Lobbyist Amsterdam breaks with Thaksin, will pursue justice against the junta on his own

Robert Amsterdam Launches Independent Campaign to Hold Thailand’s Coup Leaders Accountable – January 2, 2015
…The campaign will be conducted on a pro bono basis, completely independently from any active political figure or party in Thailand.
…However following a military coup last May which toppled the elected government, conditions for human rights have sharply deteriorated, and the engagement between Robert Amsterdam and former Prime Minister Thaksin has concluded…

[Some interesting claims here: that Amsterdam stopped representing Thaksin after the coup, that the new anti-junta campaign will be independent of Thaksin, and that “horrific repression” is underway in Thailand.

Amsterdam, despite being employed by Thaksin, was always styled as “UDD Counsel,” responsible for representing the Red Shirt movement.

It is not clear whether the very Thaksinesque blog posts from Amsterdam since the coup were still part of the Thaksin lobbying effort or were his own work. They included an article predicting that the army would unleash “terrorist actions” against the presumably peaceful Red Shirts after the coup. Also, right out of the Red Shirt playbook, was the post-coup reference to an “Inevitable Revolution” while lamenting how Europe and the U.S. were accepting the results of the coup as a normal historical development in Thailand.

This new lobbying effort may be the first reveal of Thaksin’s upcoming strategy to claw back power–make sure the focus remains on the junta’s performance. The international response to the coup was indifference, along with many analyses of the coup explaining it away as a typical Thai event that could be expected in the wake of Pheu Thai’s clumsy attempts to pardon Thaksin, rewrite the charter, and use the rice pledging scheme to empty state coffers and pay its supporters.

The new Amsterdam campaign may take some pressure off Thaksin and the Pheu Thai. Internally, both have been slammed for passively acquiescing to the junta instead of agitating for immediate elections and leading the Red Shirts.

The Pheu Thai Party will now be focused on energizing its supporters over rural economic issues and an increasingly deteriorating economic situation. The pro-Thaskin movement is counting on this and will make sure that the “coup is bad for business” line will be ready when economic times go bad.

Still to come is the inevitable build up of outrage over a military dominated post-coup state once the outlines of a new constitution is known. Watch for an attempt to define this for the international community: “the military dictatorship in Thailand,” “democracy is not being restored in Thailand,” “death of freedom in Thailand,” etc.

Here is another recent display of anti-coup talking points for international consumption: Forbes: “Thailand’s Military Junta Destroys Democracy, Enjoys Exercising Power: Generals Postpone Elections Before Rigging Them”

2Bangkok.com Editor Ron Morris’ book, The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, is available in the Kindle Store.]

This entry was posted in 2014 Coup, Analysis, Robert Amsterdam, Thaksin Lobbying. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Lobbyist Amsterdam breaks with Thaksin, will pursue justice against the junta on his own

  1. Wiz says:

    The case of Robert Amsterdam may be a merely a strategy of separated movements in different directions to attack the same target since attacking on one direction has been found that it is not effective enough to undermine Junta.

  2. Wiz says:

    Now, Seh Nam Ngeon pointing out that Mr Amsterdam has to make a separated movement due to the fact that Ai Maew has decided to end the financial contribution to keep Mr Amsterdam lobbying Uncle Sam and EU to condemn the Junta … as Ai Maew has found that patient will work in his favors without unnecessary expenditure to feed UDD leaders as well as UDD lobbyists and UDD activists in exile … other than the minimum and necessary payments …. the financial resources in USA of Ai Maew are drying up due to the long economic recession while the cheaper oil has made oil extraction from oil sand become uneconomical as the Big Oil who are shareholders of PTT paying PTT 50 US Dollar per barrel for crude oil extracted from sand while the production cost is 60 US Dollars per barrel … a big loss to PTT … and the better price for crude oil is to transport by erecting pipelines to Pacific through Indian reserved land which PTT men are unwilling to deal with.

  3. KindleReader says:

    Congratulations on the book, Ron! More please!
    Strikes me though that we will really enjoy reading what you have to say a lot more when you are no longer in Thailand or dependent on it. I’m assuming that you continue to find something amiss with all Thailand’s fascist elite factions. I have no doubt that you have some wonderful sources out there, in high places, but they all seem quite content to expend all their energy on words when actions would be so much more interesting. I think you owe such dubious human beings almost nothing in the long-run. Too much cultural understanding is a kind of mafia in its own right. It’s all too easy to become as useless as the local media.

  4. Wiz says:

    Ai Too telling UDD men through TV24 and Peace TV not to go to give courage to Yinglux at Ministry of Interior with the threat of Popcorn warriors …. despite of the invitation by Junta
    – this is due to the fact that UDD leaders got the order from Ai Maew to let Big Too deal with economic troubles first – this is the real upset UDD ideologist wing and UDD intellectual wings who go against Junta to the bitter end to the point that they want to look for somebody else to execute their ideologies since Ai Maew no longer a good choice for UDD ideologists – Need a more permanent organization to run the continuing movements since Nitired and Midnight University have been considered as ad hoc movement – not strong enough for permanent movements … Some want the model of new elites coming to replace the old one (AKA People Party Movement) but they have been upset to learn that so long the old elites and the new elites manage to find a reconciliation, the model of new elites coming to replace the old one (AKA People Party Movement) is not viable at all.
    Even the old CPT men felt upset to learn that the Mainland China [the main ideologists for CPT men] have become a good friend of the old regime – the great mistake of being originated from Thai branch of the Communist party of China …. so they have been abandoned to be rotten in the hills unless they surrender.
    For 14 October movement, it is more like a political accident that bring students into political arena but those student activists have never been prepared to become the New Rulers of the country at all so the old regime have successfully reaped the gains from the victory of 14 October movement and come back to UNDO student movements by 6 October 1976 purge.

    The series of failures have implied that those romantic intellectuals are seeking the new way for political struggles without relying on Ai Maew – so those UDD men in exile and UDD hard cores have to keep the movement through social networks – — yet it still implied that the thoughts of romantic intellectual and naive UDD men are just dreamers in front of PC monitors.

    On the other hand, those UDD grassroots thought that nothing better than waiting as AI Maew is waiting as those Junta seem to become more and more slipping from doing something unnatural – so all quiet in UDD zone and the security still on paranoid since they still stuck with cold war mentality about the underground movement with foreign supports [this is the way to discredit Seh Namngoen for the series of conspiracies] – so silent that even Junta are fearing their own shadows.

  5. KindleReader says:

    All the above could be summed up well in 2 words: FAILED STATE.

  6. Wiz says:

    Yah, not that Somalian Kind or China during the day of Warlords even though the later is the closer

  7. Max Sennet says:

    Good comparison! It is doubtful that central government ever really usurped jao muang here. This suggests the future is more crazy political thinking, resulting in mass starvation and genocide. Forebodings of that with the deliberately rigged rice pledging get-rich-quick orgy of red-dependent NE rice merchants. These things certainly happened in Chinese history too. Mao was probably responsible for more deaths than Hitler and Stalin lumped together. And here we are sixty years on, and China is yet again a capitalist running dog with numerous social problems and a widening gulf between rich and poor. Democracy is a very flawed system, but …. It’s tough luck that no local politician has the courage and intelligence to avoid such catastrophes. They love their power, wealth and uncritical respect far too much for that to ever happen.

  8. Wiz says:

    Thai PBS documentary on 15 Jan 2015 is going to show the voice of local people from all parts of the countries including the demands for Provincial Governor election — Something Momluang Panadda Diskul felt so bitter to swallow while giving Junta and constitution drafters a headache to come with compromises provisions within the draft constitution.

    So long I can eat banana – maize – pumpkins – yam and sweet potato growing on my own backyards in substitute of rice, starvation is not an issue.

    • Wiz says:

      BTW, the idea behind Thai PBS documentary on 15 Jan 2015 definitely coming from Human right activists like Mr Metha Maskhao as he advocated elected Provincial Governors as well as Decentralization and asking Thailand to endorse ICC to put the government into International Criminal Court which mean human right activists are going to fight to bitter ends since what they are going to fight for is nothing short of Declaration of War against Thai nationalists by asking Uncle Sam to meddle into the internal affairs of Thailand as it is unlikely that Thailand would ever endorse ICC at all despite of signature.

  9. Wiz says:

    Max Sennet, BTW, so long we can grow rice on the roof tops, their should not be a problem.

  10. Edward Clampton says:

    No doubt the next Thaksin regime will appreciate your ‘Let a Thousand Rooftops Flourish’ campaign, but you will still probably fall foul of his next Cultural Revolution Wiz! You are undoubtedly on his list of Running Dogs and Lackeys. Perhaps you might want to become a refugee in NZ.

  11. Wiz says:

    Khun Edward Clampton,

    With the growing aging and deteriorating health like that, Ai Maew would prefer to be a puppet master instead of directly rule though. Now, he would ask EE Sudarat running the show even though he knows that EE Sudarat never want to be his puppet at all … even after Yinglux has passed through the impeachment, I never expect her to live in peace … She better prepare to live in exile whether she has become a fugitive or not.

  12. Edward Clampton says:

    Sudarat. Totally bloody useless!

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