- By Stingray, this blog national security journalist
Last night, Thailand’s prime minister, Abhisit, called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council-ahead of several important developments.
Those developments, most Thai observer says, is a major storm brewing ahead for Thailand-when Thailand’s military chief, Anupong, will be on a long visit to the US and Prayuth, a staunch anti-Red Shirt radical, will be in command of Thailand’s national security.
Heading into that storm, Taksin and Chaovalit, said there is an opportunity for “Peace Talk.” However, after that open call for peace, Abhisit said, “Taksin must accept Thailand’s legal system” meaning, Taksin must serve Thai jail time, relating to a guilty verdict on breaking proper procedures in a land bidding corruption case.
The following are some factors, that could point to a “Perfect Storm” brewing in Thailand.
The Red Shirt is pressing hard in the next few weeks on several important legal cases-taking their protest to many key Thai justice related units. Cases involved are the occupation of forest reserve land by the privy councils, the occupation of the airports and government house against the Yellow Shirt, the dissolution of the Democrat Party, a leses majeste case against the Yellow Shirt-along with a constitutional fix along the national reconciliation findings.
Anger at In-Justice?
The above cases clearly indicates a “Double Standard” in Thailand’s justice system. And that reality is being built up ahead of the Taksin US$2 billion nationalization ruling. At the same time, the dissolution of the Democrat Party is on the line, also at about the same time. Therefore, the un-just nature of the Thai judiciary system, will be “Magnified.”
Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen, is planning to inspect several dispute relics along the Thai Cambodian border-that the Thai military had denied access to a few-with rumors that Taksin will go along to visit the relics. The move has highlighted the threat that Hun Sen will turn to a hard-line position resulting in military conflict.
A War of Deception?
The Red Shirt, Taksin and Puey Thai Party, all in a “different war, different front, and different strategy.” The picture most Thai press are reporting, focuses on rifts among the three, however, it appeared all are zooming straight at bringing down the Amart or upper-crust rule of Thailand. The strategy, has added a significant level of “risk and un-certainty” to Abhisit’s protest containment efforts. Simply stated, violence or peace will depend on the Amart.
The Red Shirt is calling for a massive protest ahead of the ruling on Taksin’s US$2 billion assets-that will start very soon. While the likely numbers of protesters are hotly debated, it is clear that the protesters will be able to “Shut-Down” Bangkok for any duration they wish.
Final Solution in Coup?
Ultimately, a coup or not in Thailand, depends on the survival of the Abhisit government. If the Abhisit government falls or if an election caled for, most observer says Taksin will win the election. Since the current Thai military top brass, has a long track or record against Taksin, Red Shirt and Puey Thai-if changes do come to Thailand, these military top brass careers will most likely come to an end.
Thus far, the signal from the Amart of Abhisit is also very mixed.
Apart from “No Negoation” there is nothing written in ink. First it was soldiers backing up the police in dealing with future protesting. Then it is maybe a an emergency decree that gives a blank check for the military to do anything with no legal repercussions. Then it is up to the situation. Then it is the protest must go according to the law. Then it is a rash of arrest of key Red Shirt leaders across the country with minor offenses.
With the latest, being the emergency meet of the National Security Council.