Archive for November, 2007

Plot against PPP: the Junta orders the EC to stop its investigation

Back to business for the Junta ! General Sonthi, leader of the Coup, ex Chief of Army, and Deputy Prime Minister, has been in hot water this week, due to the plot against PPP (read here).

A committee of the Electoral Commission voted by 4 against 3 that “the CNS had violated the law in failing to maintain its neutrality as a state agency. It had also breached the 2007 constitution by issuing the order”. (Bangkok Post)

Difficult to be clearer…

Friday morning the EC “postponed its ruling” (the final ruling) to next tuesday (Bangkok Post).

We can indeed imagine their embarrassment…

But, the EC can breathe now… because the CNS has “sent an urgent letter to the Election Commission, telling it to halt an investigation on ground that its actions have legal immunity granted by the interim charter.” (Nation) !

Case closed ? Of course, even if the EC is saying, in a quite pathetic way, that “it has yet to consider as to whether to comply with the order of the CNS“…

But this event will certainly please Thaksin’s supporters, less than a month before the elections, because it’s just another proof that well… a Junta… is a Junta. 😉

I mean, we shouldn’t be surprised. The “Rule of law”, “Fairness”, “Transparency” talking is just plain bullshit, mere words agitated by the generals to entertain the suckers (read “the thai people”… along with a lot of foreigners too).

The generals are ruling this country.

Until further notice.

The King leaves the hospital… after a 2 days visit

The King left friday the Siriraj hospital, where he arrived wednesday evening, to “visit his sister“.

It looks now like a pattern : since he left officially the hospital (november 7, after 3 weeks of treatment), the King is going back every week to “visit his sister” and… stays 2 or 3 nights.

Vote buying : after purple bills… blue pills

bluepill.jpg

Everything is possible in Thailand, and this is probably why we like this country. 😉

Before the elections, it’s a tradition to speak a lot about “vote buying” (another… political tradition).

But this year, there could be a real novelty… After the purple bills (500 THB)… now it seems that some candidates are giving away… blue pills : Viagra of course !

This drug is expensive in Thailand. Therefore, some male voters could be attracted by this modern kind of bribe. 😉

Would you take the red or the blue pill ? Indeed, it’s Matrix every day in Thailand.

Cooking gas : price increased by 12 %

Friday, the retail price of cooking gas (LPG) will increase by 15 THB per standard 15 kilos cylinder.

This is due to the end of the subsidy (from the Oil Fund).

And then in january, the retail price will increase again by 15 THB, when the companies like PTT will ctu their own subsidies.

It means that by the end of of january, a standard 15 kilos cylinder will cost 282 THB (compare to 252 THB now).

That’s a total of 12 % increase (Bangkok Post).

Households account for 55 per cent of total LPG [liquid petroleum gas] consumption, while taxis make up 25 per cent and industry the remaining 20 per cent.” (Nation)

Elections : how do you say “conflict of interest” in thai ?

Quick reminder:

-the Junta, led by General Sonthi, designed a plan to curb the influence of PPP
-confidential documents explaining the plot were leaked to the medias
-The Prime Minister Surayud confirmed that these documents were genuine
-Even the Defense Minister acknowledged the plot
-The Electoral Commission created a committee to “investigate” the matter. By 4 votes to 3, the committee says that, indeed, the CNS (Junta) “had violated the law in failing to maintain its neutrality as a state agency. It had also breached the 2007 constitution by issuing the order. ” (Bangkok Post)

Now… let’s remember that Sonthi is the Deputy Prime Minister (after he left the position of Chief of Army).

Today the Prime Minister “expresses confidence that Deputy Prime Minister Gen.Sonthi Boonyaratglin can oversee the general election until the Election Commission (EC) reaches a verdict on the case of confidential documents.

Regarding the confidential documents allegedly signify the Council for National Security’s lack of impartiality in politics, the premier says he has not been reported of EC’s investigation progress of the case. He also says the deputy premier can perform his duty as chairman of the government’s anti-vote buying committee until EC finishes its investigation. (MCOT)

You got the picture ? Of course Sonthi, as the guy who ousted Thaksin and led the military coup, needs, has to do whatever he can to undermine the PPP (that could win the elections). Therefore, the conflict of interest is… vital for him.

The problem is, once again, Surayud plays with words and looks like a naive fool by saying that, sure, Sonthi can “oversee” the elections while EC is investigating the plot…

And the last blow : Sonthi is also the chairman of the… government’s anti-vote buying committee. 😉

Sonthi, deputy Prime Minister, violates the law with 2 registered marriages

General Sonthi, ex Chief of Army, leader of the Coup and the Junta, and Deputy Prime Minister… has 2 wifes with 2 registered marriages. Which is of course against the law.

Polygamy can certainly be a matter of private life (lovers, mia noi), nobody cares… But “registered” polygamy is against the law. And it doesn’t matter if Sonthi is muslim.

Polygamy was made illegal in Thailand in… 1935.

This info was well known before (read Nation in december 2006). But strangely, nobody seems to care. And it’s weird to see that Sonthi has no shame to reveal it publicly.

Deputy Prime Minister Sonthi Boonyaratkalin said he did not report assets of his third wife to the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) because they are not legally married.

He explained that he decided to report assets of his first two wives because he named his first wife Mrs Sukanya as his wife while his personal income tax form had the name of his second wife Mrs Piyada (Bangkok Post)

This official polygamy has a direct effect on the Revenue Departement for instance…

And the last blow, if I may say : Aree, ex Interior Minister said in december 2006 to defend his friend : “Muslim men could have four wives according to tradition”.

I have six wives while the CNS chief has only two, so it is nothing to talk about”.

Indeed, at that point there is nothing to talk about. Anymore. 😉

South : one crucified, 2 beheaded

We are going further into the horror.

A Muslim military informant was shot and crucified, while two Buddhist men were beheaded Wednesday by suspected Islamic separatists in Thailand’s restive south, police said.

Suspected rebels then drove six-inch nails through his head, arms and legs to attach him to two pieces of wood, which were laid out like a cross in the middle of a road in Rueso district of Narathiwat province, near the southern border with Malaysia, he said.

Khanchitthol said police found a note written in Thai and left near the cross, reading: “This is what the infidels deserve. The soldier dogs must meet this end.”

About two hours later, two Buddhist fishmongers aged 20 and 61 were shot and then beheaded in another district of Narathiwat, police said.” (AFP).


Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.