After dozens of e-mails from our readers asking our opinion on a news story that suggests Thaksin is planning a violent takeover of Thailand’s government, we were compelled to give it a look. So in looking at the history of Connecting the Dots, this is the very first reader requested story, and we hope we will not let you down.
First below is the story in question. Our analysis follows.
Quoting The Nation:
‘Govt only using this rumor to divert attention from its poor performance’
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has denied being involved in plans, known widely as the Taksin I and Taksin II, to oust this government, red-shirt rally organizer Natthawut Saikua said yesterday.
He added that the ex-PM had called him directly to disclose this information.
“I want to plead for justice because Thaksin’s name is smeared by linking to schemes he is in no way involved,” Natthawut said.
He added that the ASTV-Manager Daily, seen as the mouthpiece of the People’s Alliance of Democracy, announced the existence of these so-called plots and said a report like this lacked credibility. He also added that the government was hyping up the news so it could have public focus shifted to Thaksin and the red shirts in order to cover up its poor performance, he said.
“I swear on my life that the red shirts are not involved in Taksin I or II, and would like to challenge Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban to release a report on the matter for public scrutiny,” he said.
Natthawut said he suspected the two schemes had been fabricated to provide a pretext for a crackdown on the red shirts.
Pheu Thai Party MP Jatuporn Promphan said the plots were written like the storyline of a novel that had no bearing on reality, adding that this bid to put the red shirts in a bad light was pure malice.
He also voiced suspicion that the government was trying to discredit the red shirts as a pretext to mobilize 6,000 soldiers to keep peace at tomorrow’s rally. However, he insisted that the rally would be peaceful, though he warned about unforeseen consequences should authorities step in to disperse the crowds.
Meanwhile, Thaksin’s legal adviser Wichit Plangsrisakul threatened to file a defamation suit against any individuals linking Thaksin to government-ousting schemes.
“Thaksin is a fallen man and some people just want to keep stomping him down,” Wichit said, adding that the government should concentrate more on solving people’s problems instead of smearing the former PM.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said the public should closely scrutinize any plots before coming to a conclusion.
“The key issue is whether the accusations are true,” he said.
In related news, soldiers will today be deployed to guard Government House for the duration of the red-shirt rally.
Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong said he was afraid a civil war would erupt if the two Taksin plots were carried out.
Meanwhile, Thammasat University’s law lecturer Prinya Thewanaruemitkul said he expected the latest red-shirt rally would be a low-key event because they had a learned a lesson from the Songkran mayhem.
“This time they should not be able to attract too large a crowd because the people are still haunted by the road blockade at Victory Monument and the raid by protesters at the Asean Summit in Pattaya,” he said.
Democrat MP Kiartikorn Pakpiansilp said democracy advocates should stay away from the rally because the presence of a large crowd might be exploited by “a third hand” to stir up violence which in turn will lead to military intervention.
Connecting the Dots analysis;
we will only look at one element of this story and that is the potential of a Thaksin violent takeover. First things we would consider the chances of this being a successful takeover. We must look at the logistics of who is where and who can access things to make it happen. At the moment key Thaksin supporters in the military have been moved to posts that do not pose a threat, but this is not to say it still could not happen. It would need to be a 2 step process of an internal military coup, then the main event. However the first step would blow the surprise required for the second step. So Connecting the Dots gives a no go on this.
The second thing we will look at is the plot itself and if it matches Thaksin’s ego / personality and choice options. In both cases the answer is yes, so it does add credibility to the story.
The third thing we will consider is Thaksin’s own comments on this. Taking into account Thaksin says opposite the truth, and he has denied any involvement, the answer can only be Thaksin is in on this.
As for the red shirt involvement, Connecting the Dots sees this rally as just a test to see how much damage was caused and remains from the April riots. Much of this depends on how the police are dressed. If they turn up in full riot gear, it will send a subconscious signal that we have not forgotten. If the police are more laid back in their dress, then it would send a subconscious signal of acceptance.
Another more distant factor we are considering that may swell Thaksin’s chances is politicians themselves and various people in places of influence throughout Thailand. They are observing members of Parliament and Senators getting nailed for non compliance in wealth related matters. So this has triggered a survival instinctual reaction. There are people who knowingly are in violation of one or more laws, and the old way of thinking was it would not come up until after they died of age related natural causes. Now it is looking like it will come up much sooner than that. So knowing that under Thaksin they could get away with this corruption, and not under Abhisit, they would tend to be more in favor of Thaksin as driven by their survival instincts. So this factor would tend to lend support for Thaksin’s success.
So the bottom line is Connecting the Dots sees this threat as valid, but it is not ready to be used yet. Thaksin’s long absence from sight suggest he was doing a lot of networking and was constantly on the phone to someone in Thailand setting this up.