Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Red Shirts caved in

by Thanong , Reader : 1817 , 09:44:48



Finally, before noon Veera Musikapong, later Natthawut Saikua and other key leaders of the Red Shirts gave up. They realised that it would be a futile exercise to continue the fight because their boss, Thaksin Shinawatra, is finished. They were unplugged.

Yes, Thaksin is finished.

It will be difficult for him to travel about because most countries would not want to welcome him now after witnessing the riots and espionage activities in Bangkok instigated by his Red Shirt supporters. Thaksin was caught making white and blant lies on CNN and BBC, feeding false information to the global audience that his Red Shirt supporters were fighting for democracy when in fact they were burning Bangkok with espionage tactics.

Thaksin is finished because he has bet all of his political fortune on April 13, the dark day of Neptune. He played out his winner's take all trump card. He set fires throughout Bangkok on the day that Neptune overshadowed the Sun to manifying its bad omens on Bangkok. He had the big milatary and police bosses on his side, including some politicians in the government wing. He did not forget to move his family out of Thailand a few days before Operation Songkran Inferno. Khunying Orr is now shopping in Dubai, still having plenty of money to spend.

Thaksin thought he could hold Thailand as his hostage by his remote control as he bargained for his return, his amnesty and his Bt76 billion assets. He thought that a royal petition would come down in his favour because he had Thailand in his palm.

But his stragtegy backfired. Thaksin failed to get the critical mass support. On the contrary, the residents of Bangkok staged an uprising against his Red Shirt supporters, who were burning Bangkok while Thaksin was acting Nero-like with his karaoke machine.

This was the critical factor. If the people -- the real people and not the people Thaksin claims he represents -- rise against the Red Shirt movement, then Thaksin can only go under. Thaksin thought that the burning of Bangkok would reach a critical level so that the country would fail into lawlessness and the military would step in to intervene in his favour.

It did not work.

The whole world knows that it has been duped by Thaksin all along. Many Thais also are disillusioned by Thaksin's ability to destroy the nation only to exchange for his return to power.

Now all the Red Shirt leaders will be going to jail, facing treason charges. If you plant a gas-tank trucks and plan to set it ablaze, you are committing an act of terrorism or espionage against the state. It is not too difficult to trace all the way as to who ordered the trucks out onto the streets.

Abhisit Vejjajiva, the prime minister, has emerged as a strong leader now. His leadership has been transformed overnight, from a lameduck PM forced to cancel the Asean Summit in Pattaya into a leader who could defuse the political crisis in the most subtle way. There has been no losses of life at all from the authorities' crackdown against the Red Shirts. Only two persons have been pronounced dead by the shooting of the Red Shirts.

Abhisit has prevailed because he managed to bounce out of the corner as the military, the police, the security people and his own political partners had tried to frame him. We have no evidence to substantiate the doubts that these top people formed a link with Thaksin.

But you don't see the face of Gen Anupong Paochinda nor that of Pol Chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan during the Red Shirt's ambush of the Asean Summit. The security people were not doing their duty at all. They stood idle while the Red Shirts succeeded in ruining the Asean Summit. So far they have not come out to show any responsibility for failing to provide security to the Summit and the regional leaders as well as Thailand's guests.

Abhisit is known to have sought advice from a special unit, set up in haste under his command. As Thaksin played out his cards one by one, the advisors countered each effectively until Thaksin lost all of his bet.

At this hour, with the State of Emergency power rested in his hand, Abhisit -- not the army chief -- is the most powerful person in Thailand. He must use this occasion of his rising popularity in curbing the Red Shirts to deal with the failure of the Thai security apparatus, which has been undermining the national interest and including the government's stability.

We expect to see a reshuffle soon of the top security and peace keeping personnel.

If Abhisit resorts to his timid Oxford graduate role, he would miss out an opportunity to frame his leadership going forward. Now is the time to do it.


10:50 AM: The Red Shirts have caved in. Veera Musikapong, one of the leaders of the Red Shirt protesters, has announced that the protesters will disperse.

But he said the Red Shirts would rely on other forum, such as international forum, to make its protest heard.

Confusions are going on inside the Red Shirt camp because some do not want to give in.

The Red Shirts have burnt a public bus in front of Baan Pitsanulok, the official residence of the prime minister.


10:45 am: The authorities are now communicating through a loudspeaker with the Red Shirt protesters at the Government House. Transport has been prepared for any protesters wishing to go home.

So far there has been no reaction from the protesters.

9:30 AM:

About an hour ago, the military and police forces started to close seven key traffic points leading to the Government House. The Red Shirt protesters will be dealt with softly, moderately and decisively in a progressive manner.

Some 450 officers have been seeing getting ready at the Yomaraj area. Other traffic points include the Chulachomklao Military Academy, the Bangkok Metropolitan Police, the Royal Plaza, where the security forces are standing by.

The security forces are equipped with batons, shields, tear gas, and armoured vehicles.

The Red Shirt protesters will be given a chance to disperse or go home. It is not known whether they are allowed to leave the Government House by their Red Shirt guards.

We shall see their mettle.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva won't commit the same mistake as Samak Sundaravej or Somchai Wongsawat, who allowed the Yellow Shirt protesters to hang on until they created complicated political problems. If the political problems become complicated, the military will automatically have a more bargaining power over the government.

Abhisit is now being advised by veterans or retired generals, who have experience in dealing with the protesters during the course of Thailand's political crises. The new generation of commanders has little knowledge or experience in dealing with the mob of this kind.

Soon all the traffics leading to the Government House would be sealed off. Security forces are stationing inside the Government House to prevent the Red Shirt protesters from breaking into the compound.

You may get out of the Government House, but you can't get in.

Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the army spokesman, has just come out to assure the public that the military won't use harsh measures to deal with the Red Shirt protesters. The military would use carrots and sticks.

There are now only 2,000 Red Shirt protesters at the Government House area.

The Red Shirt protesters ravaged the capital and blocked 15 traffic points around Bangkok on Songkran Day. The security forces have now cleared all the traffic points and brought the situation under control.

We don't know what's going on inside the Red Shirt camp. They have kicked out media reporters from the Government House area, accusing them of presenting distorted news and information about the Red Shirt activity.

Besides, the authorities have also cut off the satellite signal of DTV by taking over the Thaicom station. We are deprived from following the Red Shirt activities from DTV.

So what are the security forces going to do next?

The security forces will be negotiating with the Red Shirt leaders by telling them to disperse. If this tactic does not work, water trucks will be brought in to spray the protesters with water. The next step will see the use of tear gas.

But the timing should not be too quick. Time is more on the government's side. The Red Shirt protesters no longer have any legitimate claim of democratic rights after they ravaged the capital with espionage tactics on Songkran Day. Time is not on their side.

Public sympathy with the Red Shirt protesters has dropped. Many Bangkok residents have also stood up against the Red Shirt protesters for creating riots throughout the capital and spoiling their Songkran Festival.

If the security forces only seal off the Red Shirt protesters and cut off their water or food supply for a day or two, the protesters would not be able to tolerate for long. Not all Red Shirt protesters are militants or have the stamina to withstand the heat and pressure or psychological warfare from the security force.

The protesters will be surrounded until they are fatigue and have no strength to fight back.

Last night Red Shirt protesters rode on a motorcycle to shoot at the military at Hua Chang Bridge. One soldier is now being hospitalised in serious condition. A motorist from pick-up truck also fired at the military at the Chai Building area.

This guerilla tactic remains the only option now. A huge regrouping of the Red Shirt is becoming a remote possibility as the condition for creating a military coup or for a political bargain for Thaksin Shinawatra has severely weakened.

As I have said earlier, Thaksin's strategy has backfired.

READ MORE---> The Red Shirts caved in...

Thai Round One goes to the government, sort of

By Nophakhun Limsamarnphun,
Tulsathit Taptim

A long holiday break may be cited as a key factor, but exactly why the red-shirt campaign seems to be losing monentum fast may have to do with the protesters and their leaders having gone into overdrive too soon.

Their time is too short and their goal too high, if not ambiguous. It took the People's Alliance for Democracy months to accomplish relatively easier goals, even with direct or indirect help from the military and the courts. But just a few days into its campaign, the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship went for broke, despite the fact that one of its key demands had to do with an institution close to the monarchy.

"They are pushing for a much more difficult goal with much less time," said PAD leader Suriyasai Katasila. The other DAAD goal is to force the resignation of the government or the dissolution of the House. This is similar to what the PAD tried to achieve in its months-long, sometimes turbulent stand-off with two pro-Thaksin administrations.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, in his TV address to the nation on Thursday evening, admitted that about 100,000 people had attended the DAAD campaign at its peak on Wednesday. But he claimed the numbers had dwindled "by 70 per cent" on Thursday.

Whether or not the numerical decline had to do with some controversial activities is uncertain, but protest leaders on Thursday evening repeatedly declared allegiance to the monarchy and asked demonstrators to watch out for infiltrators who could sow dissent by acts offensive to the highest institution.

Despite hard efforts to differentiate between the monarchy and the Privy Council, the DAAD must have realised that to many Thais the line between the two institutions is very thin indeed. And it didn't help the DAAD that the big message splashed across its main stage at the Government House rally site screamed: "Mandarins get out!" ("Ammart awk pai!").

The gathering at Victory Monument, while not as damaging as the PAD's siege of Suvarnabhumi Airport, proved to be very unpopular. Public outcry was such that in his Thursday address to the red-shirt protesters, Thaksin Shinawatra tried to distance the whole movement from the turmoil. The taxi-drivers who parked their vehicles to block traffic in the area, he said, were only trying to help and acting on their own.

The red-shirt demonstrators occupying Victory Monument were retreating yesterday evening to the Government House rally site. Many taxi-drivers were said to be heading to Pattaya, underlining a shift in the DAAD's immediate targets.

The summit between Asean leaders and their dialogue partners will now have added significance. It could become another forum for Abhisit to accumulate international charisma, or the DAAD could seize the opportunity to embarrass him. Thursday's demonstration at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort was lacklustre to say the least, and, having retreated from the hotel to a nearby mega-store, the DAAD protesters will have their last chance today to spoil Abhisit's international party.

The prime minister was another reason why the red-shirt campaign couldn't quite explode into something big enough to force an upheaval. His calm and eloquent response to Thursday's turmoil and provocation was the last thing the DAAD needed. So far, the government has managed to contain the damage, and round one seems to be ending with a slight points advantage to the administration.

NATION Multimedia

READ MORE---> Thai Round One goes to the government, sort of...

Thai Round Two: Everyone Loses

By Tulsathit Taptim

Even though Thaksin Shinawatra may be laughing, there is no winner after the Pattaya infamy

Pattaya will lose billions of baht. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has lost his face, and his job is under greater threat. To other Thais, Songkran has been pretty much spoiled. Thailand's image as a whole has taken a new hit. Economically struggling Asean has to defer discussing some crucial plans. The red-shirted movement, while having achieved a key objective of preventing the Asean summit with dialogue partners, can't be content with the glaring truth that, like its rival People's Alliance for Democracy, it has become its own worst enemy.

And Thaksin Shinawatra will only get brief satisfaction from the turmoil in Pattaya that led to the cancellation of the summit and declaration of state of emergency which leaves everything hanging in the balance. He will be cheering a "triumph" of his supporters in the next address through video link, but deep down he must know that he is not fighting to win, that to get even is the best he can get. He has been way past of the point of no-return, and what happened in Pattaya on Saturday only serves to lengthen the distance between the man and his motherland.

The biggest loss, however, belongs to us, no matter what colours of the shirts we are wearing. The political divide was not about to be bridged any time soon, but the Pattaya incident has further dimmed the fragile hope. We had wanted things to improve, but now we would be glad if they don't get any worse.

It's been an-eye-for-an-eye showdown. You can seize Government House, so we can block city traffic. You can take over the airport, so we can torpedo an international summit. You fight for democracy that rejects corrupt polticians, we can fight for democracy that respects the voices of the poor.

A common sense of national values has been a long-time victim, who was beaten to near death on Saturday. The nation has lost its way for some time, and the Pattaya infamy ensures there will remain no light at the end of the tunnel in the foreseeable future. The vunerable national harmony has been dealt a new blow, and the threat to nationhood has never looked more real.

Those involved in the years-long power struggle have done their best to make sure that politics affects everyone's life. Too bad the general Thais have only been feeling the negative effects of a war that those responsible insisted was for a greater good. We have come to learn that perhaps people go into war not because they are different. Maybe what has been happening was caused by the fact that we are all too much alike.

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READ MORE---> Thai Round Two: Everyone Loses...

Thai Round Three: Nation on the Brink

By Tulsathit Taptim

The political showdown has reached the point where everyone can only pray and nobody dares to predict the outcome.

Thaksin Shinawatra says he wants to "conclude" it during, if not before, Songkran. Abhisit Vejjajiva says everything will return to normal after Songkran. What will this dangerous common ground of the two men who have become arch-rivals lead us to is anyone's guess.

One day after the whole of Thailand is the ultimate loser, the nation is staring at one of the most monumentous political showdowns in modern history. And interestingly, both warring parties are up against the ropes. Thaksin and the red-shirted movement have gambled with everything they had, alienating themselves from non-partisan Thais with the kind of aggession that has put the already weak Thai economy in jeopardy and further threatened frabics of nationhood. Abhisit, on the other hand, has cornered himself with the Mr Nice Guy approach and the only way to shore up his wavering legitimacy is to act tough.

Thaksin has nothing to lose, albeit except Bt76 billion which may be the final answer to the question "Why?". Abhisit has everything to lose and some values to protect.

The prime minister was said to have lashed out at the police, military and government kingmaker Suthep Thaugsuban after the Pattaya debacle which is costing much more than just his face. The turmoil that caused the cancellation of the Asean summit with dialogue partners, however, has eaten into public sympathy for the red shirts as much as Abhisit's leadership.

Declaration of state of emergency in Bangkok and its suburbs was Abhisit's only choice. If it wasn't his last throw of the dice, it was something very close. A failed state of emergency like the one declared by the ill-fated government of Samak Sundaravej last year could doom Abhisit's reign. But a bloodshed as a result of the state of emergency could also generate political repercussions that are as bad, if not worse.

And Abhisit's state of emergency will be enforced against a backdrop of doubtful loyalty from the police and, to a lesser extent, the military. Conspiracy theorists are seeing an increasingly isolated prime minister after what should have been a high-alert security routine in Pattaya provided a non-existent barricade allowing protesters to sleepwalk to the summit hotel in great numbers. Other analysts, however, simply view the outbreak of red-shirted aggression as a result of a too-cautious approach of authorities too fearful of things getting out of control.

It will become evident very soon whether Abhisit is acting tough when it's too late. If they had failed in Pattaya on Saturday, the red-shirted protesters could have been tamed or calm today. But now that they have been buoyed by the Pattaya "victory", the movement will naturally be more difficult to contain.

One thing remains unchanged for Thaksin. A crumbled government, or a House dissolution, or a large-scale bloody riot, or even a coup, will not be enough to bring him home, let alone restore him politically. This is a war just for the man to get even, or at best some leverage to push for return of the frozen Bt76 billion.

So, it's fast becoming a war between enemies whose only way to go is forward. One side is very desperate, while the other has been jolted into a near panic mode. This is the kind of situation where no pundit dares predicting the immediate result, let alone a long-term one.

READ MORE---> Thai Round Three: Nation on the Brink...

Thai Round Four: Reds in Retreat

By Tulsathit Taptim

The red-shirted movement and government crackdown have put Thailand on a crucial juncture. How will the country emerge from the Black Songkran?

The red shirts are retreating politically as much as logistically and strategically. It has been a day when the movement risks shrinking back to its very core. Public sympathy, which has been on a decline since the collapse of the Asean summit, is apparently at its lowest on Monday, underlined by a brief but telling scene at the Din Daeng flat community. Fearful and angry following the protesters' threat to blow up a hijacked gas truck to counter troops' advance, the flat residents sided with the security forces and formed a human shield to protect the soldiers.

Burnt buses, gunshots, thick smoke in many spots and shouts of abuses make it Bangkok's blackest Songkran ever. But resentment against the red shirted protesters was not caused by the forced absence of festivity. It is the traffic turmoil, the fear and anxiety, intimidation of press members, and the general feelings that the protesters have gone too far that is chipping away at their credibility and respectability.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, under siege politically, may have problems with his command and clout. But he has never wavered when it comes to the right principles which have been reflected throughout the first day of the crackdown. Reports coming in from various scenes confirm the government's insistence that force has been used discreetly. Given the magnitude of the protesters' aggression, things could have become much worse than October 7 last year, when several yellow-shirted protesters were killed and many lost their limbs in a clash with security forces. As it turned out, there has been less violence, although what the troops' relative leniency will lead to in the next hours remains to be seen.

If anything, the fact that the crackdown operations so far seem to still be going Abhisit's way underscores his statement on Sunday night that his government, police and the military remained united. After all, there are so many things rebellious police or soldiers can do to turn today's fragile events into something a lot worse.

In an interview with CNN, red-shirted leader and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra claimed force was being used indiscriminately against innocent people. It will be his words against Abhisit's now. One thing is rather certain, if Thaksin has got the ears of the international media, what the local Thai media have seen so far does not back up the ousted prime minister's claim of rampant state aggression against innocent, unarmed citizens fighting for democracy.

There was one scene Monday evening showing some female red-shirted protesters giving flowers to soldiers, begging them not to push them back further. This might be a one-off, or it may reflect a change in the movement's strategy after being dealt major logistical and political blows in one day.

The tide can still change, as the red-shirted protesters have dispersed into unorganised, virtually rudderless pockets of unruly mobs who have burned dozens of vehicles and kept on provocative activities. It will be up to the troops and their commanders to keep their cool heads. Supreme Commander Songkitti Jakkrabat seemed to mirror Abhisit's principles when he announced that the bottom line of the crackdown operation was "Everyone is Thai". How long that can hold will determine not who wins this showdown, but how Thailand will emerge from this very black Songkran.

NATION Multimedia

READ MORE---> Thai Round Four: Reds in Retreat...

Thai Round Five: Can we make this the last round?

We have fallen as a nation, and getting up together is all we must do
By Tulsathit Taptim

The close call could not have been closer. But having relied on miracles to get back from the brink, Thailand now has to muster every ounce of collective determination and ability to forgive and forget in order to deal with the seemingly indelible scar of the last few days and get forward as a nation. It will be a long road of rehabilitation, if rehabilitation can really begin at all, that is.

It's an irony that, to sympathizers of the red shirted protesters, they came to rally in Bangkok because they felt alienated, and now they have to go back home having alienated themselves through aggression that for some time made everyone fear for a civil war. The government, having politically benefited from the red shirted protesters' self-alienation, now has an ironic job of quickly fixing what must be a deep sense of isolation. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has rightly approached the crisis with "Everyone is a Thai" principle, and now he has to implement that philosophy post-crisis to heal national wounds.

Nobody has been the winner, and the nation as a whole has been down for a nine count. While Abhisit has come through a major challenge and should be commended for his cool-headed response to a series of emergencies, which could have easily degenerated into something much worse, the next challenge is simply bigger. He more or less has won over some neutrals, but unless he seriously reaches out far beyond his political comfort zone, rehabilitation will prove very difficult indeed.

For the red-shirted movemet, it has been a campaign of a frustrated, angry young man who turned to violence when all else failed. Further autopsy is needed to determine if that angry young man was also badly confused. Was he really upset with the Privy Council and honestly convinced that a constitutional monarchy democracy can still drive Thailand but for some manipulative advisers to the King? Did he or did he not love Thaksin Shinawatra? Was he campaigning for the rich fugitive whom he liked as a leader, or was he fighting for real values far beyond that highly-controversial politician?

Whatever the answers, the angry young man may have only been temporarily subdued after making a big blunder. The "victory" declared after the cancellation of the Asean summit in Pattaya was apparently mistaken as a license to up the stakes and run amok. What the angry young man did not realize was that, as he seemingly was chasing his opponent around the ring, he totally lowered his own guards. He forgot the rules of the game and the rest is history.

Will he get even angrier when waking up from the daze? To understand that angry young man is as difficult as making him understand you back. It's Abhisit's duty to find out if a political movement seen as deeply associated with Thaksin Shinawatra in fact possesses some other driving energies that everyone may have overlooked.

As for Thaksin, his calls for HM the King to intervene at the height of the crisis still had the characteristic doubled meanings. The former leader may have been shocked by how fast things were deteriorating and thus probably come back to his senses. Or it could have been just another one of his politically-motivated statements that couldn't be taken too seriously. After all, with the rampaging red shirted protesters looking up to him as the ultimate idol, Thaksin was in a better position than anyone else to calm them down.

Rehabilitation without Thaksin's involvement will be difficult, though still possible. Rehabilitation with Thaksin's sincere participation will make things much easier, though the scenario is far less possible. He has become even more adamant than before that he was a victim of a anti-democracy conspiracy and never admits that he has been a big part, if not root cause, of the Thai crisis.

The wounds will leave a deep scar. Although in terms of casaulties the Black Songkran is less cursed than the October 6 bloodbath, the 1992 May Crisis and last year's October 7 infamy, we all know that this could have easily been the worst of them all. It's simply a close call of the kind that makes people with common senses review their own acts, not others', in its aftermath.

It's our duty to find hope when desperation seems to prevail. We can take heart at the way troops generally handled the situation, and how the majority of the protesters at Government House responded to the setbacks and sacrificed "victory" for common interests. Some good principles have seemed to exist on both sides, and merging them instead of making them clash is the only way forward.

Extremely difficult as it looks, we don't have other choices. Reconcilation has been a fashionable word for too long, during which both sides of the divide were firmly on their toes ready to pounce on each other. As a result, we have fallen as a nation, and only through realising this can we get up together again.

NATION Multimedia

READ MORE---> Thai Round Five: Can we make this the last round?...

Asean chief welcomes end of Bangkok rally

(Nation Multimedia) - Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said Tuesday that he welcomed the end of the anti-government protest in Bangkok on Tuesday.

"I hoped and prayed for normalcy to return to Thailand quickly, so that the Thai people can celebrate Songkran peacefully this week in the tradition of family reunion, friendship, and forgiveness," he said in a statement.

The red shirted protesters abruptly ended their rally on Tuesday. Their leaders claimed that the pull-back was not the defeat of the movement and they would resume the protest after Songkran Day.

He also referred to the collapse of Asean Summit plus dialogue partner countries in Pattaya last week. During the period, the red shirts led by Arisamun Pongruengrong stormed into meeting building of the Summit, forcing the Thai government to cancel the meeting.

"I am grateful to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand and the Thai Government for the safe evacuation of the Leaders of Asean member States and their Dialogue Partners from Pattaya following the cancellation of the "Related Summits" on 11-12 April 2009."

Those affected leaders, as well as their ministers and senior officials, agreed with the decision Surin said, adding they also sympathized with Abhisit for trying to avoid violence and bloodshed at all costs.

Surin also put on record the followings;

- What had happened in Pattaya and Bangkok will not erode the credibility and dignity of Thailand's chairmanship of Asean. On the contrary, the restrained government responses showed the integrity of the Thai Government in restoring law and order with admirable respect for life, safety, and constitutional rights of all.

- The cancellation in Pattaya was a serious setback to Asean, an irrevocable loss of great opportunity. But it will not weaken Asean. Neither will it discourage Asean.- The other Asean Leaders and their Dialogue Partners were actually in Pattaya (except the Prime Minister of Australia who was on his way, and the Prime Minister of India who could not attend); they were there, ready to meet and cooperate, with us in Asean , even when many protesters were trying to block traffic and create commotion.

- The centrality of Asean has not been questioned. In fact, many Asean Leaders and their Dialogue Partners have expressed support for Asean to re-schedule the "Related Summits" as soon as possible.

He said he is now in Bali, preparing to attend the meeting of the Third Bali Regional Ministerial Conference. "I will take advantage of the presence of several Asean ministers and those of Dialogue Partners and their senior officials to begin a round of consultations on the next steps to regain momentum for Asean."

READ MORE---> Asean chief welcomes end of Bangkok rally...

North Korea to quit disarmament talks

North Korea long range pride and joy

(AAP)-North Korea says it will quit six-nation nuclear disarmament talks and restart its atomic weapons program in protest at the UN's condemnation of its rocket launch.

The communist nation said on Tuesday the UN Security Council's discussion of the launch, which the North insists sent a satellite into orbit, was "an unbearable insult" to its people.

Analysts described the Pyongyang statement as unusually strong, and China, the North's closest ally, called for all sides involved in the talks to show restraint.

"There is no need for the six-party talks any more," said a statement from Pyongyang's foreign ministry carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

"We will never again take part in such talks and will not be bound by any agreement reached at the talks."

North Korea "will strengthen its nuclear deterrent for its defence by all means," it added.

"We will take steps to restore disabled nuclear facilities ... and reprocess used fuel rods that came from experimental nuclear reactors."

The statement came hours after the UN Security Council unanimously approved a statement condemning the April 5 rocket launch, which it said contravened a resolution passed after the North's 2006 missile and nuclear tests.

It agreed to tighten sanctions, which were mandated under Resolution 1718 but never enforced amid hopes of progress on denuclearisation.

However China and Russia successfully resisted calls for a new resolution, saying they did not want to harm prospects for resuming the disarmament talks which group them with the two Koreas, Japan and the United States.

China, which hosts the talks, urged calm and called on North Korea to remain in the six-nation talks.

Russia's foreign ministry went further, expressing "regret" at the North's announcement, while Japan said it "strongly urges" Pyongyang to return to the negotiations.

There was no immediate reaction from the United States.

Pyongyang had threatened to quit the talks, which started in 2003, should the Security Council criticise its rocket launch.

The hardline regime has hailed what it says was the "historic" launch of a communications satellite, but the United States and its allies say that it has not been detected in orbit and the North's real aim was to test a long-range missile.

In its statement, the North said it would consider building its own light water nuclear reactors to supply electrical power, and blasted what it called double standards.

"According to the US logic, Japan may launch a satellite because Japan is its ally but we must not do the same because we have a different system and we are not subservient to the US," the Korean-language statement said.

"The UN Security Council simply yielded to the US robber-like logic."

Kim Yong-Hyun, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University, said Pyongyang's response "raises the possibility of military provocations by North Korea ."

" North Korea is ratcheting up the stakes. Its brinkmanship, of course, is designed to win maximum concessions from the US and international community," he told AFP.

Professor Yang Moo-Jin, of the University of North Korean Studies, said it was one of the strongest statements he could remember from Pyongyang .

"The statement says the North is now moving to actions," he said.

"It's crucial for the US, its allies and China to react wisely in order to control the situation."

Pyongyang had been disabling plants at Yongbyon that produced weapons-grade plutonium as part of a February 2007 six-nation deal.

A Seoul official involved in the talks said North Korea has completed eight of 11 disablement steps and was on the ninth, which involves withdrawing spent fuel rods from the reactor and placing them in a cooling pond.

"It's hard to say how long it would take to put everything back and start reprocessing the spent fuel rods to get plutonium," he told AFP.

READ MORE---> North Korea to quit disarmament talks...

North Korea vows to boycott 6-party nuclear talks

By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer Hyung-jin Kim

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea vowed Tuesday to restore its nuclear facilities and boycott international talks on its atomic weapons program to protest the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of the country's rocket launch.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it "resolutely rejects the unjust action" by the United Nations, which it said "wantonly" infringes upon the country's sovereignty and "seriously" hurt the dignity of its people.

The statement was North Korea's first reaction to the Security Council's unanimous censure Monday of the April 5 launch, which Pyongyang says sent a satellite into space but the United States and others say tested long-range missile technology.

Analysts including Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University, said that Pyongyang appeared to be using its threats as a negotiating tool and that after some time had passed talks were likely to resume.

The North's statement said the country will not be bound by any agreement signed under the six-party talks — a multilateral effort aimed at getting Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons programs. The talks include negotiators from China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

North Korea also said it will restore nuclear facilities it has been disabling and resume operating them, apparently referring to its five-megawatt plutonium-producing reactor and other facilities at the Yongbyon complex north of Pyongyang.

North Korea also said it will reprocess spent fuel rods, also apparently referring to an activity at Yongbyon, and "actively consider" building a light-water nuclear reactor.

North Korea famously blew up the cooling tower at Yongbyon in June of last year to symbolize its commitment to denuclearization under a six-party agreement.

The isolated communist nation, which carried out an underground nuclear test in 2006, is believed to have enough plutonium to produce at least about half a dozen atomic bombs.

The statement also said North Korea "will never participate in the talks any longer" because other members of the forum "publicly denied" the spirit of the negotiations — which it said were respect of mutual equality and sovereignty — in the name of the U.N. Security Council.

The Security Council's statement demanded an end to the North's rocket launches and said it will expand sanctions against the reclusive communist nation.

Koh, the analyst, said Pyongyang would watch how the U.S. reacts, saying the country now has "one more negotiating card" to play with Washington.

Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University, said North Korea appeared "upset" now, but will find it difficult to really boycott the talks because that will further isolate the country.

The six-party talks began in 2003, but they have been stalled for months over how to verify the country's accounting of its past nuclear activities.

Under a 2007 six-party deal, North Korea agreed to disable its main nuclear complex — a step toward its ultimate dismantlement — in return for 1 million tons of fuel oil and other concessions.

North Korea had threatened last month that any criticism by the U.N. Security Council over the launch would result in the end of the talks.

"We have no choice but to further strengthen our nuclear deterrent to cope with additional military threats by hostile forces," the statement said, employing the common North Korean euphemism "deterrent" for nuclear weapons. It also hinted that Pyongyang would conduct more satellite tests, saying it will "continue to exercise its sovereign rights to use space." ("JEG's: the martians are attaching Kim")

China, the host of the six-party talks, called for calm on all sides.

"We hope the relevant parties will proceed from the overall interest, exercise calmness and restraint," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a press conference in Beijing.

Russia's Foreign Ministry of Russia said if true, North Korea's decision "prompts regret." It called on Pyongyang to consider "the consequences of such a step."

South Korea's Foreign Ministry earlier issued a statement welcoming the U.N. action and urging North Korea to respond to international calls for the peaceful, diplomatic resolution of nuclear tension.

The statement by the Security Council said it "condemns" the April 5 "launch" — without specifying whether it was a missile or a satellite — and demanded that North Korea "not conduct further launches."

The statement, agreed on by all 15 members and read at a formal meeting of the United Nations' most powerful body, said the launch violated a council resolution adopted after the North conducted a nuclear test explosion in 2006 that banned any missile tests by the country.

The statement was a weaker response than a U.N. resolution, which had been sought by Japan and the United States but was opposed by China and Russia. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice insisted the statement is legally binding, just like a resolution — a view backed by Russia — but other diplomats and officials disagreed.

In its statement, the Security Council expressed support for the six-party talks and "calls for their early resumption." It also expressed the council's desire "for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation" and for efforts to achieve "the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

President Barack Obama called the statement a "clear and united message" that North Korea's action was unlawful and would result in real consequences, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a release.

The statement also demands that Pyongyang must fully implement the 2006 resolution, which ordered the North to suspend all ballistic missile activities and "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner."

The council's statement also said it "agrees" to expand sanctions under the 2006 resolution, which ordered a financial freeze on assets belonging to companies and groups tied to North Korean programs for nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction and banned the sale of specific goods used in those programs.

Since its adoption, no North Korean companies or organizations have been put on the list, diplomats said.

Jiang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said however, that China does not support "fresh sanctions against" North Korea.


Associated Press writers Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations and Christopher Bodeen and Gillian Wong in Beijing contributed to this report.

READ MORE---> North Korea vows to boycott 6-party nuclear talks...

Abhisit is regaining an upper hand

and Thaksin is ready to go on with his lies
he just wants to create a people's revolution for his personal benefit

Check Nation Multimedia's page, scroll down to see the gallery,
see the bared handed in those photos


Two people died Monday during a fight between anti-government protesters and Bangkok residents, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in a televised address.

Earlier, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose supporters have engaged in escalating clashes with Thai police, reiterated Monday that he is willing to return to his country but would not say when.

"Well, you know I am ready to go when the time is right," Thaksin told CNN. "But now, I like to see peaceful protests by the demonstrators. Actually, you know, they are all innocent people. They come with bare hands; they are asking for true democracy and justice. But they got back undemocratic ways with a lot of brutal suppression."


Abhisit is regaining an upper hand

Posted by Thanong , Reader : 2323 , 12:01:06

April 13, 2009

By Thanong Khanthong

23:00 hours

Abhisit Vejjajiva, the prime minister, has just appeared on national TV. Flanked by Suthep Thuagsuban, the deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, and other top security officials of the country, he declared that the turmoil all day in Bangkok has been brought under control since the evening.

He called for the Red Shirt protesters, who are now rallying in the area around the Government House, to return home as the authorities will stand by to help them.

Abhisit did not say what the government would do next against the remaining Red Shirt protesters at the Government House. But we can expect that the security forces would be zeroing into them soon to disperse the rally at the Government House.

Throughout the day, there has not been any loss of life from the security forces' cracking down on the Red Shirt protesters, who ravaged the capital through different locations, particularly at the Din Daeng intersection. There are scores of people getting injured.

The loss of lives only took place in the evening after the Red Shirt protesters reportedly shot at two persons.

22:00 hours:

Red Shirt protesters have failed to garner critical mass support because they rely on urban terrorist tactic to plunder Bangkok. Many Bangkok residents have come out today to lash out at and attack the Red Shirt protesters.

Two people are reported to have been shot dead by the Red Shirt protesters, one at Nang Leng and the other at Wat Sommanas.

So where is Thaksin Shinawatra now? He is believed to be commanding the raid of Bangkok from Koh Kong. If the situation is ripe, he will make his way to Bangkok. But will he?

The Red Shirt protesters are now retreating to the area surrounding the Government House. They are fortifying their position from there.

The security forces are expected to quash the Red Shirt protesters tonight or tomorrow.

The government might find it necessary to declare curfew to deter movements of Red Shirt protesters and prevent them from reinforcing additional support.

Don't blink your eyes.


20:00 hours:

On Sunday, I wrote that the stars hovering over the City of Angels were radiating exceptional heat. There could be violence starting Sunday evening. But as it turned out, the violence started exactly on Songkran Day.

My astrologer is almost right on target. To sum it up again, my amateur astrologer has told me that duang muang (the City's star) is in trouble, with the stars aligned in a complicated position. When King Yodfa founded Bangkok in 1782, the lakhana duang muang (the character of the City of Angels) was represented by the sun, which exemplified strength, boldness and grandeur.

Lakhana Duang Muang of Bangkok as marked by ancient Thai astrological codification.


The sun is being overshadowed by neptune at the lakhana duang muang, which exists in spiritual form. This means that bad omen and events would be hovering over the capital.

Neptune is now hovering above lakhana duang muang, magnifying its influence over events in Thailand. "We might have a very serious incident this evening and it will deterioriate further," my astrologer said on Sunday.

But beginning Tuesday of April 14, 2009, Neptune will gradually move out of Lakhana Duang Muang to the right side of the Sun. This means that the bad omen or bad incidents against Bangkok will subside. The situation will improve.

Thaksin Shinawatra launched his broadside attack against the capital by also consulting the stars above the sky. He had his Red Shirt protesters ravaging Bangkok at a time when his duang or fortune hit the peak. His duang coincides with Neptune movement against the Sun or Lakhana Duang Muang of the City of Angels.

We are witnessing a fight in both the sky and on the earth.



18:30 hours

Thaksin Shinawatra's urban terrorist tactic to create widespread riots in Bangkok and pave the way for his return is not working, though pockets of violence is now spreading around the capital.

His strategy is simple. After torpedoing the Asean Summit in Pattaya, the Red Shirt anti-government protesters would be staging urban-style terrorism around the key points in Bangkok so that Abhisit would be forced to declare a State of Emergency. Then the military must be brought in to quash the Red Shirt protesters. While the military suppress the Red Shirt protesters, there could be bloodshed. The situation would spill out of control to create an anarchy. Finally, Thaksin's supporters would be petitioning His Majesty the King for a royal intervention or a reconciliation to end the crisis.

In this plan, Thaksin is seeking to hold Thailand as his hostage as he bargains for his amnesty. When worst comes to worst, a military coup would be launched to bring down Abhisit government.

But Thaksin's game plan is not working. First, the Red Shirt protesters' urban terrorism tactics have gone out of control to create a civil war inside the capital. Second, they have failed to mobilise enough critical mass support. Third, the Thai public, appalled by the violence and the Red Shirt clashes against the security forces, do not support the Red Shirt.

Yet the most important factor is that Prime Minsiter Abhisit Vejjajiva has managed to consolidate his power. He is now being advised by a specially assembled unit consisting of old veterans and retired generals.

Gen Anupong Paochina, the army chief, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, and Police Chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan have been left in the cold. They were conspicuously absent during the Red Shirts' ambush of the Asean Summit venue in Pattaya. There the police and security forces turned a blind eye to the Red Shirt protesters' ambushing the Royal Cliff Beach Resort and Hotel, the venue of the Asean Summit.

Gen Anupong wore a tense face when he appeared on TV last night with Abhisit, who was trying to assure the Thai public that he would be able to bring the crisis situation under control. Gen Anupong is believed to have been kept out of any top-level decisions to manage the crisis in Bangkok.

The situation in Bangkok was tense all day as many department stores were closed and many roads were blocked. The Red Shirt protesters employed the urban terrorist tactic to ravage the capital in different locations, ranging from Din Daeng, Ayutthaya Road, Victory Monument, Phan-fa, Yomaraj, the Royal Plaza. They used public buses to block the streets, installed three gas-tank trucks at Din Daeng, Ayutthaya Road and Soi Rangnam near Victory Monument and threw petro bombs, sticks and bricks at the security.

The Red Shirt's tactic is similar to that employed by the Krathingdaeng Group, which in the October 1979 crisis played a catalyst role in suppressing students in Thammasat University. An ex-general by the abbreviated name of P.P. was believed to be the mastermind behind this terrorist tactic.

As for the three gas-tank trucks, authorities identified them as coming from Siam Gas Plc, of which Gen Chaiyasith Shinawatra is serving as chairman. Gen Chaiyasith, a cousin of Thaksin, denied that he had nothing to do with the gas-tank trucks.

Suchon Chaleekrua, the former Senate speaker, led a group of Thaksin's supporters including Pol Gen Salang Bunnag, to submit a petition to His Majesty the King. The language of the petition was vague, requesting the King to make a royal intervention to end the crisis. Gen Somjate Boomthanom, a former member of the 2006 coup, came out to question the motif behind the royal petition because Suchon and other petitioners all had close ties with Thaksin.

Thaksin has just appeared on CNN, blaming the security forces for shooting his Red Shirt supporters. He did not mention at all how the Red Shirt protesters had been ravaging the capital throughout the day by burning public buses and destroying public properties.

Military personnel from Lop Buri, Prachinburi and Nakhon Rachasima have been brought into the capital to reinforce the security forces. The authorities would be using both soft and harsh measures to disperse the Red Shirt protesters, who have used the surrounding areas of the Government House as their headquarters.

Abhisit is now determined to quash the Red Shirt protesters rather than allowing them to prolong the crisis further.

A curfew may be announced this evening to allow the security forces to quash the Red Shirt protesters gathering around the Government House.



Abhisit Vejjajiva, the prime minister, has managed to reposition himself by consolidating his power amid the growing political crisis. Before noon, he appeared on national TV to assert to the Thai public that he was now in charge. All the key military top brass were accompanying him on TV, wearing a grim look on their faces.

The dark plot against Abhisit has failed, at least for now.

Last night there was flurrying of activities among the military top brass. The military clique, which supports ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra or which would like to exploit the political crisis arising from the confrontation between the Red Shirt protesters and the Abhisit government, was subdued. They could not move.

A military coup could be staged, but it would be virtually impossible to get a Royal endorsement.

As prime minister, Abhisit now enjoys the utmost power in the land. The announcement of the State of Emergency rests all the power in his hand. If the situation fails to improve, Abhisit can continue to keep the State of Emergency for six months or the full year.

Abhisit is digesting the mistakes of both Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat, who as prime ministers, failed to use the power of the premiership during their face-off with the military and the Yellow Shirt protesters last year.

We are now seeing a more confident Abhisit, compared to a wobbling prime minister over the past few days when the Red Shirt protesters succeeded in torpedoing the Asean Summit in Pattaya.

The dark plot is designed to bring down Abhisit. The Red Shirt protesters, commanded by Thaksin from the overseas, are acting as a catalyst. The protesters, fortified themselves at the Government House, would be conducting widespread espionage around the capital to justify a military intervention.

Once the military stage a coup, Thaksin would be making a return to join the Red Shirt protesters. Thaksin has been calling for a people's revolution, exactly a replay of the Yellow Shirt's plot but for a completely different purpose.

Only through a military coup would it be possible for Thaksin to make a comeback. But we are witnessing an intriguing situation because it is never certain whether the military would stage a coup on behalf of Thaksin or whether they would exploit the whole crisis to launch a coup for their own benefits.

Earlier, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has assured the nation that there is no disharmony within the government as well as key agencies responsible for enforcing law and order.

In a late-night television address, Abhisit was flanked by all key government, military and police leaders, a setting apparently intended to stamp out persistent speculation that he was losing support of top police and military officers.

He said the rumours were intended to weaken the government which has been trying to restore law and order through peaceful means.

"There have been a lot of rumours and I would like the Thai media to report on the truth to the Thai public," he said.

Abhisit must have realised about the dark plot by now -- who are his enemies or who are his friends. We cannot undersestimate the power of a Thai premiership, entrusted to exerice the State of Emergency. Abhisit vows to bring law and order back to the capital.

The scene in Bangkok now is tumultuous, particularly at the Rachaprarob area leading to Pratunam where a contingent of military is facing off the Red Shirt protesters. There has not been any report of fatal injuries.

Crackdown at dawn

At least 77 were injured as troops, firing tear gas and shots into the air, moved in to retake the Din Daeng intersection near Victory Monument from protesters.

Troops, firing shots into the air, have apparently retaken control of the Din Daeng intersection from red-shirted protesters, according to TV news reports. There were reportedly some injuries but no immediate reports of death.

At least 77 people suffered minor injuries, many from tear gas, according to hospital reports. About five persons were seriously injured. The red-shirted movement claimed "several" of its members suffered gunshot wounds, and condemned the authorities' use of live bullets in the crackdown.

TV news footage showed soldiers firing shots into the air. Tear gas was also fired, TV reporters at the scene said. A few hundred troops were involved in the operation.

At around 7.20 am, the government announced it was in control of the situation at Din Daeng.

The clash took place around 4 am and left about 50 soldiers and protesters injured, it was reported. Gunshots were still heard after 5 am, but not as intensely as when the crackdown began.

One TV reporter quoted "runaway" protesters as saying that there might have been some deaths. The government reported no death.

The troops were pushing from the Din Daeng intersection toward the Victory Monument. Protesters were scattered and retreated from the intersection to the moment. It appeared that the troops were in almost complete control of the Din Daeng intersection after 6 am.

Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, Army spokesman, said 300 protesters were in the area when security forces including soldiers and police moved in. He said the troops first tried to negotiate with the protesters, who were allegedly armed with molotov cocktails and tear gas themselves.

He said the talks broke down after some protesters tried to ram buses against the troops.

"The troops had to fire into the air. I repeat. They fired into the air and took action against the protesters," he said.

13:00 Hours:

Further crackdown this evening

It is clear that Abhisit would not tolerate a prolonged confrontation against the Red Shirt anti-government protesters. Allowing the turmoil to spread throughout Bangkok could make the situation go out of control.

The situation is now bordering on a civil war. The Red Shirt leaders at the Government House have expelled reporters from the area as they map out a defensive strategy to hold on to their position.

Military personnel from the provinces are being shipped into the capital to take on the Red Shirt protesters at the Government House. Starting this evening, we can expect to see the military move into the Government House area to disperse the crowd. The key Red Shirt leaders could be nabbed.

So between now and the next one or two days, we might see some violent clashes if the Red Shirt protesters insist on fighting back and refusing to disperse.

Meanwhile, there has been a plea for the Abhisit government to exercise restraint, patience and diplomacy to deal with the Red Shirt protesters. The Association of Thai Journalists has called on the government to seek a truce with the Red Shirt leaders. The Pheu Thai MPs, who support the Red Shirt rally, should use Parliament as a forum to defuse the crisis.


13.35 hours:

Official Statement from the Government House

T oday (13 April 2009) at 7.45 hrs, Dr. Panitan Wattanayagorn, Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister and acting Government Spokesperson and Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, Spokesman of the Royal Thai Army gave a televised briefing on the newly announced Prime Minister’s order to establish a Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES).

Dr. Panitan said that following the declaration by the Prime Minister yesterday of the state of emergency in Bangkok Metropolitan area and several vicinities in five provinces, the Prime Minister has ordered the establishment of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (order No. 98/2552). Additionally the Prime Minister also ordered the prohibition of road blockades to enable the normal flow of traffics – Announcement following Section 11(6) of the Emergency Decree on the Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005).

Early this morning, around 4 am, after the announcement of the use of the order to prohibit road blockades, the officers at Din Daeng junction encountered a group of protestors who attempted to block the roads by using a bus. The officers then informed the protestors present in that area of the announcement of anti-road blockade order and negotiated with the protestors to stop the blockade. However, the protestors did not listen to the officials and drove the bus into the crowd of officers. The officers then fired a warning shot into the air to warn the protestors, followed by firing tear gas and took control of the situation. The action taken by officers started with the basic measures and thereafter progressively stepped up to more intense ones. In the clash that took place, a few people were injured while a few other people were detained and were taken to a safe place.

Dr. Panitan reiterated that in dispersing the groups of protestors, the Government has taken action in a transparent manner and taken due consideration of the safety of the people. He also asked the general public to place their trust in the Government in handling of the situation and cooperate with the Government by informing the newly established centre of any information that might be useful. The Government ensures that whatever action it takes will be in accordance with the law and the democratic principles. And throughout today, there will be periodic briefings by several high-level officials involved in the resolution of the emergency situation.

Following the briefing by Dr. Panitan, Colonel Sansern added that the clash began by the protestors firing tear gas at a crowd of officers, thereafter drove the bus that was used as a blockade directly into them. In an attempt to control the situation, the officers fired a gunshot up into the air - not directly at the protestors – to warn the protestors and encourage them to move away from the scene. Then, the officers had to use tear gas, sticks and shields in order to protect themselves.

READ MORE---> Abhisit is regaining an upper hand...

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