thaicables – It's Your Right to know the Truth!

06BANGKOK1845 A WEEKEND OF DEMONSTRATIONS; NOTHING CHANGES

leave a comment »

“58210”,”3/27/2006 11:00″,”06BANGKOK1845″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,

“VZCZCXRO2565

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #1845/01 0861100

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 271100Z MAR 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7472

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

SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 001845

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TH

SUBJECT: A WEEKEND OF DEMONSTRATIONS; NOTHING CHANGES

 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission

Alex A. Arvizu reason 1.4 (b) (d

)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: A small bomb of unknown origin was defused

at the headquarters of the opposition Democrat Party on

Monday. This follows a very successful and large

demonstration Friday evening by the Democrats, who have

joined the People\’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) call for a

royally-appointed interim Prime Minister. Large PAD

demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday kept the pressure on

the PM, who spoke to his supporters on Sunday and offered to

form a government of national unity after the elections. End

summary.

 

DEMOCRATS IN THE FRAY

———————

 

2. (C) On March 27, a small bomb was found along the wall at

the headquarters of the Democrat party (the main opposition

party, which is boycotting the April 2 poll). The package

was spotted by street sweepers in the morning on March 27.

Police were alerted, and two explosives in side the package

were defused, according to a Democrat party official. He

believes that the bomb was not large enough to have caused

significant damage to the building had it gone off, but it

could easily have injured a passerby. Initial speculation is

that the location was chosen since it is on the same side of

the building as the office of the party leader. The party is

working with the police to investigate.

 

3. (C) The Democrat Party, which has played only a supporting

role in the public demonstrations against Thaksin, turned out

a huge crowd on Friday evening for its first big rally in

Bangkok since the political crisis started. The rally at

Sanam Luang filled about two-thirds of the field; the crowd

probably totaled close to 150,000, which was considerably

larger than expected. Many of the demonstrators arrived from

the provinces on chartered buses. The crowd was noticeably

different from the Alliance for Democracy (PAD)

demonstrations, with many participants clearly poorer and

more rural than the more cosmopolitan PAD crowd. The Friday

crowd responded with genuine enthusiasm to the speakers,

including Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, who

outlined the party\’s many objections to the Thaksin

administration. \”Getting 19 million votes doesn\’t mean that

you\’re above the law,\” Abhisit said, detailing the many

accusations of corruption and abuse of office raised against

Thaksin. The Democrats have joined the PAD in calling for

the King to name an interim Prime Minister.

 

4. (C) The Democrat\’s Secretary-General may face charges for

his accusations of election fraud against the PM\’s Thai Rak

Thai (TRT) party. Secretary-General Suthep has been in the

news for days, claiming that he has eyewitness evidence from

members of small parties who were paid by high-ranking TRT

officials to field illegitimate candidates in the April 2

race. TRT had a very strong interest in ensuring that its

candidates had at least one competitor, since a candidate

running unopposed must get 20 percent of the total eligible

vote. SG Suthep reportedly sheltered several such candidates

at his home in the provinces, and brought video statements

from them to the Election Commission. Now, one of the

witnesses has turned the tables again, claiming that she was

bribed by the Democrats to give false evidence against TRT,

and that she has been held against her will by SG Suthep.

Theoretically, evidence of widespread fraud by a political

party could lead to the legal dissolution of that party.

However, at this point, no one expects that to happen to

either TRT or the Democrats. The laws against bringing false

accusations of election fraud are serious, however: the wife

of Thaksin crony and Resources Minister Yongyut Thirapairat

was found guilty of bringing a false accusation against her

victorious rival in the Chiang Rai Provincial Administration

Organization and she was sentenced to almost 4 years in jail

(she is appealing).

 

MARCH THROUGH THE MALLS

———————–

 

5. (C) The People\’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) staged two

events over the weekend. The \”usual\” demonstration at

Government House drew the \”usual\” 100,000 or more. The PAD

then shifted the focus of its demonstrations to the heart of

Bangkok\’s shopping district. About 30,000 rallied on Sunday

outside the brand-new, ultra-chic Siam Paragon Mall, and

marched up the main drag for about a mile to the almost as

toney Emporium Mall. Organizers said that they had moved the

demonstrations to the shopping malls because 1) Thaksin and

his wife liked to shop there; 2) it would give more people a

 

BANGKOK 00001845 002 OF 002

 

chance to join in, since the Government House site is hard to

reach; and 3) the demonstrators would have access to the food

courts and clean bathrooms. They are taking a break from

demonstrating until Wednesday, when they promise to come back

to Siam Paragon and camp out for a while.

 

WHAT\’S THAKSIN GOT TO OFFER?

—————————

 

6. (C) Not to be outdone, the PM spoke to a group of

thousands of supporters on Sunday afternoon. He offered to

form a \”government of national unity\” after the elections,

with cabinet seats for the boycotting parties. This offer was

publicly rejected by the PAD, but the opposition parties told

the press they would have to discuss it among themselves.

(Comment: They are unlikely to accept any olive branch from

Thaksin before the April 2 vote that might shore up Thaksin\’s

legitimacy. end comment.)

 

BOYCE

 

Written by thaicables

July 10, 2011 at 5:38 am

Posted in Confidential, PAD, Thaksin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: