End of government/beginning of government

End of government/beginning of government - November-December, 2008

Thaksin's options get fewer and fewer - The Nation, December 19, 2008
...He might also run into trouble with the UK authorities due to his dubious financial transactions, probably one of the reasons that his visa was denied. Thaksin bought Manchester City Football Club for more than 80 million (Bt4.3 billion) and sold the club to Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi for 210 million. That deal raised the eyebrows of the British authorities. What was "Sinatra" trying to do? That prompted them to take a careful look at his financial dealings.
Arabianbusiness.com has recently revealed that the UK froze Thaksin's assets amounting to $4 billion. "The UK froze his reputed $4 billion of assets, forcing him to sell Manchester City to Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour...

Large lower lip - Khao Sod, December 16, 2008

This cartoon shows new PM Abhisit (seated) with a protruding lower lip.
A big lower lip is the physical trademark of government partner Newin (standing behind Abhisit).

Abhisit's U.K. roots may prompt distrust from Thai rural voters - Bloomberg, December 16, 2008

Old Etonian becomes Thailand's new prime minister - Telegraph, December 15, 2008

Thai FM revokes Thaksin's diplomatic passport - The Nation, December 15, 2008

Several injured in rock throwing by red-shirted people - The Nation, December 15, 2008

Red-shirted people attempt to block Parliament gates - The Nation, December 15, 2008

Abhisit voted as the 27th prime minister - The Nation, December 15, 2008

Thailand on brink of major economic crisis similar to 1997 meltdown, says Thaksin - Bernama, December 14, 2008

Foreign media coverage of our crisis is distorted - The Nation, December 12, 2008
...What kind of lese majeste taboo is The Economist talking about? It is all in the perception rather than reality. His Majesty the King does not prohibit people to criticise him or the Monarchy if they do so in an honest way.
Since 1932 no person has been sentenced to jail under the lese majeste law for criticising the Monarchy. Even King Rama VI, the King's uncle, did not put people to jail for criticising the Monarchy. In the old Ayutthaya period, the Siamese subjects also criticised the Monarchy when they had bad kings. But they all respected Monarchy as an institution first and the Kings as an individual second.
One has to differentiate criticism against the Monarchy from slanting, libelling or vandalising the Monarchy. Thaksin has sued a lot of people for libelling him. If you libel against the Monarchy, you also stand to get into trouble too.
If you have your doubt about the lese majeste law, just ask sharp-tongue social critic Sulak Srivalaksa. He has charged 15 times time with lese majeste and never once did he serve jail sentence. It was consistently ruled that Suluck had criticised the Monarchy rather than libelling it...

Thai FM protest Economist's articles - The Nation, December 12, 2008
...In trying to justify presupposed contentions, your double pieces ("The king and them" and "A right royal mess", 4 December 2008) choose to give credence to writing by one American journalist about the King of Thailand and interpret events to suit his unfounded conspiracyprone speculations, while discarding important facts that prove otherwise...

Bhumibol, Thailand's remarkable king - Los Angeles Times, December, 2008

Thai protests expose investors’ risks in rotating-premier land - Bloomberg, December 2008
Thailand’s rotating-door politics was a sideshow for companies and investors. The recent eight-day seizure of Bangkok’s airports by anti-government protesters changed that...

Steering clear of Bangkok - Straits Times, December 2008
Nearly a week after protesters left Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Singaporean travellers remain wary of Bangkok as a holiday destination...

Thailand reverts to old-style politics - BBC News, December 2008

Thaksin's daughter buys house for HK$45m - SCMP, December 6, 2008
...Records show Paetongtarn Shinawatra bought house No 19 at King's Park Hill in Ho Man Tin for HK$13,583 per square foot...
GooglePlacemark for the area

PPP website - December 8, 2008

It reads: According that the Constitutional Court order disbanding the People Power Party--the PPP therefore halts the communication and public relation through the party website permanently. This announcement made publicly by the PPP Public Relations team - December 3, 2008

Thailand 'bans' Economist - Straits Times, December 7, 2008
This week's edition of the Economist magazine has been banned in Thailand...

Shuffling towards fascism - Guardian, December 3, 2008

Suvaranbhumi Airport  "opening" ceremony this morning - ThailandQA, December, 2008

Thailand looks anxiously to a future without... - The Malaysian Insider, December, 2008
...Ironically, an issue as critical as this to Thailand"s future is not being openly debated...

Foreign Office warns against air travel to Bangkok - asap News, December, 2008
...The latest advice on the Foreign Office website states: “… given the protestors’ continuing threat of disruption to the airports and transport network, we advise that you continue to avoid air travel into or through Bangkok for the foreseeable future.”

Bangkok's red light district suffers from political chaos - AFP, December, 2008

Potjaman returns - Komchadluek, December 7, 2008
Silently returns to Thailand to supervise government forming - Potjaman discusses with Newin overcoming disobedience - Thaksin buys back 20 MPs involving tricks over positions and money - Potjaman returns to Thailand late in the night prepared to supervise Pheu Thai Party - Discusses with Newin to stop disobedient team - Immigration chief reveals Potjaman returns as ordinary person without arrest warrant whereas Thaksin moves on buying back 20 MPs from Newin’s group - HM King’s symptom improves - Candle lighting celebration nationwide

Thai Rath, December 7, 2008
HM The King eats a bit - 1st  announcement reveals blood check without bacteria infection - [Potjaman] returns with Oak and Aim - Potjaman silently returns to Thailand - Resides at Chansonglah - PM’s position candidacy becomes hot issue - Newin’s friends group, Chat Thai Pattana promotes Sanan - Suvarnabhumi Airport guaranteed for 100 percent safety

ASTV Phujatkan, December 6-7, 2008
Democrats hope for political turn for time for Abhisit to become PM - Buzz over Potjaman’s silent return to Thailand

Daily News, December 7, 2008
Democrats unexpected to form government - 4 coalition parties join together with Newin’s friends group - More than 260 MPs’ votes to promote Abhisit - Second announcement on HM King’s symptoms reveals HM King’s recuperation - DAAD not postponing gathering at Suphachalasai National Stadium and Thaksin’s phone in on December 13th - Government still under risk

Komchadluek, December 8, 2008
Pheu Thai threaten to dissolve parliament - Revealed Army buys [MPs for] 40 million [baht per head] - Abhisit to be PM with 260 MPs’ votes – Democrats to form government with 5 parties from 2 groups - Pracharat Party isolated - Thaksin’s magic stopped - Coalitions move to join Democrats - 4 coalitions from 2 groups pulled to join government forming with 260 MPs’ votes - Promote Abhisit as PM - Pheu Thai says parliament to be dissolved revealing Army masterminds buying [MPs for] 40 million per head.

Thairath, December 8, 2008
4 coalition parties with Newin promote Democrats and Abhisit as PM

Wheeling and dealing...

Potjaman's calls to kingmaker Newin go unanswered: 'It's too late' - Bangkok Post, December 7, 2008
...Realising that the momentum had shifted in favour of the Democrats, Khunying Potjaman tried in vain to contact Mr Newin yesterday afternoon to get him to change his mind. Her calls went unanswered.
There was a report that the newly established Pheu Thai party even tried to break up the new alliance by offering Chart Thai chief adviser Sanan Kachornprasat the prime minister's job.
Worried by the report, Mr Suthep and Mr Abhisit immediately called Mr Sanan, according to a source.
"How many cabinet seats will you, the prime minister, give us?" Mr Sanan joked with Mr Abhisit during the phone call...

Democrats, former coalition parties to form govt - Bangkok Post, December 6, 2008

Sanan says 15 former Chart Thai MPs to support Abhisit as next PM - The Nation, December 6, 2008

Pheu Thai calls urgent meeting to prevent Democrats from forming coalition - The Nation, December 6, 2008

Thai opposition says wins over ruling MPs in power bid - Reuters, December 6, 2008
...According to figures from parliamentary officials, the Democrats, with 165 seats, plus the five coalition parties it has wooed would have a total of 229 votes in parliament. The People Power Party, now Puea Thai, has 219...

Pheu Thai to back Sanan as PM
- 16:00, December 6, 2008
We are getting word that the Pheu Thai will back Sanan Kajornprasat as PM.

Update: In light of the Democrat announcement that the Newin faction has swung to them, we are being told the Sanan PMship is in being reconsidered.

On this occasion, no better time to repost one of our favorite all-time editorial cartoons by Aroon featuring Banharn and Sanan...

Friends - Krungtepturakit, November 7, 2007
This striking editorial cartoon shows Sanan and Banharn embrace on the occasion of Sanan's faction joining Banharn's Chat Thai Party. At the top it reads: The party of shark fin
This is to indicate the partnership is an exclusive and expensive partnership made up of elites in the same way shark's fin soup is an expensive dish of the elite.
Banharn has fox ears to indicate he is tricky (chau lay). Sanan is drawn with his trademark big ears and bites at Banharn, perhaps indicating the relationship is not a real friendship, but a duplicitous business decision.
Overall the point of this cartoon is to point out the insincerity and venality of the political merger.

These cartoons are from Pojaman's first return in January. At that time she was seen as helping to personally put together a government made up of fractious politicians--the same thing that is apparently happening this time.

ex-Wife of Thaksin to return home Friday night - The Nation, December 5, 2008

On the forum: Does Pojaman face arrest or not?

Above: "I come home because I am of thinking of my children." Huddled around her are various PPP/TRT politicians. (from Manager, Na Ban Bangkae, by Bancha, January 11, 2008)

Below: Pojaman as puppet (from Arun, Krungtepturakit, January 10, 2008)

Message to the Americans in Thailand - December 3, 2008
[What kind of organization does not take cash or credit cards, but only accepts payment in personal checks and promissory notes?]

Message to the Americans in Thailand - December 3, 2008
The Department of State is evaluating whether to charter aircraft to facilitate the onward travel of American citizens seeking to depart Thailand.  Americans who would like to take a U.S. government chartered flight from Bangkok to another airport in the region, such as Singapore,
where they would then make their own arrangements to connect to onward flights, are requested to read through this message and respond as noted below.
Under U.S. law, an American citizen receiving U.S. government transportation assistance is required to pay for the cost of travel at the rate of the most recently available full fare economy ticket. Therefore, American citizens who choose to fly on this charter must either pay prior to departure with a personal check or sign a promissory note (an Emergency Loan Application and Evacuation document <http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/80109.pdf> ) for the amount stated and reimburse the U.S. government for the flight within sixty days.  Cash and credit payments can not be handled... 

The power of money - translated and summarized from Manager, Author; Chaianan Samutwanit, November 30, 2008
Loads of people I know are currently talking about some suspicious events that occurred. Those suspicious events are the following;
1. A funny man encourages the public to send letters to his Majesty the King to pardon Thaksin.
2. A picture of the queen was defaced with no clues found.
3. Beloved people were given nicknames and dishonored comments on some websites.
4. The role of the royal family was widely criticized.
5. Missiles, bombs, and grenades were used against PAD without any investigation from police officials.
6. Generals coerce people to bomb PAD and they do not receive any warning from their commander.
7. The fighting of PAD and anti-PAD people on the road at midday.
8. Government House, Parliament House and the national airport can be occupied with ease.
9. There is no attempt to create a coup though many people were killed.
In the battle between fans and foes of Thaksin, it is a surprise to see lots of people still assisting the former prime minister to be pardoned from his many guilty cases.
Furthermore, though today the conflict has gone too far and seems to interrupt the loyalty towards the royal family, police officials do not seriously look into these matters.
Soldier might be forced to intervene in the conflict between two groups or even forced to exercise a coup and take the PM position.
No matter how the situation goes, Thai will face political turmoil problems and on-going economic disaster which might cause a reduction in the price of agricultural goods.
The situations taking place might stop Thaksin from getting a pardon.
The question of how only one man can create this turmoil in society from so far away can be answered when considering the the power of money. Thais should teach their children to value another things other than money or the situation may repeat again and again.

PAD cease all protests - The Nation, December 2, 2008

Crowd size at the court - December 2, 2008
Throughout the day, Thai TV channels have broadcast various aerial shots of the entrance to the Supreme Administrative Court building on Chang Wattana Road. After hearing reports in English of up to 1000 red shirts armed with clubs and surrounding the building a la the events at the airports, Thai TV coverage shows no more than a few hundred protesters at the front of the building. It may be that the initial besieging of the Constitutional Court downtown was confused with later events at Chang Wattana.

Pheu Thai Party - December 2, 2008

* The new Pheu Thai Party logo (left). The PPP logo (middle) was modeled on the disbanded TRT logo (right). There was also an attempt to name the TRT-successor party Thai Ruam Thai so its initials would be the same as Thai Rak Thai, but a law was quickly passed to prevent new parties from registering the same logo, abbreviation or name as a banned party.

* From August, 2008: Throughout the Northeast especially, PPP party headquarters already had new Pheu Thai party signs ready to be unveiled moments after any disbanding order to show party defiance against the process.
Below is one new party sign ready to be unveiled (Naewna, August 18, 2008). The caption reads: Transforming: The branch office1 of the People Power Party in Pichit province’s Muang district under the supervision of former PPP MPs candidate Sunee Luangvijit is preparing to replace its party sign to be named Pheu Thai Party and open for new party members to apply.

Earlier: May 2007 - Headlines and editorial cartoons from Judgment Day I
Earlier: 2007: Introducing the People Power Party

Charter court rules to dissolve Chart Thai Party - The Nation, December 2, 2008

Charter court dissolves Matchima Thipataya - The Nation, December 2, 2008

Constitution Court dissolves People Power Party
- The Nation, December 2, 2008

Thaksin in Cambodia
- December 2, 2008
We are hearing reports that Thaksin is in Cambodia.

Constitution Court judges to move to work at Administrative Court - The Nation, December 2, 2008

Govt supporters besiege Constitution Court
- The Nation, December 2, 2008

THAILAND: Watershed moment for democracy and rule of law - Asian Human Rights Commission, November 26, 2008
...Some commentators and opponents of the alliance have described its agenda as fascist. This is not an exaggeration...

Leading article: Time for a royal intervention - The Independent, November 27, 2008

Catch me if you can - Arabian Business, November 30, 2008

If Thaksin Shinawatra is feeling the heat, then he's not showing it. Thailand has an arrest warrant out for its former prime minister. The UK has just revoked his visa, and some Western countries are distancing themselves from the man they once championed as their greatest ally in Asia. And yet all Shinawatra can do is shrug.
"Do you know how many countries there are in the world? There are 197. And only 17 have an extradition treaty with Thailand," he notes with a thin smile. "Better still, only 10 of those treaties are active. So, don't you worry about me, I still have many places to stay..."

Some articles from the Thai-language press over the last 24 hours

Manager - Chaiwat Sinsuwongse criticizes police work against the PAD saying that the police is luring the PAD by the peaceful negotiation plan, but aims to dissolve the mob with force at 1 am on November 29.

Komchadluek - Acting Deputy Spokesperson of the US Ministry of Foreign Affair urges Thai government to halt the seize at the two international airports.

Manager - A source reveals that the police start firing at the PAD from the 4th floor gateway of the Suvarnabhumi Airport, but there is no report of injuries. Rumors also say that the Metropolitan Police Chief plans to use force to blockade the ASTV headquarters.

Komchadluek - (here and here) Thaksin gives interview to the foreign press saying the seizing of the two international airports has to be cleared away on concerns of the negative outcome. He warns that a coup, if staged, will lead to severe bloodshed and urges the army to respect law and democracy.

Komchadluek - Speculation as to the possible dismissal of General Anupong after National Police Chief Patcharawat was transferred to an inactive post.

The Nation - Phiphob Thongchai, PAD core leader, says that PM Somchai has to resign as he is serving Thaksin and the Shinawatras.
The Nation - Police checkpoints are set up at the gateway to Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 29 closing the entrance of the airport.

Komchadluek - An unidentified group parked cars in front of the Don Muang Airport Cargo blocking one lane of the road and causing a severe traffic jam on Vibhavahadee Road. Authority suspects the car parking after a blast event is aimed at protecting the group at the airport from attack as attacks have been staged from the expressway.

Manager - The Northeastern People Network from the 19 provinces in the Northeast declares the manifesto blaming the wicked government of the PPP and urging to halt of violent policy against the PAD gathering.

Manager - A Kalasin local reveals that the pro-government DAAD in Kalasin has been prepared to gather at Konkhaen before traveling to stage a mass gathering in Bangkok. Meanwhile, a source says that Surin MPs led by the PPP meets to discuss with about 150 members of the DAAD in Surin provinces, declaring a manifesto to oppose a coup.

Manager - The Konkhaen PAD deliver blankets and socks to the Konkhaen ASTV manager to give to the PAD warriors at the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airport.

Manager - The Bloomberg/AFP press reveals the PAD group contains families and their young children and elderly who joined the protest aimed at dispelling the government at the Suvarnabhumi Airport where there is to be a final war of the group against the government.

Exclusive video: Thaksin on Thai crisis - thomascrampton.com, November 28, 2008
[Thanks to Nils for pointing this out. This is the video widely ridiculed in the Thai press today where Thaksin says “Those who violate the law must be prosecuted." As usual, the newspapers did not give any source or link when reporting on this interview. They just said they were quoting from "an interview" or The Nation which gave no source to the statement at all. UPDATE: The Nation has since updated the article revealing the source of the quote.]

Photos of the aftermath of the grenade attack at Government House - The Nation, November 30, 2008
Press photographer 'assaulted by PAD guards' - Bangkok Post, November 30, 2008

Welcome to Bangkok airport - no passport needed - Reuters, Saturday November 29, 2008

20 of the world’s most dangerous places - Telegraph, November 28, 2008
Iraq... Afghanistan... Chechnya... South Africa... Somalia... Sudan... Thailand
Major political demonstrations and a temporary state of emergency have affected both of Bangkok’s airports. The area around Government House and nearby Ratchadamnoen “Nok” Road, including the area around Metropolitan Police headquarters and Parliament should be avoided. Fighting also broke out last month on the Cambodian border at Preah Vihear and tensions remain high. Civil unrest and frequent attacks continue in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla – the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to these areas.
Colombia... Haiti... Eritrea... Democratic Republic of Congo... Liberia... Pakistan... Burundi... Nigeria... Zimbabwe... India... Mexico... Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories... Lebanon

Dissolve parliament - by Zia, Thai Rath, November 28, 2008
Words above the hand clappers: Dissolve Parliament - Dissolve Parliament
On the right side: Pok-pak [Anupong’s nickname is Pok-Orn and the sound the clapper make is "pak" so this is a joke combing his name with the clapper sound.] The soldier who does not want to become a big man [powerful - meaning Anupong is resisting calling a coup]
Somchai holds a card that reads: Maintain national security
Children hold cards that read: Protect democracy, respect the law
The rat says: Decline

A different perspective on the Thailand situation - ireport, November 2008
...While the PPP states they were democratically elected, numerous reports from across the country about vote buying and poll manipulation tell a different tale...

Hands up! - by Zia, Thai Rath, November 27, 2008
Hands up! [This shows the PAD clappers hitting planes. "Hands up" refers to a hijacker or robber saying hand up as he commits a crime.]

The super babycart bandit - Thai Post, November 26, 2008
The PAD leaders examine Thaksin's head.
At the top: The super babycart bandit
Sondhi says: It should be the ending. [Super babycart bandit refers to how the beheaded Thaksin is similar to the once popular Japanese movie "Samurai-por-look-on" or "The babycart" which featured a baby head in a cart in the movie poster artwork (right). To this is added "bandit" to refer to the profiteering and corruption Thaksin and his family are accused of.

Stage of the leaders - Krungthepturakit, November 26, 2008
Stage of the leaders [This refers to the summit in Peru that PM Somchai attended before returning to Thailand. Somchai is shown with a bag over his head. This seems to make fun of his propensity to be out of the country or non-committal on political events in Bangkok as they happen.]

Earlier: High tension in Thailand

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