Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where is Abhisit?

by Thanong, Reader : 66 , 11:39:19

Avoiding the water spash

11:30 AM

The streets of Bangkok have returned to normal since Tuesday April 14, 2009 when the core leaders of the Red Shirt protesters have called it quit. But Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva would still can't trust the volatile situation. He has announced two additional holiday days -- April 16 and 17 -- to make the whole week a public holiday during this Songkran Festival.

During the Songran Festival, you would normally see a Thai prime ministers get a big spash. But since this is an abnormal Songkran, Abhisit would not come out on the streets to throw water at the Thai people.

He and his family are now believed to be staying at a safe house, guarded by top security measures. The military could kidnap him any time, like what they did to Lt Gen Chatichai Choonhavan, the former prime minister, who lost his power in the 1991 military coup.

Yesterday I had dinner at a nice restaurant with my friends on the bank of the Chao Phya River in the Pak Kred area across Rama IV Bridge. As I drove home and about to take the Rama IV Bridge at around mid night, I saw a small unit of soldiers guarding the bridge. Further away along the Chaeng Wattana Road, another small unit of soldiers was also maintaining security. The soldiers were eyeing any suspicious vehicles entering the capital. Fortunately, they did not stop my car.

We so far have seen over the past few days Abhisit appear on national TV to update the Thai public the latest development of the situation. Judging by all the top military commanders and security officials sitting behind him, we can deduce that Abhisit is fully in charge.

If you may recall, after Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat announced a State of Emergency over the Government House crisis and the airport crisis respectively, all the TV cameras focused on Gen Anupong Paochinda, the army chief. After the announcement of the State of Emergency, a Thai prime minister normally hands over the task of maintaining all the security measures to the military chief, whose role will eclipse the police forces.

And you may also recall that in both incidents during the Samak and Somchai government, Gen Anupong stood firm against the governments by declining to use military troops to disperse the Yellow Shirt protesters. He declared that he would not use force against Thai civilians and urged the governments to rely on peaceful negotiations or political means to end the crisis. Gen Anupong's stature rose higher than those of both Samak and Somchai as the crises developed.

With the military rallying behind Gen Anupong, both Samak and Somchai could not move. As a result, we had a stalemate until the Constitution Court removed the Somchai government from office. Only then did the Yellow Shirt crowd disperse after more than 100 days of marathon anti-government protest.

Gen Anupong is locked out

Returning to the present situation, we have yet to see a firm face of Gen Anupong. Apparently, he has been locked out. After declaring the State of Emergency on Sunday, Abhisit Vejjajiva took full charge over the whole situation. He did not hand over the task of maintaining security to Gen Anupong. On TV, Gen Anupong sat among the other top generals with his grim face further away from Abhisit. You can detect power from the positions people sit.

Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the defence minister, Pol Chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan, and Suthep did not looked very happy either.

It was not until he had to flee on helicopter on Saturday from Royal Cliff Beach Resort and Hotel in Pattaya, the venue of the doomed Asean Summit, did the prime minister realise that he was a target of a dark plot. Abhisit had been warned by Chuan Leekpai, his mentor, that he should not trust the security arrangement measures in Pattaya. But Abhisit brushed Chuan's concern aside, believing that Suthep Thuagsuban, his big brother, would be able to handle the situation.

As it turned out, military and police forces of 4,000-5,000 thousands allowed some several hundred Red Shirt protesters, led by Arismun Pongruangrong, to break into the Royal Cliff without paying heed to the security of the prime minister, the regional leaders and Thailand's guests. Once Arismun was inside the lobby of the hotel, he called for his Red Shirt protesters to hunt down for Abhisit. "Go look for the prime minister. Go get him," he shouted.

The Asean Summit had to be cancelled out in big embarassment.

In other countries, Arismun and the Red Shirt protesters would have been shot on spot. But they were allowed to wander about the lobby of the Royal Cliff as if they were going for a walk at Sanam Luang. Only five of the Red Shirt protesters at Pattaya, including Arismun, have been issued arrest warrants.

Abhisit had to flee the scene by helicopter.

Taking charge command centre in Bangkok

After sending off the regional leaders and foreign dignitaries, Abhisit returned to Bangkok hastily to reposition his premiership. He was about to lose power through a coup plot, planned on top of the Red Shirt protesters who were creating the turmoil as the condition for the military to intervene.

A day earlier, Thaksin phoned in to declare that his Red Shirt protesters would be launching a people's revolution. He would return home to lead the Red Shirts if the military were to fire the first shot.

Abhisit declared a state of emergency covering Pattaya and Chon Buri. But the Red Shirts would not stay on in Pattaya because they had succeeded in derailing the Asean Summit. They would return to Bangkok where further action would determine the course of the outcome.

On Sunday, since the situation at the Government House, where thousands of the Red Shirt protesters were grouping around the area, was not stable, Abhisit went to the Interior Ministry instead to declare a state of emergency in Bangkok. Again, the Red Shirt protesters ambushed him. This time they hammered his Mercedez sedan, including hurting his secretary Nibhom Phromphand and his driver. Abhisit escaped the scene with a minor injury.

The Red Shirt protesters smelled blood from the prime minister. Again, the security forces were no where to protect the country's chief executive.

Realising that he was in swimming among sharks, Abhisit retreated into a military compound to seek protection -- of course, not under Gen Anupong's protection. The police could not be trusted because they fully backed the Red Shirt protesters.

There Abhisit hastily assembled a special command centre under his direction. Veterans and some retired generals came to his rescue. Gen Anupong's troops and the police could not be trusted and were edged out of the scene. Instead, Abhisit relied on the security forces brought into the capital from upcountry such as Nakhon Rachasima, Kanchanaburi or Lop Buri.

The Red Shirts threatened to surround the Rachadapisek Court where Arimun was kept under custody over criminal charges that he led the Red Shirts to ambush the Asean Summit. Arismun had to be shipped out of the capital.

The political drama was unfolding as Neptune was manifying its dark omen over the City of Angels. It was eclipsing the influence over the Sun, which symbolises lakhana duang muang. The dark force of Neptune was with Thaksin.

The battle would be decided on April 13 -- the Songkran Day when Bangkok would be turned into a capital of inferno.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too