January 1, 2006, 0:41 - Exclusive information:
One Hungarian was injured in the Victory Monument blast. Three Serbs, two English, two Thais, and one Irish were injured in the Central World Plaza/Pratuman blasts and are in the nearby Police Hospital. Three more unexploded bombs were found in the Central World Plaza area that did not go off.
All indications are that these events will be laid at the feet of the previous government. It was surprising to see leaks to the press so soon after the bombings citing the 'old clique' as being behind the attacks - of course, this type of accusation would also be expected to manage public perceptions that the troubles in the deep south have come to Bangkok.
In the last two weeks the coup government has been under sustained attack from accusations that PM Surayud kept rail cars at his estate and that his estate was on public land sold to him illegally. Both of these accusations have been leveled at politicians before and resonate with the public and are extremely damaging. http://184.108.40.206/forum/showthread.php?t=2112
On top of this Sonthi was accused of having two wives and has been called on to step down. The government has been coming forward in a rather amateurish way to counter these claims - holding press conferences in an even-handed way instead of going on the attack and regaining the high ground. http://220.127.116.11/forum/showthread.php?t=2114
We would expect that these bombings, coming on top of the recent attacks on Sonthi and Surayud, will be the last straw - the government has to strike back now or risk being seen as weak.