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What if Pheu Thai Wins?


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The Army's, and particularly Payarut’s, hostility to the PTP is not so much based on Thaksin or even his return. It is based on the fact that these 4 people are in the top 20 of the PTP party list and will undoubtedly become MP’s in the next session.


7. Jatuporn Promphan


8. Natthawut Saikua


12. Apiwan Wiriyachai


16. Weng Tojirakarn


3 of these are people were key figures in inciting the violence last April/May and likely have ties to the notorious black shirts. One made a speech saying the black shirts were coming to defend the red shirts and all have encouraged people to attack the Army and to burn the country if they don't get their way. The last one is known anti-monarchist (who has tried very hard to hide that). All have terrorist charges pending against them and with their election to Parliament they will have immunity and the cases will not proceed.


These people are simply unacceptable to Payarut to be in Parliament. Not sure I disagree.


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... For better or worse, a PT victory does look likely. I think someone here said "when" was the question - as in, not "if", but "when" PT wins - and I suspect he is right...

Saw a report that Aphisit was booed and told to get out by the crowds on the campaign trail wherever his election tour buses went in Samutprakan province yesterday. Whether this reflected genuine feeling in the area or was just reds bussed in for the day remains to be seen.



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@ TH: Two questions:


1. Do you think the military will intervene to prevent these four from becoming MPs?


2. Do you think the military is justified in intervening to prevent these four from becoming MPs, be it intervention judicially, by strong arming smaller parties to join a Democrat party that has substantially less MPs than PT or directly with military force?


Since I suspect many here don't know who these individuals are, I thought a quick excerpt from what most would agree is fairly objective source, Wall Street Journal, would be helpful:


Then, at dawn Wednesday, hundreds of soldiers began massing on the approach roads to the heavily fortified protest camp. Midmorning, armored tanks rammed into barriers constructed from sharpened bamboo staves and kerosene-soaked tires, and soldiers slowly ventured into the camp as protest leaders prepared to surrender and hard-liners fired grenades.


Speaking at the protesters' main stage in the early afternoon, one of their leaders, Jatuporn Prompan, explained they had to call off the rally to prevent any more people dying. At least 74 people have been killed since the demonstrators launched their campaign, with more than half of those coming in recent days.


"We know this decision will pain you," said Mr. Jatuporn, wearing a white T-shirt bearing the image of Indian protest leader Mohandas Gandhi. "But we have to stop the death, even though our fight will carry on."


As he spoke, explosions could be heard and militant Red Shirts in the area began setting fires, filling the afternoon air with choking black smoke. People in the crowd, many of them women and elderly, wept and pleaded for Mr. Jatuporn and another leader, Nattawut Saikua, to change their minds. Instead, the two men went with other Red Shirts to surrender at Bangkok's police headquarters nearby


I don't want this to get misdirected into a discussion of these characters, but the ominous reference to them in TH's post might suggest (I am sure innocently) more than is justified. In truth, it's much less clear. They certainly aren't saints, but they aren't the devil incarnate either. The same could about the other participants - on both sides - of last year's riots. I was here last year and saw what happened, and it's much more complicated and unclear than than trying to pin it all on these four guys.


So, leaving it at that, is military intervention of any kind justified in keeping these morally ambiguous characters from becoming MPs?


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1. Do you think the military will intervene to prevent these four from becoming MPs?


No, and you even asking the question shows how you have succumbed to the biased, shallow reporting trying to make this into a Thaksin - Military showdown portrayed by the liberal western press fed press releases from Amsterdam.


All the talk about a coup if PTP wins and Thaksin comes back emanates from a radical element that would like nothing more then for a coup to take place as part of their campaign to destabilize the country. No objective analyst of Thai politics even considers this an alternative. If you understood anything about how the Thai military is able to stage a coup, you would realize it is next to impossible in this situation.


For a truly objective analysis of the election , without any political bias, and the impacts of the various outcomes, you should read this.



2. Do you think the military is justified in intervening to prevent these four from becoming MPs, be it intervention judicially, by strong arming smaller parties to join a Democrat party that has substantially less MPs than PT or directly with military force?


This is a leading question on same level as “have you stopped beating your wife yet?â€. “Strong arming smaller partiesâ€? This is nothing more then an extension of the UDD propaganda about the forming of the current coalition. Newin and Barnharn were not “strong armedâ€. What was done was it pointed out that the offer to join the coalition was in their best interest at that time. Certainly Anuapong endorsed the deal, because it brought some stability to the political situation, at least for a while.


If you tried to do an objective analysis of the situation in the context of how coalition politics worked, particularly in Thailand, you see that the smaller parties are not going to need “strong arming†to join a Democratic coalition even if the Dems get less seats then the PTP. Coalition politics is all about cabinet positions and the smaller parties stand to do much better in a Democrat coalition then a PTP one, particularly considering Thaksins history with coalition partners, even when those partners are supposedly in his party.



“In truth, it's much less clear. They certainly aren't saints, but they aren't the devil incarnate either.â€

Before which you quote what must be Jutaporn’s most innocuous speech he made as the black shirts were fighting the Army in Lumpini Park. An article that mentions Jutaporn wearing a Gandi tee shirt without any context of how cynical and hypocritical that is; is not what I would call anything close to objective. Maybe you think it is? You just keep falling for this stuff without any attempt to actually think for yourself.


No, he and the others are not the devil incarnate, nor did I say that. A shining example of the fallacy arguments of putting words in my mouth you continually resort to.


What I did say was the idea of them being MP’s is unacceptable at this time to Payarut as these people were directly involved in inciting the violence and were used by the real leadership that planned the April/May rallies and ensuing riots as part of a strategy to destabilize the country using classic Maoist tactics. Have you read William Barnes’s article in Asia Time from May last year? Link


But at the end of the day, Payarut will have to live with this and with the assurances that the PTP government will not allow any anti monarchist movement, I am sure he will go along with it. This will actually be the first step in Thaksin’s betrayal of the radical UDD element.


It is just amazing to me how people are minimizing what actually went on in the planning of the rally last year and the actual events during it. Have you read the HRW report “Decent into Chaos� It pretty much equally slams both the government and the UDD for what happened. Of course, if the UDD had not acted in the provocative manner the Army would not have had to react.


The entire discussion about a coup is a red herring to try to avoid a real discussion on what the PTP and UDD are really about, and you have taken that hook, line and sinker. So, to me, your whole focus on a military “intervention†is a waste of time and goes in the same trash bin as your continued predications over the last 10 years of economic disaster in Thailand.



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Yingluck promises a free iPad and Wifi to every student in Thailand, plus a 10,000 baht bonus to every university grad. But Chuwit promises free massages if you elect him! :)



Well, not an iPad. She went along to a school with an iPad 2 to sell this election promise. There were photos for the newspapers. TV crews for the mainstream media. It looked nice. iPad 2!! Wow!


The actual promise is a tablet PC, which could be some old Chinese rip-off running Android. Oh yeah and only 1 million tablet PC's, so it is a sure thing that some will miss out. The devils in the detail as they say....


Headline grabbing it was. Misleading it is.


How very typical.


The Pheu Thai promise that I can't wait for is the 300 Baht minimum wage rise...just how they intend to deliver on this one is interesting.


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