Analysis: Week of the “Crazy Dangerous” Sondhi Lim, Kasit & Prayuth speaks-out

The Three Stoodges as Hitler and Mossoulini

Blog Note: Thai Intel would like to say thank you to our “classified source” for bringing the speaches of the three crazies to Thai Intel interest.

What can be said about the three crazies? Well Sondhi Lim of the Yellow Shirt went talking about how great and important human being he was or something like that who the fuck cares. Then Kasit went talking about how Democratic and Free Thailand is-like a total laughing stock to the UN general assembly. Then Prayuth says it again about his total fucking devotion to whatever the fuck he loves-but it certainly is not the people of Thailand who pay taxes to keep him in power.

On Sondhi Lim

The following is from Asia Times:

Recollections, revelations of a protest leader

By Shawn W Crispin

BANGKOK – Media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul [1] and the massive anti-government street protests he orchestrated set the stage for last year’s military ouster of Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Six months later, the outspoken Sondhi finds himself in the news again.

Last month he was sentenced by a Bangkok court to two years in prison on criminal defamation charges related to critical remarks.

He made on his popular television talk show before last year’s coup about a high-ranking Thai Rak Thai party official. Sondhi has appealed the decision and is currently on bail.

Meanwhile, the Thai Rak Thai-linked new satellite television station PTV is threatening to file libel charges against Sondhi for comments he made suggesting the new station’s leader was involved with a petition aimed at ousting Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, King Bhumibol Adulyadej‘s chief adviser. PTV organizers have recently tried to take a page from Sondhi’s own rally playbook, but so far have been able to muster no more than 5,000 anti-government protesters.

Sondhi said during the interview that he has no immediate plans  to return to the streets – neither to challenge PTV’s Thai Rak Thai party representatives, nor to censure the interim government’s sagging performance. Contrary to many pundits’ predictions, Sondhi was not offered a position in the military-appointed administration after last year’s coup. In an exclusive interview with Asia Times Online before his recent defamation conviction, he claims that as a “media man” he has no political ambitions.

He has recently locked horns with the country’s new military leaders through programs aired over his satellite ASTV television station – similar, though not yet as fiery, to the programs that exposed and exploited Thaksin’s political soft spots. In a wide-ranging 90-minute interview with ATol’s Southeast Asia editor Shawn W Crispin, Sondhi reflected on his year of living dangerously and the country’s perilous political road ahead.

Explain the situation behind last year’s September 19 coup.  

There are two theories. One is that they really wanted to get rid of Thaksin. They saw Thaksin was very detrimental to Thailand, particularly to the monarchy.

Who precisely?

All of them: the military, [Privy Council president] Prem … You have to understand Thai politics. Whether you like it or not, since 1976 you cannot analyze political events without involving the monarchy institution. That’s for sure.

The involvement of the king has depended on how severe the situation was. In certain circumstances, the king sends a mild signal and things come to an end. Sometimes the king has to come out – like he did with [coup leader] General Suchinda Kraprayoon to stop the fighting [in 1992] – and send a strong signal. But whatever the case, the request for military intervention or for the king to come out has always had one prerequisite: there must be bloodshed.

That old political theory, that there must be bloodshed for the king to intervene, did not work when its purpose was to get rid of Thaksin. So that more or less upset their planned solution. I remember vividly that when there was [street protest] against Thaksin, I always had people calling me: “Khun Sondhi, could you move things a little bit forward, have a little confrontation, let us see a little blood?”

Were these military people making the calls?

[Nods]. Or [Prime Minister] Surayud Chulanont … I said no.

So did the Privy Council play any role in organizing the protests you often led?

No, no, not at all. They wanted to kick out Thaksin but they didn’t have the people behind them. That’s why they mumbled and grumbled behind Thaksin’s back. And as time went by, they began to see their political base waning.

Whom are we talking about precisely?

I would call them the old feudalists. The feudal elite, people like the [Kasikorn Bank founders] Lamsam family, those types. They were beginning to see their power base decline slowly. When they saw Thaksin start intervening in areas that no politician [before] dared to intervene in, which included military reshuffles, they got even more scared.

That’s the reason why they had to fight back. If you recall, the palace always insisted upon who would be the next commander-in-chief of the army. They would let go of the lower-ranking commanders, let Thaksin have them. That’s why the [pre-cadet] Class 10 [2] came up and Thaksin was buying time. So when [General] Pravit [Wongsuwan] retired as army commander, it became [General] Sonthi [Boonyaratklin] – although Thaksin didn’t  want Sonthi. It took Sonthi almost a year to reshuffle all the regiments and regional commanders to prepare for a showdown with Thaksin.

But they could not move forward because they need the man, because without him they cannot fight. Unfortunately, there was a guy named Sondhi [Limthongkul]. [It was] unfortunate for myself too. I fought Thaksin and I was able to pull up the mass, and they were excited because [the elites] never thought in their minds – and later on they admitted it – that so many people would come out. So they were both shocked and ecstatic. So, all the elites were pulling all their forces behind me.

Who exactly? Are we talking about the likes of the Lamsam family?

I would never know, I would never know. I was never contacted personally and never carried money like 10 million baht, no. But it always came in: 100,000 [about US$3,000] here, 50,000 there, 100,000 here. There were so many one hundred thousands coming in.

So you became the traditional elites’ de facto spokesman?

Exactly, exactly. The situation was coordinated … The king 

On Kasit

The following is from the Nation:

Thailand committed to Democracy : Thai FM

Thailand is committed to the principles of democracy and human rights, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya told the General Assembly, stressing the Government is striving to heal political and social divisions within the country.

The country was rocked by deadly political violence earlier this year between anti-Government protesters and security forces, Kasit said on September 29.

“But history has shown that Thailand is a resilient country and her people are capable of overcoming whatever challenges thrown before them,” Kasit said told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate on its last day.

The country, he said continues to be a functioning democracy, albeit a relatively young one.

The government has launched a national reconciliation plan and set up independent committees to find ways to reform the country, Kasit said.

“Human rights remain the cornerstone of the Government’s policy,” he stressed, noting that an independent fact-finding commission has been established to look into the “tragic events” earlier this year.

The government also is very cognizant that some of the political grievances in Thailand are a result of economic disparities, and is endeavouring to bridge the gaps through universal healthcare schemes, the minister said.

It is also providing 15 years of free education, training programmes for the unemployed and support for those who earn low incomes, farmers, the elderly and people with disabilities.

“Our stimulus packages would benefit not only the overall economy, but especially those who are economically and socially disadvantaged and disenfranchised.”

Despite the turmoil earlier this year, Thailand’s economy continues to be robust and exports continue to grow steadily, he said.

“I think we have proven to the world the strength of our national character and the resilience of our nation,” he said. “Despite the tragic incidents, Thailand has continued to move forwards, not merely for the benefit of the country but also for the international community.”

On Prayuth

The following is from the Nation:

The new Army commander-in-chief vowed Thursday to protect the monarchy in a hand-over ceremony and farewell for his outgoing predecessor.

General Prayuth Chanocha, who officially starts work in the new position Friday, praised outgoing Army chief General Anupong Paochinda for his professionalism and devotion to retain the country’s peace and security, in addition to his loyalty and efforts to protect the monarchy.

He said as the next Army chief, he would carry on Anupong’s policies the best he can.

“I am ready to sacrifice my personal benefit for the public interest and will ensure justice for the subordinates. Also I will ensure that Army’s capability will be developed completely to serve its main purpose of protecting the country’s sovereignty and the monarchy,” Prayuth