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Multiple Bombs in Bangkok, Three Killed in Blasts

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posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 08:51 AM
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Less than six hours before Bangkok celebrates the New Year at least seven bombs went off, to some reports, almost simultaneously at different locations in the capital. Three people are according to The Nation killed, two at the bus terminal by Victory Monument and one in the Klong Toei area. As this has happened within the last four hours, reports are conflicting. BBC claims two dead in their latest update, so far Reuters doesn't report any deaths, but 20 injuries, some seriously, are reported. Soldiers are being dispatched around the city, and shops ordered to close. No one has taken responsibility.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
The blasts took place in widely-dispersed locations in the late afternoon, as the Thai capital was preparing to celebrate the New Year. The bomb outside the Victory Monument appeared to have caused the most injuries, police said.

According to the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok, the explosions do not appear to have had a specific target.

A police spokesman told the BBC the blasts were being treated as an internal matter - implying that they did not suspect any link to Muslim insurgents in the south.

Our correspondent says many Thais suspect the bombs were the work of opponents of the current military government, which forced Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


No matter who placed the bombs this is breaking.

If it's Muslim insurgents, it is the first time they take their campaign outside the Southern provinces. If it's political motivated assaults, it is a grave setback for the parliamentary process and return to civil rule. That the latter is likely can not be excluded at the present time.

The junta and its appointed government are facing rising critics not delivering results. They gave an example of its incompetence and ignorance on mechanisms of economics recently, when sanctions they put up against speculations in the local currency caused a near-collapse of the Thai stock market.

Other issues opponents of the current rule criticise are the handling of cases and investigations in the ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra's administration. Though the corruption was remarkable under his reign, the commision looking into the graft allegations have a hard time putting together a charge that will hold. Even the tax evasion cases are slow to take shape.

The hot topic pending is to give him permission to return to Thailand. He has been promised he can return at a time decided by the junta and must stand the charges when brought forward. Which he accepts pressing for permission to return.

Uncertainty, not only in their dealings with Thaksin's case, but with the overall road map of return to parliamentarism is getting more and more obvious.

An unrest is rising in the public, so this could very well be political motivated.

Related News Links:
www.nationmultimedia.com
today.reuters.com

[edit on 31-12-2006 by UM_Gazz]

[edit on 31-12-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 03:05 PM
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It may not be know who is responcible yet but this defeltnly is terror. So hear is another link that might be worth noteing.
Link



posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 07:25 PM
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TWO NEW BLASTS AS NEW YEAR BREAKS IN BANGKOK
Mainly Foreigners among the Wounded - No Reports about Death Casualties


A Happy New Year, I like to say. Unfortunately that's not what they have in Bangkok.

After the first series of explosives went of all puplic New Year celebrations was cancelled through out the city, shops and market ordered closed, but no curfew was introduce. Nontheless through out the evning and night celebraters and revellers were on the street.

The updated figures are: Two dead in the first string of blast, which was six. Several injured in the two midnight explosions, among them seven foreigners.

The Nation: Two more bombs..
It was fortunately that the New Year countdown event at Central World was earlier cancelled by 8 pm and thousands of revellers had already dispersed but many were still wandering around.

Police had to ask tourists and revellers to try to leave the area as soon as possible for fear that there could be another bomb. Police said the bomb near Central World might be planted shortly before it exploded as police earlier checked the area but did not find it.

There were rumours of bomb explosions in many areas throughout the night and objects suspected to be bombs were sighted in several areas.

A suspected bomb was located at the Buddy Bar on Khao Sarn Road about half an hour after midnight and tourists were evacuated from the area. By 1 am, police also disposed another bomb at the Lumpini Night Bazaar before it explodes.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This morning the debat goes on who's responsible for the terror. One thing seems clear, and most commentators agree on that it is not a spin-off from the Muslim insurgency. This is an attempt to create panic and civil unrest.

Clearly it also an assualt on economy. The Bangkok Countdown is THE major event of the year and draws many tourists. As seen in the last string of blasts that mainly targeted tourists.

"Bodies were scattered all over the place. I didn't know who to help first," an eyewitness told TV reporters.


The Nation: String of blasts...
The explosions brought a swift reaction from police around the country. Military personnel were called out in a number of centres to assist police with security.

Speaking at a press conference called two hours after the first bomb went off, police spokesman Pol General Ajiravid Subarnbhesaj said the coordinated blasts were intended to "create chaos".

Few sources were prepared to comment openly on the source of the explosions. Speculation was rife that it was an insurgent attack from the South, given the timing of the bombings. But most intelligence sources were emphatic that it was connected to the "undercurrents" of post-coup political tension.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Speculations are running rampant on this New Years Morning in Bangkok.

Assertions goes to police involvement. A wellknown fact is that Thaksin had 100% control over the policeforce.



posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 07:32 PM
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Sounds like an al-Qaeda group to me. Whatever it is it's certainly an expansion of jihad this time against Thailand. :shk:



posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 08:22 PM
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My deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones.

Such an unfortunate way to start the new year
.



posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Sounds like an al-Qaeda group to me. Whatever it is it's certainly an expansion of jihad this time against Thailand. :shk:

I'm not sure about that. A characteristic of the Southern insurgency and the so far more than thousands blasts is no one had ever come forward claiming responsibility. That's not al-Qaeda style. Another indicator is the rather amateurish performance and limited impact of the explosives.

Most of the blasts have created havoc and wounds, but very few, compared to the number carried out, have claimed lives. It's not like Baghdad, where a single blast easily kills 25-30 people. Mostly done by suicide bombers. No such one have yet appeared in Thailand.

So, no this is not jihad, it is internal terror to create chaos and unrest. Political turmoil is the agenda of some people.



posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 09:06 AM
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Finger-pointing has begun, and so have conspiracy theories.
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has indicated domestic politics rather than the Muslim insurgency was behind the multiple bomb attacks before and after the New Year's countdown.

The Thaksin Shinawatra camp responded by claiming that the violence was a result of failure to heed a warning that southern insurgency was plotting to spread its campaign of terror to Bangkok. Pro-Thaksin and anti-coup groups also insisted the possibility of the bombs being the military's ploy to gain sympathy and discredit the ousted prime minister should not be dismissed.

A man injured from bomb attack was pronounced dead on Monday, becoming the third victim to have been killed in the attacks.

Surayud's broadcast comment - that people whose vested interests were affected by the September 19 coup might have been behind the attacks _ heightened speculation surrounding remnants of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's deep-rooted influence.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Sondhi Limthongkul, the originator of the street protests against Thaksin that led to the September coup, has pointed directly at the former prime minister. He was quoted on his website that the bomb attacks are part of systematic campaign to discredit the interim government and coupmakers.

The media tycoon noted that the Bangkok attacks followed a series of political assaults on the credibility and integrity of Surayud's government and the Council for National Security.

Sonthi Bunyaratglin, the leader of the coup is obviously of the same opinion.


Sonthi expects more terror attacks
The chairman of the Council for National Security expects more attacks from those behind the bomb attacks in Bangkok on New Year Eve.

Speaking to reporters a press conference after a CNS meeting, CNS chairman and Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin said the CNS would hold trainings for the general members of the public so that they could help monitor against possible terror attacks and could inform the authorities in time.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Needless to say travel advisories are being issue or updated from many foreign embassies.



posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 05:18 AM
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Here's an intensive report from BBC.


Hunt for clues after Bangkok blasts
But the theory of Islamic insurgent involvement has now been largely discounted.

"The blasts in Bangkok were too well-organised," said Chidchanouk Rahimmula, a lecturer of political science at the Prince of Songkhla University in the southern province of Pattani.

"The insurgents from the south don't have the capacity to launch such a large-scale attack outside their own region," she said.

The government seems to agree. "From the evidence we have gathered, there is a slim chance that [Sunday's violence] is related to the southern insurgency," Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont told reporters on Monday.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 07:53 AM
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Hi Khunmoon,

In one of your statements at another thread (which is less visited) you claim that the US took over the Thai naval base before sending aid to tsunami victims.

Can you please back up that claim?

Kind regards,

Alex



posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 09:40 AM
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Thank you Alex,

Well I supose it is the airbase Utapao (or Au-Tapao) your talking about mentioned in this thread
www.abovetopsecret.com... about Southern insurgency.

I have it from Bangkok Post and as it's more than two years ago, it could be hard to find (they have a most hopeless search system) and if I should, I have to buy it. They only give free access to articles within the last week.

I did a quick search on Utapoa and the first the best was this about its American heritage.
www.globalsecurity.org...

Right now it's crash-in time for me, but tomorrow I shall get back on the issue. Paul Wolfowitch being the envoy, it must be able to find a source. It was a big thing locally, though his mission was largely unmentioned by the world press.

khunmoon



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 02:16 AM
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Concerning Utapao a brief knowledge of contemporary Thai history may be desireable.

A characteristic is an endless row of coups since 1932, the start of Thailand's parliamentary history.

Where the pre WW2 years are typical of flirts with fascism, the postwar era is characterized by issues of anti-communism.

By the end of WW2 communism gained widespread popularity in the rural majority and with the educated elite at the campuses. Eventually in 1952 banned, it remained a force behind the popular uprises through the 60s with the massacre at Thammasat University in October 1976 as the pinnacle, an incident that turned tens of thousands of students into guerilla fighters as part of the armed forces of PLAT (People's Liberation Army of Thailand).

An insurgency, partly written out of Thai history, was fought, nothing but a footnote in the Indochina wars. Nevertheless it was as bloody and merciless as the more known chapters, involving the same tools, napalm and destruction of villages giving support and shelter.

In 1982 under the more social-humanist rule of Tinsulanonda a general amnesty was issued and the Thai society could start a process of reconciliation that the present situation all too clearly shows has never fully been reach.

The last battles against the communist insurgency was fought around that time by their favoured proxy, Kumunitang, Chiang-Kai-shek beaten army, who had been expelled from Burma, and was allowed to settle in the hills boardering the Shan state of Burma. Up untill recently small enclaves of resistance persisted.

The present American military involvement in Thailand started with the surrender of the Pridi government to the British, who wanted Siam punished for siding with Japan. Facts are as follows: Immediately after Pearl Harbour Thais signed a military pact with the Japanese (who held the country throughout the war). A month later they issued a declaration of war agaist US and Britain. However the it was never delivered, because the ambassador in Washington, Seni Pramoj, considered it illegal and unrepresentative for the wishes of the Thai people. Instead he organized the Free Thai movement with help from the American OSS. Therefore, and because the Americans saw the British demands as colonialistic, they were reluctant to deem Siam as the British would.

The official date of US troops deployed is May 1962, but the military presence was established with a defence treaty in 1950. Through the years US developed the infrastructure with a nationwide network of roads to connect bases they build, destined to be the backbone in the bombing campaigns of SE Asia.

Originally Utpao was a airstrip in conjunction with the headquarter of the Royal Thai Navy in Sattahip. It was soon developed into an important hub for cadres of B-52 on mission to Vietnam and neighbouring countries.

Utapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield - Operational Dates for Utapao were
*18 April 1966 to 20 June 1976*
amer-thai2001.tripod.com...

Thais always had a high self awareness with a nationalist touch, and though my research haven't found the definate prove of Utapao now being operated by Americans, plenty of indictions that de facto so it is, Utapao is American ad hoc. The latest indication is in relation to President Ford.


Ford's legacy in Thailand tainted
Effects still felt from the former US president's decision to violate Thai sovereignty in the Mayaguez incident
Gerald Ford has been and always will be remembered in Thailand as the only US president to have violated the sovereignty of Thailand. His decision to send US marines to rescue the American crew of the merchant ship Mayaguez seized by Khmer Rouge soldiers in the Gulf of Thailand in May of 1975 was a disaster with far-reaching ramifications. Washington failed to consult Bangkok on its plan to dispatch US marine special forces to U Tapao military base in Rayong province and went ahead with the rescue effort despite not having received permission from the host country. The Thai government was very upset at the violation of the nation's sovereignty, especially newly elected prime minister MR Kukrit Pramoj, of whom it could be said that there was no love lost between him and the Americans.

Another article about the status of the base in the relief effort and thereafter.


The Nation (Thailand) January 12, 2005 >More people should be talking about U-tapao
Many Thais will concur that the terrible tragedy of the seaquake should not serve as some sort of subterfuge or potential Trojan Horse for strengthening the US military presence in this region. A number of Thailands neighbours in Asean will not be enthusiastic about the prospect of U-tapao revived under the Stars and Stripes.

Some American analysts believe that wrapped in the guise of a major long-term aid and reconstruction package the return to U-tapao base represents a significant bolstering of American military might in the area. Geopolitics doesnt go away. It meshes well with a central aim of Washingtons evolving policy in this part of the planet.

As an article in The Nation entitled Terror Offensive: US wants forward base here [News, June 12, 2003] noted, the Pentagons interest in a base on Thai soil was broached in June 2003 during the prime ministers visit to Washington.

About the American withdrawal.


When the Yanks Went home
July 20 marks the 30th anniversary of the closure of the last US military base in Thailand, a country that had become known at the Pentagon as “the unsinkable aircraft carrier”.
....

During the first half of the 1960s, the US government built a network of roads, army camps, airfields and listening posts from Chiang Mai to the Malaysian border, but most American personnel, equipment and infrastructure were concentrated in the Northeast, close to the war in Indochina.
“In 1961 I was asked to fly a plane from Saigon to Vientiane,” recalls a former Air America pilot.
“We flew over Korat’s Nak airfield. At the time it was a dingy little place – a few water buffaloes grazing on the strip".

“Three years later I flew the same route, and Korat was bustling with activity. Vietnam was heating up and the military had arrived.”

continues



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 02:36 AM
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(continued from above)

Since then Utapao was developed for civilian service as well.

I don't think many, if they've glanced over the fields, haven't noticed American aircrafts. That the US forces left in 1976 is nothing but a formal move intended for the history books. They've been there all the time, but once more their presence is becoming formal.

Finally this article have a statement from Wolfowitz.


Top US Defense Official: Troops Should Finish Tsunami Relief Work
Ron Corben, Bangkok, 15 January 2005

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the United States will withdraw its troops from tsunami relief operations in Asia as "soon as possible". Mr. Wolfowitz made his first stop on a regional tour to assess how the military is aiding countries hit by the December 26th earthquake and tsunami.

During his stopover in Bangkok Saturday, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz met with Thai Defense Minister General Samphan Boonyanant to assess overall relief efforts in Thailand and the Indian Ocean region following the December 26th disaster.

The United States is mobilizing its largest military operation in Asia in more than 30 years, using the Thai Air Force Base Utapao as its staging ground. So far, more than three million tons of relief supplies have passed through Utapao.

But I saw myself, the bulk arrived AFTER Mr Wolfowitz had been on his hitman tour.

Last I include some links to press conferences held by US Pacific Command.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's Remarks With Florida Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Agency For International Development Administrator Andrew Natsios
En Route To Bangkok
January 3, 2005
www.pacom.mil...
---

Brigadier General Jan-Marc Jouas, USAF Combined Support Force-536
Director, Air Component Coordination Element and Tom Fry, USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team

DoD Briefing on Operation Unified Assistance
Utapao, Thailand
January 9, 2005
www.pacom.mil...
---

Rear Adm. Victor Guillory, deputy commander of Naval Forces, Combined Support Force 536
Tom Fry, Disaster Assistance Response Team, USAID

DoD Briefing on Operation Unified Assistance, the Post-Tsunami Relief Effort
Utapao, Thailand
January 14, 2005
www.pacom.mil...


[edit on 4-1-2007 by khunmoon]



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 07:13 AM
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Bangkok Blasts

The insecurity of daily life in the capital have left their mark in
paranoia and excess reporting of mysterious backs and packs.

Better report one too many than one too few.

.


Bangkok Post: -Hoaxes, false alarms, but no answers-
City police spokesman Pol Col Pinit Maneerat said there were 23 bomb hoaxes and 96 suspicious objects reported over the past three days.

Meanwhile, investigators still have no evidence to finger those behind the bombings.

Assistant army chief Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr, deputy secretary-general of the CNS, insisted military officers linked to politicians who had lost power were behind the bombings.

However, Vinai Phattiyakul, defence permanent secretary and secretary-general of the Council for National Security, said he had not ruled out southern insurgents, but investigators continued to put more weight on political conflict.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The instability is further getting nourish by the rather unprofessional, but emotional way the ruling politician have reacted.

The PM of the interim goverenment have had harsh reactions to his less than lucky guess as to who the culprits may be. Seen from his view - that might be slightly one-eyed - it can only be the ousted PM, Thaksin. From Beijing he thus is able to score easy points.

He have done it in a letter today publish all-over the tabloid press - which he owns close to 100%.

Yesterday the Cabinet discussed Thaksin's letter - in which he insists he have nothing to do with the bombs - and Government Spokesman Yongyuth Maiyalarp said that they would not counter it.


Surayud qualifies remarks about bombers
"We cannot pin down exactly any group or individuals who did it. I haven't had any evidence or information," he said, adding he had to wait for the police who are still looking for evidence and forensic proof.

Surayud and junta chief Sonthi Boonyaratglin on Monday said people who had lost power when the Thaksin Shinawatra regime was overthrown were behind the string of bombs and not insurgents from the South.

Surayud said the culprits' aim was to create chaos and discredit government officials. Any money trail that could lead to the culprits would be investigated by the appropriate authorities, he said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Hopefully the blasts have been a one-time manifestation, but I doubt whoes behind will ever be exposed.

Meanwhile the hot season is approaching and I'm afraid politics will be, not just murkier than usual, but also a lot hotter.



[edit on 4-1-2007 by khunmoon]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 02:04 AM
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Tension is tightning in Bangkok. Rumours of counter coups, all kind of allegation concerning the members of the Council for National Security (CNS) and government has started circulating. Among them are allegations of Sonthi commiting bigamy and PM Surayud having a resort home on encroached land in Nakhon Ratchasima. Envy and backstabing being part of the national character, gossip is a main leisure occupation among Thais.

An attempt to dismiss the more serious rumours of counter coups was done last night by coup leader Sonthi appearing on national television trying to calm down elements, nourished by reports of essential troop movement from the NE to the capital.


Sonthi goes on TV to deny coup
Gen Sonthi's late television interview came at the end of a day that had been abuzz with rumours of another coup. Tension remained high yesterday in the capital following Sunday night's bomb blasts.

Council for National Security (CNS) spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd earlier said troops had been mobilised from Bangkok and nearby provinces to ensure public safety at more than 300 spots in the capital.

He apologised for the commotion caused by the troop movements which were part of an ''operation for peace''.

During the interview with Channel 9, CNS chairman Gen Sonthi also insisted there was no division among the eight council members.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It is obvious main efforts are taken place to gain the public opinion, but it seems to be a fact main rotation of troops from the North and NE to Bangkok is taking place.

Since the coup a scaled down insurgency has taken place in those rural - and most impoverished regions of the country - mostly unreported and partly denied. Fact is that a number of government institution, such as schools have been torched and martial laws been in place in the area. To avoid wrong conclusioins to this fact, unknown to the world at large, it might be necessary to strees, that those parts of the kingdom are without any significant Muslim population.

How wise a move it is to concentrate troops in the Bangkok area and leave the rural areas rampant to unrest, time will show.

Yesterdays rumours was so persistent that 9:30 pm was set as the point of time a counter coup would be staged.


Coup leaders tighten grip
At about 8pm last night after the rumour had spread widely, the junta made a televised announcement on the Army-run TV 5 denying troops were being mobilised with ill-intent.

"The army urges all citizens not to believe the rumour and be confident in the junta's ability to control the situation. By now, the Army chief General Sonthi has assured the situation is normal," it said.

Another message run on TV5 said the Army chief would give an interview on the "Siam This Morning" programme at 6.20am today.

"Please stay tuned", it said. The running message also sought understanding from people for any inconvenience caused by troop rotations.

One rumour had tanks rolling from Nakhon Ratchasima province in the Northeast - where the second Army region is stationed - to Bangkok, while the Army TV was relaying the message to cool down public tension.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

So far this morning all is calm with no disturbing reports on the national television. In this connection it might be worth knowing that in Thailand communications via airways are owned by the military.

A classic example what such a monopoly can lead to was the May 1991 coup. Despite probably the bloodest in Thai history everything officially was calm. Nobody knew about it, but those involved in the havoc centered round campuses in Northern Bangkok. National television operated with the usual soup and commercials as if nothing was happening. Because it was before the days of cable and satellite tv was established not even the king knew about it. Eventually he was allerted by relatives abroad and intervened.

Todays op/ed in The Nation quite clearly and sharply draws the present situation of stalemate between the power fraction, which comes down to the "old" and the "new" - essentiel money. Democracy has always been nothing put a farce in this country, and something - by the people enjoyed on the paper only - less than 20 years out of their 75 of parliamentarism.


OVERDRIVE
Stakes at a deadly high in struggle between 'old' and 'new' powers

How many schools in the Northeast and the North have been torched so far? Who has tried to discredit General Sonthi regarding his alleged double marriage certificates? Who dropped hints to the press concerning Prime Minister Surayud's resort home, allegedly on encroached land in Nakhon Ratchasima?

Now we've had eight bomb blasts in Bangkok on New Year's Eve. Only professionals could manage to undertake such a clandestine operation. In Thailand, only men in police and military uniforms have the capability to produce these kinds of bomb devices and set them off in different parts of Bangkok.

The blasts were not intended to result in a massive loss of life or casualties. They were political bombs with an underlying message: "I know what you're up to, but I am not afraid of you."

With these bombs, the old power and the new power are engaging in a very sophisticated power play. It could become a pretext for another coup or countercoup. If both sides do not handle the situation well, Thailand may turn into another Iraq.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Finally BBC's report.


Bangkok warned on more attacks
Surayud Chulanont made his warning in parliament, but did not give details of any specific threats.

His government has hinted it believes politicians ousted in September's military coup may have been behind the bombings that killed three people.

Suspicion has also fallen on disaffected soldiers and police.

Defence Minister Boonrawd Somtas said it was "highly likely" the attacks were carried out by "men in uniform".

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Stay tuned, further developments will be reported.



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 02:30 AM
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-Interview with Gen Sonthi-

Today The Nation has a full transcript of the interview with Council for National Security chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin who spoke to Thepchai Yong on the "Siam this Morning" programme on Channel 5 about the reports of a second coup and measures to tighten military control following the bomb blasts in Bangkok on New Year's Eve.

All the snippets are from the above link.


Thepchai: There have been rumours about a coup that have caused public confusion. How are the rumours about another coup linked to the school arson attacks.

Sonthi: From military analysis, there is a link. The principle is like what happened in the three southern provinces, in theory and practice and objectives. The military is monitoring and checking the pattern to see which groups are responsible. We have to find that out clearly and focus on solutions to the problem.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Please note, the arsons reffered to is in the Nortern provincies. Essential what Sonthi here says is, like in the South, this is political instigated - not religious.


Thepchai: Is Thaksin involved?

Sonthi: How much he is involved we cannot say. We have to find the operatives (who planted the bombs). If we do, we can analyse the future direction.

Thepchai: Do these things (what they found) prove that he is involved?

Sonthi: We cannot indicate so. (Not really) We will bring all reasons to our analysis.

Thepchai: What do you think of Thaksin's letter from Beijing. What do you think about the content? It seems the letter communicated directly with the CNS.

Sonthi: It is just a way out, by giving an explanation. I rather want the public to look at the truth. As time passed the public understood and knew about the problems, but they have not done anything.
.....

Thepchai: The lifestyle of Bangkok people have changed. Society needs confidence.

Sonthi: We have to admit that the (bombers') objective is to trouble the public so that the impact is reflected to the government and the CNS. They want to destroy the CNS and the government. We just have to make them less successful in their goal. We have to get the military to work more with police and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the private sector to reach understanding over this point and cooperate in the problem solving.

Then I believe it is not easy for them (It's not easy for people with bad intention to commit crimes). During the bomb attacks, there were CCTVs that captured what happened. Police are checking.

Thepchai: The CNS is not satisfied with the police performance as they seem to be in neutral gear. Is it possible the police chief will be removed?

Sonthi: I believe that every police officer has high ideals and most are good men. The delay in the investigation is due to the work was carried out coordinatedly and was professionally done. (The bombers did their job coordinately conspiracyprofessionally and making it hard for the police to investigate.) The police face a tough job but I believe they will succeed. If there are police who are in neutral gear, the police should know and the police will share the adverse impact. Every police officer should have dignity. For the police chief, it is up to the police's performance.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

"I believe," he says.

He better do, cause the Thai police force is not only notourious, but in various ratings ranged among the most corrupt in the world. A fact that didn't diminish during the Thaksin range. Once more should be pointed out, that the force was 100% controlled by him and a condition for his rule.


Thepchai: Gen Chavalit alleged that the CNS made up the bombings?

Sonthi: I want to say that on the September 19, the decision makers risked their lives. They had to take responsibility for their decision, to do it for the sake of the public. Why then would we plant bombs to destroy the people that we love more than ourselves?

Thepchai: Why did Gen Chavalit think that?

Sonthi: I cannot say. The CNS meeting insisted that there was no such thing. There are few people who can plant bombs: soldiers, police. He has the right to present his view.

Thepchai: Gen Saprang mentioned the names of several retired military officials who have connections with Gen Chavalit and Thaksin.

Sonthi: I cannot confirm that. We have many perspectives in our analysis. We look at every element, every one, and see what is most likely.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Chawalit Youngchaiyudh was PM in 1997 and a prominient member of the Thaksin cabinet.


Thepchai: Can you link to them to the mastermind?

Sonthi: They have probably removed the link. However, we can analyse from the direction of what is happening.

Thepchai: Thaksin's letter indicated that he had phoned people in the CNS.

Sonthi: He told me to work to the best of my ability and that he is a sportsman. That was it.

Thepchai: Do you believe Thaksin's word that he is a sportsman.

Sonthi: First of all, we have to believe him.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Please, also check out the following blog which gives the conflict from a more normal-day/average-citizen view.

Avudh's Blog:Top Boot Politics

Has some interesting comments (by mostly foreigners).


"Thailand should replace Buddhism as its official religion, as all its affairs seem to obey Murphy's laws, then surely Murphy must be the ruling deity in this country? I assume most Thais would never have seen or even heard of the British soap comedy, "Yes Minister", it has many parallels with here:-) "

"The more I see, the more I read, the more it seems that Thailand is a ship that has not only lost its captain but also its rudder. Next to go will be the engine (economy). It is time the passengers take action before the ship founders totally."



posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 11:03 PM
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Todays editorial in The Nation draws the rather frightening perspective between the September 19th coup and that of 1976. The conditions similar as the outcome. Except for the bloodshed. And thank God for that.

Hopefully this will not lead to a 25 year division of society like it 1976.

The problem is democracy doesn't work in SE Asia. Look at the two most succesfull countries, China and Vietnam, they're communist.


The parallels between 1976 and 2006

In 1976, Bangkok felt threatened by a Maoist insurgency with links to revolutionary regimes across its eastern borders, a peasant movement which used grassroots organisation and mass demonstrations to demand debt relief and tenancy, and a student movement which sympathised with rural demands and gave them extra ideological force.

In 2006, Bangkok felt threatened by a political leader and a political party which had built unprecedented support in the rural areas of the North and the Northeast by delivering a range of populist programmes, and promising even more.

But the similarity between the two events, and the fact many of the key players today were also part of post-1976 events (in more junior roles), makes it worth looking at what happened after the 1976 coup.

After 1976, the establishment solution was a formula of "managed democracy" with three main parts: constitutional engineering to produce a system that was democratic in form but insulated against the risk of mass takeover; military oversight of political activities from top to bottom; and a public campaign for national unity around the institution of the monarchy. Probably, the first two parts are being used again.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Again, to have a finger on the puls of this country,
I recommend reading the comments in Avudh's Blog.




[edit on 7-1-2007 by khunmoon]



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 11:00 AM
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In a move designed to show decisive action - but nothing but a pity cover for a stalemate in the bomb investigation, nevertheless a move indicating an assertion as to who did it - the CNS has revoked the ousted tycoon's diplomatic passport. That it wasn't done when they forced him out might have been a slip.


EDITORIAL
Revoking passport too little, too late


Thaksin should have been stripped of his diplomatic credentials earlier to keep him from stirring unrest

After months of dilly-dallying, the Foreign [Ministry has finally worked up the courage to make known its decision to revoke the diplomatic passport of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. This would have been done long ago had it not been for the lack of decisiveness shown by those involved both in the government and the Foreign Ministry. It is customary for former prime ministers and foreign ministers to retain their diplomatic passports, a privilege they are accorded in recognition of their great service to the country.

However, it was clear from the outset that Thaksin's case was unique. The former prime minister made a disgraceful exit when he was toppled in a coup by military leaders who accused him of being corrupt, instigating divisiveness and showing disrespect to the monarchy. All of these alleged offences should have provided sufficient justification to rescind his diplomatic passport immediately.

....

However, after the series of bomb explosions in Bangkok, both Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont and Council for National Security (CNS) chairman General Sonthi Boonyaratglin pointed accusing fingers at disaffected elements linked to politicians who had lost power. Clearly, they were referring to groups loyal to the deposed prime minister.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Calls for suspects and fully disclosure of the handling of the New year bombs are getting more and more impatient. As are the frustration of people.

What is soon expected is some charge to be laid down against Thaksin, but what is said from the investigation into his affairs, is there's nothing definite or obvious to nail him on.

*sarcsm*Yeah, maybe he didn't do anything wrong*/sarcsm*... just had some damn good lawyers.


A ministry source said Mr Thaksin and his wife would have two weeks before the revocation takes effect.

The source said the ministry also found Mr Thaksin had published 150,000 copies of a book on his life, in Chinese for distribution in China but the government could do nothing about it because it was within Mr Thaksin's rights to do so.

At army headquarters, CNS generals led by assistant army chief Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr and defence permanent secretary Gen Winai Phattiyakul called in 50 broadcast media executives for a briefing.

A source said Gen Winai told state-owned broadcasters they could exercise their own judgement and remove any offending programmes. CNS spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the former leader was using the media to stir up confusion and undermine the government and the CNS.

Mr Thaksin had issued statements through his lawyer Noppadon Pattama to defend himself. "Some media read out those statements, morning, noon and night. Some also offered an analysis, which the CNS finds inappropriate.

"The CNS stepped in to end social discord, but how can it achieve that when the former leader and ruling party come out to provoke supporters through the media?" Col Sansern said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

No, they can't stop him from publishing books, but can they stop him from being heard in Thailand? by have him banned from the air and prohibited to quote.

I don't think so, but they better come up with something soon. Censorship is the due right of any junta, but the Thai people generally was thought to have progressed past that point of regressive power by the bloodshed and news-blackout of the May 1991 revolt.

Some of the young folks then are the old folks now, but fractioning and competition between the arms and different parts of the army has led to downright armed battling 'tween 'em.

And in the present situation there might be divisions loyal to Thaksin


Not only must the military try to prevent further attacks, it must also address the fact that a group exists which wants to destabilize the country, and is willing and able to kill to achieve that aim.

Despite pinning the blame on politicians who have lost power - which obviously points to members of Mr Thaksin's regime - the authorities have little evidence to back up these claims and Thailand is full of speculation as to who the culprits might be.

"The situation could well spiral out of control," warned Prof Thitinan, saying that one of the main worries he has is the timing of this crisis.

"Part of the reason this is so serious is that it comes at a time of great transition," said Prof Thitinan.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The transition the professor is speculating in, is the old king is 79, and the institution he represents about the only thing that keeps the country together.



posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 10:39 PM
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-Freedom of Speech-?... not if it hurts the junta.

The revocation of red passports of the Shinawatras has been communicated to the Chinese authorities.


The Nation: Beijing faces Thaksin dilemma
Foreign Minister Nitya Pibul-songgram relayed the message to his Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Cebu, the Philippines.

Li told Nitya that Beijing "more than understands" the situation, said a Thai official.

But it remained unclear how the Chinese government would treat a visa application from Thaksin, who has stayed in China for some time since being toppled and has reportedly bought a condominium in Beijing.

.....

The revocation of the diplomatic passports, the holder of which is entitled to enter 50 countries without a visa, means Thaksin will now have to apply for entry visas to visit most foreign countries.

A source familiar with Chinese diplomatic circles told The Nation that Bangkok had never informed Beijing of how they would like the Chinese government to deal with Thaksin's alleged political activities.

Unless there is a request from the Thai government, Beijing will continue to treat Thaksin as "an old friend", said the diplomatic source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Still the far worst issue coming out of these precausive but also highly speculative moves as forced by the bombings, are the undisguised efforts to controll media, preferable by self-censorship. But it won't work!

Two decades too late, you don't pretend to controll information without a bust. But they deadforced do want to, so hell, if they won't buy it we got the guns.


Editorial: The junta leaders broke an important rule that brought Thaksin to his downfall. And it is turning friends into foes.

The junta leaders have proved that they don't believe their allies, who warned at the very beginning of their rule that they could do anything - just don't behave like Thaksin did.

"You guys should know that if we allow representatives of the former premier to make statements every day, the public will be confused. Executives of state-owned media should withdraw the programmes [that violate the order].

"Why continue to defend people who caused damage to the country?" said CNS secretary-general General Winai Phattiyakul, who summoned about 50 editors and media executives on Wednesday.

The CNS order is nothing more than a betrayal to the media, its major ally that hailed the top-brass generals as national heroes when they sent their tanks into the streets of Bangkok and other cities on the night of September 19, putting an end to the Thaksin era.

Amid concerns the coup leaders would become just another group of typical dictators who had robbed Thailand's democracy - and set to impose absolute control on the media - General Sonthi Boonyaratglin guaranteed the media would be granted freedom of speech, which the people had rarely enjoyed during the Thaksin reign.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The press is the achilles heel of any democracy.

They ...donno mutcha bout'd... in Thailand.



[edit on 11-1-2007 by khunmoon]

[edit on 11-1-2007 by khunmoon]



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 02:02 AM
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Quiet for now in Bangkok.

The weblogs are where you can follow the puls.

www.nationmultimedia.com...


Krid 13/01/2007 15:42
So Thai military factions murder innocent civilians to gain what exactly? Is this just revenge for loss of face, power and jobs? It seems a very un-Thai way of going about things and does not go with the "graduates from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy will not annihilate one another" concept. I mean, a motive is still missing. The bombings would not necessarily result in de-stabilizing the junta (the opposing faction), it might even strengthen them if the perpetrators are exposed. And for the perpetrators it's suicidal politically and possibly even literally. So thanks for exposing the rotten core of the Thai military which will rule the country for the time being, but the theory has some rather large holes IMHO.

Pedro 13/01/2007 15:45
In 50s and 60s the military operated extensive drug running operations (aided by the CIA) and none of them ever faced justice for this. In the 70s they were behind a string of bombings and no one was ever arrested. Now in 2007 they are apparently reverting to terrorism in their own capital! What use is the military and its silly code of honour that conceals drug dealers and terrorists to the Thai people? It is also known to be an expensive but ineffective fighting force with hundreds of generals in inactive posts and billions are syphoned off from arms purchases and military TV and radio stations. Why do Thai people put up with this?

Ian 13/01/2007 16:17
Pedro, Thais tolerate many things simply because they have never known anything different. It is a survivalist, dog eat dog mentality. This is the information age but the average Thai is both denied information and indifferent to it when he gets it. There is a fatalism about Thai thinking which I am unable to come to terms with.

Tosakan 13/01/2007 19:32
Krid, the theory makes perfect sense in the context of Thai history and domestic Thai politics, especially concerning the activities of police and military factions. Pedro is right. But the problems were occuring long before the 50s and 60s.

Ian 13/01/2007 21:09
So to summarise the last few comments, Thai behaviour is the result of Thai culture. So the solution is to change the culture? Would Thailand still be Thailand? This is a conundrum.

No, it would be not. But if you can accept the wickedness in their culture, Thailand is fine. After all, judged at a social humanist gauge of Western standards -call them Christian- they're pagant liars.

The trouble is Buddhism is considered the guarantor of their national image. The problem is what they practice has more to do with shamanism than Buddhism.

Where else do you find University trained people who truely believe in the supernatural?

And practices it.

[edit on 14-1-2007 by khunmoon]



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 01:03 AM
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Just came across a well written article on the background for the coup and the New Year bombings.

Thailand awash in tides of transition


The Thai junta is caught between a need to get tough on Thaksin and his still-powerful loyalists, and to show a democratic, tolerant face to Thais who no longer suffer army rule as passively as in generations past. While Thailand has seen 18 coups and 16 constitutions since it abandoned absolute monarchy in 1932, this crisis is especially troubling because Thais cannot count for long on the stabilizing presence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has moderated political conflict here over a 60-year reign.

Bhumibol (pronounced "pumipon"), the world's longest-ruling monarch, is frail at age 79. His son, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, is widely seen (although never publicly described) as a somewhat thuggish playboy who will be unable to play his father's stabilizing role.


No, the real trouble for Thailand lies ahead, and on Thaksins connection to the unpopular crown prince the article have this.


The problem now, voiced here only in whispers, is that the thrice-married crown prince is seen as an arrogant womanizer prone to eruptions of bad temper. Paul Handley, an American journalist and biographer of Bhumibol, wrote that army generals "did not want Thaksin in a position to exert influence" on the succession to Vajiralongkorn.

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