Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bangkok Goes on High Alert

I am in jotting in an airport lounge, about to board my first flight to the newly opened Bangkok International Airport.

Concerning what is surely the most ominous sounding development since the coup d'etat, the headline of this morning's Bangkok Post read: Third Army moves troops to capital. Here is the lead:
The Third Army sent a battalion of troops to Bangkok last night following fears of the return of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and protests against the election of Meechai Ruchupan as National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president.
Apparently, the army fears that the man whom the new assembly elected its leader is loyal to deposed prime minister Thaksin. The article provides more background on the developments that have caused troops to be moved to Bangkok:
The military movements came to light after Mr Meechai was elected president of the NLA yesterday, in a move that sparked fierce criticism from anti-Thaksin groups who see him as being loyal to the deposed prime minister.

The election came amid an upsurge of criticism against the Council for National Security (CNS) and the interim government of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont.

The critics include academics and non-governmental organisations opposed to the coup, including the Campaign for Popular Democracy that was at the forefront in the People's Alliance for Democracy that protested against Mr Thaksin for several months earlier this year.

Several mobs could form at this juncture, the army sources said, quoting intelligence reports. They include those against Mr Meechai's election as NLA president, and those protesting the continued imposition of martial law.

''This is where the military fears that a third hand, or previously powerful elements loyal to Pol Lt-Col Thaksin may create a situation by infiltrating or organising mobs to stir up violence in order to lure soldiers into using force, or violent means because they are empowered to do so under martial law,'' a source said.
The report says that checkpoints have been set up in the South of Thailand in anticipation that the deposed prime minister might try to sneak in Thailand by road. Also we read this, "Intelligence reports suggested that police and military officers loyal to Mr Thaksin were stirring up discontent with leaflets and rumours, the sources said."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because all comments on this blog are moderated, there will be some delay before your comment is approved.