High tension in Thailand – November 2008

All the past news: High tension in Thailand (2005-2008)

Protest leaders refuse Saturday talks - TNA, November 28, 2008

PM insists emergency decree intended to restore order - TNA, November 28, 2008

18:58 - PM Somchai addresses the nation - November 28, 2008
The PM said that tourists and travelers are now in trouble are and how the Chonburi governor [also responsible for the Utapao airport] will help solve these problems such as transporting people, providing food, and find the places to stay.

Concerning the PAD that closed the airports, police will try to solve problem softly and without violence, step by step.
He also told that he got a letter from the Human Rights Commission, Saneh Jamarik, who asked the PM not to use violence with the mob. The PM says anybody can observe how the police will deal with the mob and they will do under the law.
And for any negotiations, he wants people to understand his duty as the head of government and that he will continue on his mission [meaning he will not resign].

Shock transfer of police chief - The Nation, November 28, 2008
Phatcharawat was urgently transferred in the middle of Suvarnabhumi crisis, renewing doubts about Army chief's future...

Daily News, November 28, 2008 - Violent battle - The group of Chiang Mai patriot group 51 or the Chiang Mai DAAD closes off the gateway to the Ban Raming Niwes Village in Tambon Haiya in Muang district battling with the PAD causing Chettha Jienkitwattana, owner of the Wihok radio station, to suffer death.

"MUST READ: PAD Clarifies Decision to Surround Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi Airport" - TOC, November 28, 2008

Riot police gather at besieged Thai airport - Reuters, November 28, 2008
Dozens of riot police with truncheons and shields gathered at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport on Friday after talks with anti-government protesters apparently failed to end a crippling blockade.
A Reuters correspondent saw 100 police set up a perimeter at the airport headquarters building, about 300 metres from where the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters had besieged the main terminal...

From Not the Nation: Bruce Willis reportedly in Suvarnbhumi vent system
...“Bruce really can’t believe he is in this situation again but he is eager to help,” said police spokesman lieutenant Sombat Sreephathep. “We will see if he can infiltrate the PAD from inside the airport. On behalf of the entire Royal Bangkok Police force, I would like to say, ‘Yippee-ki-yay, Bruce...’”

Govt to enlist help from Thaksin if coups staged - The Nation, November 28, 2008
...He said Thaksin would make phone calls to direct the resistance against the coup on around-the-clock basis.
"If a coup is staged, thaksin will fight against it along side with Thais. He can make phone calls to us 24 hours a day," Natthawut said.

Spokesman claims Govt wins support to use force to end Bangkok airports' besieging - The Nation, November 28, 2008

21:00 - PM Somchai addresses the nation - November 27, 2008

PM Somchai addressed the nation and declared the state of emergency at the two Bangkok airport. He also mentioned that Interior Minister Kowit Wattana will be in charge of implementing the decree to clear the protesters. Kowit is a former Chief of Police.

Somchai to declare state of emergency at Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi - The Nation, November 27, 2008
Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat will declare state of emergency specifically for the Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi International airports to empower police to break the demonstrations, a source said.
The prime minister would not use military forces to deal with the protesters but would use police.
The source said forces from the Metropolitan Police Bureau would be deployed to crack down on protesters at the Don Mueang airport and police from the Provincial Bureau 1 would be used to deal with protesters at the Suvarnabhumi.

Suvarnabhumi Airport remains closed until Nov 29 - The Nation, November 27, 2008

People's Alliance not worried about coup - TOC, November 27, 2008
Ruling MPs have vowed to disclose a list of companies that provide financial support for the anti-government protest by the People's Alliance for Democracy.
Meanwhile, a key leader of the anti-government group insists that the group is not worried about speculation of a military coup...

PM to hold press conference at 6 pm amid speculation of state of emergency - The Nation, November 27, 2008

Coup rumours sweep Bangkok
- The Nation, November 27, 2008

Thai political crisis 'disastrous' for Cambodian tourism - EARTHtimes, November 26, 2008
The seizure of Thailand's main international airport by protesters Wednesday left thousands of travelers stranded in Cambodia and will hurt the country's already beleaguered tourism sector...

Bangkok's bizarre power struggle - Newsweek, November 26, 2008
...Few dispute the claim that Thailand is moving in reverse. Its economy, which grew robustly during Thaksin’s rule, thanks to rural reforms including village-level business loans and free medical care, is back in the dumps. Its multi-billion-dollar tourism industry has been dealt a staggering blow just as it enters the all-important winter holiday season.  And the return of supernaturalism in politics, one could argue, marks a sardonic retreat from modernity. Thais revere King Rama V as a great modernizer who abolished slavery, forged diplomatic ties with Western powers and prevented the kingdom’s colonization during his 42 years on the throne. Yet with little apparent irony, today’s leaders seek to channel the powers of a legendary monarch who embraced new ideas using sorcery, holy water and menstrual blood.

Activist shot as Thailand rejects army call to go - Reuters, November 26, 2008
...A gang of government supporters in the northern city of Chiang Mai shot dead an anti-government activist on Wednesday, the first serious violence outside Bangkok.
The victim, a man in his 50s whose son ran a small anti-government radio station, was dragged from his car before being shot, police lieutenant-colonel Atipol Thongdaeng told Reuters...

PAD takes over air traffic control tower - Bangkok Post, November 26, 2008
About 30 People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) guards wearing masks on Wednesday took control of Suvarnabhumi airport’s air traffic control tower to check the daily flight schedule...

PAD refuses to leave Suvarnabhumi - Bangkok Post, November 26, 2008

Giles Ji Ungpakorn: "Fascist Thugs Terrorise Passengers at Bangkok International Airport"
...Those who support democracy and social justice in Thailand must condemn the PAD and those advocating a dictatorship. We must be with the pro-democracy Red Shirts, while refusing to support ex-PM Thaksin, who has a record of Human Rights abuses. I hope that all those friends of Thailand abroad will support all our efforts to defend Thai democracy and to defend those of us who may face arrest in the future.

Somchai to fly to Chiang Mai, declare state of emergency: source - The Nation, November 26, 2008

PM prepares to announce state of emergency - TOC, November 26, 2008

4 bomb attacks rock Bangkok - The Nation, November 26, 2008

Tourists urge to check with airport, police at these phone numbers - The Nation, November 26, 2008

PAD: PM Somchai has arrived in Thailand - TOC, November 25, 2008

People's Alliance for Democracy Announcement 26/2008
- TOC, November 25, 2008
The People’s Alliance for Democracy is left with no choice but to step up its peaceful rally by blocking off access to the Suvarnabhumi Airport. This is considered to be an ultimatum for Somchai Wongsawat and the Cabinet to resign immediately and without any condition.
The people’s alliance apologizes for any inconvenience the closure of the Suvarnabhumi Airport may cause to the public and international visitors to the Kingdom of Thailand. But the PAD believes the measure is crucial to bring an end to the traitorous-killer government...

Suvarnabhumi closed, Sondhi delivers ultimatum - Bangkok Post, November 25, 2008

PAD closes Suvarnabhumi - The Nation, November 25, 2008
...The Airports of Thailand has decided to close the Suvarnabhumi airport after PAD protesters entered passenger terminals.
Now, there will not be out-bound flights. In-bound planes are being allowed to land for now, but can be diverted to key provincial airports if situations deteriorated...

PAD riots on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road - Thai PBS via Matichon, November 24, 2008
This is the video taken around 17:00 today on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road showing PAD supporters attacking motorcycle taxi drivers along the road. At the end you the video, the PAD attempt to take the video away from the reporter.

21:00 - The raw video has been updated to show the Thai PBS TV report version of events. This more clearly shows the "PAD shooter" and omits the crowd trying to take the video from the reporter.

Phutjakkan has a different take on the events, UDD Taxi drivers attack PAD with iron bars

Thaksin: UK will be sorry - The Nation, November 24, 2008
..."With me at the helm I can bring confidence quickly back to Thailand. We have to find a mechanism under which I can go back, that is why I must tell you that I will go back into politics..."

Crunch Day - Bangkok Post, November 24, 2008

"Last battle" begins today - The Nation, November 24, 2008

Observers welcomed to monitor police response to protesters - TNA, November 23, 2008

INN explains Thaksin 'asylum' reports - The Nation, November 18, 2008
INN news agency yesterday insisted it had "sincerely and professionally" reported news to its audience after its report about small countries offering help to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra were denied and questioned.
In a statement posted on its website, www.innnews.co.th, INN said it would stick to the standard of good ethics and would not be a tool for anybody...

[INN has come under criticism in the Thai-language press for backing up Thaksin's claims that several countries were offering him sanctuary after the revocation of his UK visa.]

Deposed Thai PM Thaksin now in Dubai: aide - AFP, November 17, 2008
...Thailand's ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is staying in Dubai as he seeks a new home after his British visa was revoked earlier this month, an aide said Monday.
Billionaire Thaksin -- who was toppled in a coup in 2006 and has been living in exile since August to avoid jail sentences at home -- also plans to address supporters in Thailand by telephone next month, said the aide...

Thaksin divorce 'just a business deal' - Bangkok Post, November 15, 2008
..."The divorce helps boost the image of Khunying Potjaman. She repeatedly said she didn't want her husband to get involved in politics.
"If she returns to fight the legal case, the political pressure which she earlier faced might be reduced," said the former ASC spokesman...

[This story has undergone very peculiar reporting in the Post. For instance, the story above has the quote "just a business deal' in the headline, but this quote does not appear in the article. The articles below underwent multiple copy and headline changes throughout the day they were posted. The Nation held off reporting this until about 14 hours after the Post and then made clear that the claims being made were coming from the Manager newspaper.]

PPP MP: Thaksin leaves for Dubai - Bangkok Post, November 15, 2008
...On the rumours claiming that the former premier divorced his wife Khunying Potjaman, the MP said he does not believe them because the couple appeared happy together when they were in Hong Kong.
According to Mr Sakda, many Pheu Thai party MPs expected Mrs Yinglak Shinawatra to lead their party and she would become the first Thai female prime minister. He believed the Shinawatra family is ready to administer the country, especially Mr Thaksin’s brother Payap...

Thaksin, Potjaman end 32-year marriage - Bangkok Post, November 15, 2008
...Thaksin reportedly flew to Dubai last night after the dinner with the PPP MPs, who went to Hong Kong to meet Thaksin, who arrived from Beijing on Tuesday.
The group included Yaowapa Wongsawat, his younger sister and wife of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, her close aide Yongyuth Tiyapairat and former Thai Rak Thai executive Newin Chidchob. Veera Musikhapong and Chatuporn Promphan, hosts of the Kwam Jing Wan Nee (Truth Today), were also seen in Hong Kong yesterday...

Thai premier arrives today for brief visit - Business World, November 10, 2008
Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat will arrive in Manila this afternoon for a seven-hour visit aimed at boosting ties between Bangkok and Manila.
A Palace statement released yesterday said Mr. Somchai will arrive at 3 p.m. and will depart for Bangkok at 10 p.m...

Exiled Thaksin vows fight back against Thai enemies - AP, November 10, 2008
...The billionaire telecoms tycoon said he would address supporters at future rallies in northeast Thailand, a region that helped give him two landslide election victories.
"I will phone in and talk to the people who love and have faith in me. I will make a longer speech and start naming names because they have pushed me into a corner," he said...

Home Office bars Thaksin Shinawatra from returning to Britain
- The Times, November 10, 2008
...A Whitehall source confirmed yesterday that the Home Office had revoked the couple’s visas under rules banning entry to those convicted of offences that can carry a jail sentence under British law. The Thai Government confirmed that it had been informed – in fact, the only person who appeared not to have been notified was Thaksin himself. “I spoke with Thaksin’s secretary and he said that Thaksin still has not been notified by the British Government,” said Phongthep Thepkanjana, a spokesman for Thaksin.
Pracha Prosobdee, a member of the ruling pro-Thaksin People Power Party (PPP), told a Thai newspaper: “We don’t have to be concerned about Thaksin and his family. There are the Bahamas and several countries in Africa and around the world that will gladly welcome high-quality people like him.” The tycoon first fled to London after the military coup in 2006 and bought a £3 million penthouse flat in Kensington, West London, and a £4.5 million mansion in Weybridge, Surrey. He bought Manchester City in July last year and sold it in September to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment for £210 million. He retained the post of honorary president but the club’s board is believed to be considering stripping him of the title. There is also concern over his link to a 10 per cent holding of the club’s shares through associates...

Elephants fight, ants get squashed - AsiaOne, November, 2008
...However, the on-going battle between the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the People's Power Party-led coalition government has indirectly trampled on her dream to compete against aspiring transvestites around the world including Malaysia -- echoing the Thai proverb which says, "In a battle between elephants, the ants get squashed"...

How many at the DAAD rally?

The Nation: Huge show of strength by DAAD
...While most of the more than 20,000 people or so who showed up yesterday at Rajamangala National Stadium to express their support for the government and Thaksin donned red, not all were wearing red from the outset...

The Nation: Thaksin calls for reconciliation, forgiveness
..."May I ask you, brothers and sisters, if you wish me to remain abroad for that long period of time?" he asked the 50,000-plus red-clad supporters at Rajamangala National Stadium...

Bangkok Post
: 'Only royal kindness can get me home'
...Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra told about 80,000 of his supporters last night only royal kindness and the power of the people could bring him home.

AFP: 'I cannot return home,' exiled Thaksin tells supporters
...Exiled former Thai premier Thakin Shinawatra denounced his opponents Saturday in a telephone address to 90,000 loyal supporters packed into a Bangkok sports stadium...

Photos from Rajamangala Stadium - The Nation, November 1, 2008
Unfortunately the photos are covered with distracting "Nation Group" watermarks.

Saturday gathering - November 1, 2008
Invitation to the press for the Saturday, November 1 gathering of anti-coup, pro-Thaksin groups at Rajamangla Stadium.

Schedule for "Truth Today" (Number 2)
Saturday, November 1, 2008 Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok
1:00PM Gate opens
3:00PM - Music starts
- Greetings (informal)
4:45PM MC appears
5:00PM Songs by Visa Kanthap
5:30PM Speech by Kawkaew Pikulthong
6:00PM - Singing the National Anthem altogether
- Speech by Jatuporn Prompan, MP
6:30PM Speech by Nattawut Sai-kua, Government Spokesman
7:00PM Speech by Jaturon Chaisang, Former Acting President of Thai Rak Thai Party
7:30PM Speech by Veera Musikapong, Former President of PTV
8:00PM Speech by Jakrapob Penkair, Former Minister of Prime Minister's Office
8:30PM Speech by Pongthep Thepkanchana, Former Minister of Justice
9:00PM Speech by Adisorn Piangkej, Former Deputy Minister of Transportation 
9:30PM - Speech by a special guest
- Speech by Thaksin Shinawatra, Former Prime Minister
10:00PM Conclusive speech by Veera Musikapong

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