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

06BANGKOK5466 THAKSIN ADVISOR HEAPS SCORN ON OPPONENTS

leave a comment »

“77275”,”9/6/2006 9:45″,”06BANGKOK5466″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,”VZCZCXRO2119

PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #5466/01 2490945

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 060945Z SEP 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1424

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 6029

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 1509

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 005466

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/06/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, MOPS, ASEC, TH

SUBJECT: THAKSIN ADVISOR HEAPS SCORN ON OPPONENTS

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 5349 (BANKS BOMBED)

 

B. BANGKOK 5204 (CAR BOMB)

 

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

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Efforts to destroy Prime Minister Thaksin represent

the decrepit Thai royalist oligarchy\’s desire to overthrow

democracy, according to close Thaksin advisor Pansak

Vinyaratn. In a September 5 meeting with the Ambassador,

Pansak claimed Thaksin intended to withdraw from politics

after the next election, but his opponents would continue to

harass him to try to force him out from office in September.

Pansak assured the Ambassador the August 24 car bomb incident

represented a genuine assassination attempt. He derided the

Army Commander\’s recent call for negotiations with militants

in southern Thailand and noted the Army was split along

political lines. End Summary.

 

THAKSIN TO WITHDRAW… IF HE SURVIVES

————————————-

 

2. (C) In a September 5 meeting with the Ambassador, Pansak

Vinyaratn, one of Thaksin\’s closest advisors and political

strategists, confirmed the Prime Minister\’s intention to

withdraw from politics in the near future. When the

Ambassador mentioned Thaksin\’s private remark that he would

take this step after the upcoming legislative election,

Pansak did not dispute the timing. However, he noted that

Thaksin\’s enemies — and specifically Privy Council President

Prem Tinsulanonda — hoped for his ouster in September. Prem

and his allies hoped to get rid not only of Thaksin, but also

Thailand\’s democratic system, Pansak asserted. The royalist

oligarchy wanted to return to a prior era in which the

Palace, not democratically elected politicians, would reign

supreme.

 

3. (C) Pansak claimed Thaksin\’s enemies \”want to assassinate

him.\” They envisioned that this act would force the King to

intervene in politics and prompt a restructuring of the

current system of governance. Pansak assured the Ambassador

that the August 24 car bomb incident (ref B) represented a

genuine assassination attempt. As the Ambassador pressed for

further detail, Pansak acknowledged that the plotters behind

the car bomb likely had further plans in the works, and

Thaksin\’s family members might become targets.

 

4. (C) Pansak claimed that Prem had signaled his intentions

and intimidated two cabinet members (Cabinet Secretary

Borwornsak Uwanno and Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu

Krea-ngam) into resigning in June. Pansak claimed that Prem

had sent a clear signal by asking their view on whether

constitutional provisions allowing the King to take on a

political role might be invoked in the event of Thaksin\’s

death. (Note: This account differs from that provided

directly to the Ambassador by Borwornsak — septel. End

Note.)

 

THAKSIN AS A DEMOCRAT LOYAL TO THE THRONE

—————————————–

 

5. (C) Machinations from the Palace stung all the more,

Pansak claimed, because Thaksin had consistently shown

respect for the royal court and had defended the King\’s

interests. Thaksin had sought to protect the King\’s

reputation when an American author recently published a

tell-all book about the royal family. More importantly,

Thaksin had taken steps to promote and protect the assets of

the Crown Property Bureau (CPB). Thaksin had substantial

assets of his own with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), in which

the CPB was a major stakeholder — and an SCB figure who was

also a relative of the Queen (NFI) had even represented

Thaksin in negotiating the highly controversial sale of Shin

Corp to Singapore\’s Temasek Holdings.

 

6. (C) The royalists, however, feared that Thaksin\’s

policies, which benefited and empowered the rural majority,

would erode their own standing. The royalists were against

democracy, he noted, dismissing the critique that Thaksin had

consolidated power to an extreme degree. Pansak cited the

existence of over 2,300 community radio stations and over

1,000 print media outlets as proof that Thais under Thaksin

enjoyed freedom of the press; only a minority of these

outlets were anti-Thaksin — and, ironically, their revenues

had grown considerably because of the political crisis. (The

 

BANGKOK 00005466 002 OF 002

 

Armed Forces monopolize television broadcasts, Pansak pointed

out.)

 

7. (C) When the Ambassador asked whether Thaksin had acted

wisely in dissolving the parliament in February, Pansak

retorted that the decision was inconsequential. Whatever

Thaksin did or did not do, his enemies would continue coming

after him; unconstrained by legal or rational justifications,

these opponents would find ways to attack. Tragically, while

the royalists and oligarchs were undermining Thaksin, the

political landscape was bereft of credible alternative

leaders. Given the King\’s age, it was imperative for the

Thai population to begin preparing psychologically for the

King\’s passing and for a transition to a system increasingly

reliant on democratic structures rather than royal authority.

The current crisis forestalled such preparation, however.

\”It\’s all about Prem becoming Regent,\” Pansak warned.

 

A SPLIT ARMY

————

 

8. (C) Pansak dismissed with annoyance reports that Thaksin

was influencing the upcoming reshuffle of military officers.

However, Pansak acknowledged the military was split along

political lines, and this lack of unity would prevent a move

by Army Commander Sonthi Boonyaratglin against Thaksin.

Pansak harshly derided Sonthi\’s recent public call for

negotiations with militants active in southern Thailand: \”Do

you think we sit on our ass, doing nothing?\” It was

impossible to negotiate, however, when one could not identify

the militants\’ leader. The timing of Sonthi\’s remark was

also wrong, Pansak said. It sent a signal of weakness to

call for negotiations right after a dramatic series of bomb

attacks on banks in Yala province (ref A).

 

COMMENT

——-

 

9. (C) Pansak adopted a defiant tone, but, although

previously confident that Thaksin would prevail, he now

seemed resigned to the eventual triumph of those whom he

considers to represent Thailand\’s old order. We noted he

appeared to leave open the prospect of Thaksin being forced

out of politics before the next election, contrary to the

plan the Prime Minister himself had previously confided.

BOYCE

Advertisements

Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 5:39 am

Posted in Confidential, 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: