By Ranger, Thai Intel political journalist
On 28 February 2012, Sondhi Limthongkul, head of the fascist Yellow Shirts Movement, was convicted by a Bangkok Criminal Court of violating the Securities and Exchange Act by falsifying documents to secure a multi-million dollar loan for his media empire, a case dating back to the 1990s. He was handed the maximum sentence possible. The Security and Exchange Commission accused him of falsifying documents used as collateral for a loan amounting to almost 1.1bn baht ($36m, £22.7m) for his media business. Sondhi pleaded guilty but was freed on bail pending an appeal against the sentence.
- On the steps of the court house, as he left the court, he confronted a crowd of journalist and said his crime was nothing compared to Thaksin’s crime and said, quote: “If I have to spend even a day in jail, I will tell all, everything I know, of what went on and going on in Thailand.”
There is a great deal of information on Wiki-leaks, of what occurred in Thailand in recent time, and there is probably not much more that Sondhi can add to the “Thai Political Divide Narrative.” But it could be interesting to see, from an actual insider of events, who did what over the past 10 years or so of Thailand’s political crisis.
While those that actually staged the coup, have written into the constitution, granting them all amnesty against crimes involved in staging the coup, yet the number of players, behind the 2006 coup, many in numbers, reaches to some people in very high position today, such as Charan, currently a Constitutional Court judge.
- The accepted fact, but without concrete proof, is that many others, higher than Charan, is also involved in setting up the environment that is conducive for the 2006 coup and the staging of the coup. These include the Privy Council Prem.
Sondhi’s utterance about “Telling All” perhaps is targeted, specifically to Prem. Prem is the head of the so called “Songkhla Network.” The Songkhla Network is a network of high ranking judges that are loyal to Prem, dating back to the time they spent time in Songkhla with Prem.
The Songkhla Network of judges currently extends to cover all branches of Thailand’s judicial system, from the Constitutional Court to the Supreme Court and others.
Sondhi is clearly, leveraging his knowledge and a testimony of what occurred, in the past 10 years of Thailand’s political divide, to stay out of jail, by threatening Perm to help him.
- Will it work? And how much does he know?
Sondhi Limthongkul is a Thai media mogul and leader of the right-wing People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). He was elected for leader of the New Politics Party (NPP). Starting his career as a journalist, he later founded Manager Daily newspaper as well as satellite broadcaster ASTV. Originally a strong supporter of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, he later became a leader of the anti-Thaksin movement. Under his leadership, the PAD was the major player in the 2005–2006 Thai political crisis that led to the 2006 military coup that toppled the Thaksin government. When Thaksin-affiliated parties won the 2007 general election, Sondhi became the major player in the 2008–2009 Thai political crisis, leading the PAD in violent clashes with security forces and anti-PAD protestors as well as the seizure of Government House, Don Muang Airport, and Suvarnabhumi Airport. Sondhi is more or less a supporter of the Democrat Party and stopped the PAD’s protests after Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was pushed by the Elite Establishment in a military camp, to be Prime Minister.”