to

the court decision yesterday against the planned

privatization of a major utility as yet another blow to the

PM. He complained that Thaksin had missed many opportunities

to resolve the situation. He affirmed that the military was

taking a neutral position. Gen. Winai\’s assessment is in

accord with many of the other senior Thai figureswe have

spoken to, but, like them, he cannot map out an exit strategy

for the beleaguered PM. End summary.

 

2. (C) The Ambassador met on March 24 with National Security

Council Secretary General Winai Phattiyakul. After a brief

discussion of refugee issues, Gen. Winai ushered everyone

else from the room to discuss the current political

situation. Gen. Winai pointed to yesterday\’s Administrative

Court decision against the privatization of the Electricity

Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) (septel) as yet

another blow to the Prime Minister. Winai said that \”100

percent\” of the educated people and middle class were now

convinced that Thaksin had to go. Unfortunately, Thaksin

continued to listen to a cabal of advisors who were telling

him to stay and fight. (Gen. Winai listed the usual suspects

in the \”hawks\” group, except that he believed that DPM Wisanu

had switched sides and was now looking for a way out.)

 

3. (C) Winai was concerned about the possibility of violence

in the large opposition demonstration on Saturday when a

large number of anti-Thaksin protesters are expected to march

from the current site to an undisclosed location. DPM

Chidchai, according to Winai, was eager to take a \”law

enforcement\” approach, and had considered trying to close

down the sit-in around Government House. Police reportedly

tried to remove the tents sheltering the demonstrators

earlier this week, but had met with such a hostile reaction

that they had backed off. (Note: This is the first we have

heard of this attempt, but we are not surprised that it

failed. The demonstrators are cohesive, organized and

disciplined. End note.) Winai echoed the praise by many

Thais of Army Commander Sonthi, who pointed out that the

demonstrators were behaving peacefully and responsibly.

They are permitting traffic to pass along the main

thoroughfares, and Bangkok residents are learning to live

with the inconvenience.

 

4. (C) Winai said that Thaksin had missed several golden

opportunities to defuse the tensions. He should have

resigned when he dissolved Parliament, and let his Thai Rak

Thai (TRT) party contest the election without him. He missed

another opportunity when the parties now boycotting had

offered to participate in the election in exchange for

concessions on the way constitutional reform would be

managed. Thaksin had gotten bad advice from Parliament

speaker Bhokin, (a lawyer, not a politician, Winai pointed

out) who had steered the PM in the wrong direction.

 

5. (C) Winai affirmed that the military was \”firmly on the

sidelines.\” With the exception of some of Thaksin\’s class 10

colleagues, the military does not much like the PM.

 

6. (C) Comment: Winai, while not a Thaksin insider, is a

highly-respected and professional soldier; his views are

consistent with what we are hearing everywhere, that Thaksin

has lost his legitimacy in the eyes of most of the educated,

tax-paying class and traditional power centers, and that his

staying power as Prime Minister has become untenable.

However, like our other interlocutors, Winai could not

predict Thaksin\’s next moves, or those of the growing forces

arrayed against him.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 10, 2011 at 5:36 am

Posted in Confidential, Thaksin

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