High tension in Thailand – October 2008

High tension in Thailand - October 2008

Thai protesters snap up 'clappers' - BBC, October 30, 2008
Thanks to Pieter for pointing this out.

Somchai "Love Hotel" video
This video has been extensively rumored and discussed in the Thai-language forums in the past week...

PAD Letter to UK Ambassador to Thailand

Thaksin's letter - The Nation, October 26, 2008
...The best I can comprehend is that I was convicted simply because I was a politician. In that case I was quite guilty because I was quite a successful politician. I got elected twice by the majority of Thai people as prime minister.
If I were to be guilty of anything, that would be for what I have shown to the Thai people, especially those underprivileged rural Thais that they can, and have the right to, demand their government to provide effective policy and programmes to improve their lives...

Korn's letter to Thaksin - The Nation, October 26, 2008
...It is precisely because it is so difficult the world over to actually catch clever politicians with their hands in the till that we have laws against conflicts of interests - it is a reflection of our society's desire for good governance, not dissimilar to codes of conducts in most leading corporations in the private sector.
It may be true that there are the so-called elites who don't like you, but I can assure you that there are plenty of grass-root members of the Thai population who are also not too keen on having leaders who cheat. You got away early in your political career with an 'honest mistake' when you failed to properly disclose your assets, but how many more of these 'honest' mistakes do you think the Thai people should allow you? You are once again charged with hiding assets even now, not least the money you used to buy Manchester City. After all, you no longer even try to pretend that it was not your own money that was used to buy the football club, even though you never disclosed, as was legally required, that you ever had any money overseas...

Thaksin's TV speech cancelled - Bangkok Post, October 26, 2008

Salang vows not to join anti-PAD protest - Bangkok Post, October 25, 2008

Salang denies he planned to surround Govt House - Bangkok Post, October 25, 2008

Thaksin's letter in response to the Ratchada land verdict - Matichon, October 24, 2008
Includes an English version.

Above: Channel 7 news banner - It reads: The Supreme Court rules on the Ratchada land corruption case.

Thaksin found guilty and sentenced to two years in jail - The Nation, October 21, 2008
The Supreme Court Tuesday said then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and family should not have get involved in buying properties from the state...

Thaksin convicted with two-year jail term but Pojaman acquitted - The Nation, October 21, 2008

Below: ASTV news banner showing worried looking versions of the Thaksins - It reads: Live broadcasting of the Court’s hearing on Ratchada Land case.
Only Channel 7 and ASTV broke into programming to report the unfolding verdict. Other stations waited until a news break for an update.

Top brass on Channel 3

Coup via TV? - The Nation, October 17, 2008
...Army chief Anupong Paochinda led the historic commentary that was soft in tone but brutally harsh in substance. The top brass's unspoken message delivered at the news talk programme hosted by Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda was clear: Mr Prime Minister, you'd better go.
Anupong all but held the government accountable for the October 7 bloodshed, saying he was well aware of "orders" that the police had to follow. He also expressed regret for failing to warn that such orders could lead to violence...

In the Thai heartland, anger over protests in Bangkok - IHT, October 13, 2008
[Thanks to Danny for pointing this out.]
..."The people of Isaan are people, too," said Damneun, 48, who is now a farmer, like most people in this small village. "We also eat rice, and we also have an education, and they can't insult us like this."
The insult comes from the leaders of an anti-government protest in Bangkok who say that rural voters are misguided and ignorant. In the hope of changing the balance of political power, the protesters have put forward a new plan that would weaken those rural voices...

Joshua Kurlantzick: Going backwards in Bangkok - National Post, October, 2008
...In the last week of August, after nearly two decades, the Sunday Perspective section of the Bangkok Post, the leading English newspaper, closed down forever, to virtually no notice. 
It shouldn’t have. In a society where the elites — the military, the bureaucracy, the rich — long went unquestioned, Perspective, a tough investigative reporting section, provided Thais with a service people in other countries take for granted: questioning the powerful.
...Beginning in the mid-1990s, just as Thailand began to build a democracy, those methods still worked. Perspective reporters showed the Bangkok Post’s readers a country beneath the false harmony and smiles: the environmental disasters covered up by industry, the simmering separatist movement in the south, the massive graft of the Thai political class and much more...

A tale of two newspapers

No explosive residue: Pornthip - The Nation, October 11, 2008
An inspection of the scene of bloody clashes between police and the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has found no explosive residue, renowned forensic expert Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand said yesterday.
"There's also no trace of any such substance on the clothes or bodies of the injured victims," she told a press conference...

Residues from explosives found: CIFS - Bangkok Post, October 12, 2008
Some residues from explosive-like materials were detected following the inspection on more than 300 items of evidence gathered from the clashes between the police and supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), Justice Ministry's Central Institute of Forensic Science director Porntip Rojanasunan said on Sunday.
She said the result will be examined again, and she planned to gather more evidence at the sites where confrontations happened on Sunday afternoon...

Earlier: 'A tale of two newspapers' archives

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