Arisman’s comments

Arisman's comments - January 9, 2010
Several asked about what Arisman's comments were which are referred to in this article: Suthep orders action against Arismant.
As far as we can tell the comments are the public threats to firebomb the houses of EC members if they do not dissolve the Democrat Party. There have also been calls to burn down Privy Councilor Prem's houses in Bangkok, Korat, and Songkhla.
Arisman is a significant Red Shirt as he is one of the few willing to personally lead protest activity on the ground (as opposed to others who threaten and posture on radio and at rallies). Arisman led the charge into the Asean Summit in Pattaya last April.
If Arisman has fled the country as is rumored, this is a boon for the government as it removes a personality who has shown the willingness and ability to lead aggressive protests.
There has been a much higher ratio of talk to action in the last two months and the Thai-language press is beginning to question the Red Shirts's ability to bring numbers together and take real action. Even the rally at the EC on Friday turned out to be a convoy of just 30 taxis.
Compare this to the English-language press which has been breathlessly reporting the Red Shirts' boasts along with scuttlebutt from blogs (for example: Reds ready to rumble in Thailand - Also: The idea that low-level minor military friends of Thaksin could break ranks during a protest and somehow support the Red Shirts is ludicrous).
After so many boasts of large numbers of protesters and a final siege of the government, the pro-Thaksin movement will have to come up with impressive activities soon--perhaps the protest at Surayud's house and then a long march into Bangkok (although land encroachment by an "old ginger" is hardly a strong issue with the public).

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