Blowin in the wind


Blowin in the wind

I think this is a beautiful homage to those who have sacrificed so much.
-Hawkeye

UDD ready to enter into negotiations


 

 

 

 

 

UDD International Spokesman Sean Boonpracong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The UDD is ready to enter into negotiations with the Abhisit government.  The UDD has a single condition, that the United Nations act as a mediator in reconciliation talks.  Sean Boonpracong, UDD International Spokesman announced “UDD will enter reconciliation again, this time by asking only the UN to be the mediator because we can not appeal to any organization in Thailand to provide justice. I emphasize we can not ask any Thai organization to provide justice and safety for us!  UDD has no condition other then the U.N. as mediators.  We do not want any loss of life.”

Hopefully, the Abhisit government will accept this olive branch and seek talks.  Thailand is on the brink of full civil war.  This is an opportunity for both sides to work towards ending the violence and senseless killings.

Update:

The Abhisit government in it’s infinite wisdom has refused the offer of United Nations mediated negotiations with the UDD.  The government has stated that the current crisis is an “internal matter”.  One has to wonder what the true aims of this current government are?  Do they really believe their strategy is for “the good of the entire country”?

-Hawkeye

 

Interview – Mr. Prasang Mongkonsiri – Part 1 or How I almost scooped the New York Times.


Well It was a pretty awesome night for Hawkeye. I managed to get a pretty good interview with Khun Prasang Mongkonsiri, one of the UDD’s Committee Members. Now, I’ve only been blogging for a week and it’s my first time, so please take it easy on me. This is the first interview I have ever done. By the way, if I owned a laptop I could have scooped the New York Times by an hour. My salary ain’t that good, plus and addiction to baseball and softball drains my finances a bit. Also, I do not claim to be objective but I don’t lie, so here it goes.

Please note that Mr.Prasang Mongkonsiri was in a four and a half hour marathon meeting and had 45 minutes to talk before he went back into the second half of the meeting. He was full of energy and talked in a rapid fire manner. I have not quoted him verbatim but paraphrased our interview. He watched while I wrote every word and agreed with my understanding of his answers. I have tried to be as accurate as possible. There is one verbatim quote. I don’t know how to write short hand.

Hawkeye: “Will the UDD be leaving on Monday May 10th, 2010?

Mr. Prasang Mongkonsiri: ‘We are in negotiations, two days is not enough time. Last nights killing of two police officers and the bombing has influenced our decisions. The appearance of the PAD and Yellow Shirts has also influenced our decisions. We do not know what the relationship between the PAD and Government is.’

Hawkeye: “If Abhisit cancels the agreed upon election date will the UDD return to Bangkok in force?”

Mr. Prasang Mongkonsiri: “I believe that if Abhisit cancels the elections we will call for another rally in Bangkok.”

Hawkeye: “How will violence be avoided?”

Mr. Prasang Mongkonsiri: ‘That is the problem. We are in talks about how to control the violence because of last night’s shootings and bombing. Some UDD Committee Members have received information about the army and PAD. We have 300 plain clothes police volunteering to come and protect us. They will not be armed. They called Veera (UDD Committee Member) and told him that a high ranking police officer believes the military is responsible for the recent shooting of two police officers. They happened to not be wearing bullet proof vests because of budget restrictions.’

Hawkeye: “Is the subject of the 2007 Constitution a sticking point?

Mr. Prasang Monkonsiri: ‘We have not talked about it, yet. We are talking about the elections. Talking about the elections and talking about the who is responsible for the April 10th violence. Many relatives of the victims have already gone to the police stations and asked for investigations, twenty-five days have past and the police do nothing! If the commanding officer does not want to do anything with the cases, he will give a verbal order but no official paper order will be issued.’

I’m absolutely knackered. I was at the rally last night with my wife and we left at about 2:30am. I finally caught some shut eye at 4:00am and had to be at work at 8:00am. Woke at 7:00am. If you do the math it was a long day. I left the rally at 11:30pm tonight. The wife was worried so I left early. Part 2 will be coming tomorrow. It will be a continuation of the violence issue and the lack of investigations by the police. It will also cover the “terrorist charges leveled at many of the UDD’s Committee Members and the dreaded DSI.  Might be a part 3 if I can get some corrections on my notes form Mr. Prasang Mongkonsiri.  The speakers were blaring and tons of people were milling about in their own deep conversations.

On a lighter note, I had a truly entertaining conversation with Sean Boonpracong (UDD’s International Spokesman). I didn’t take any notes because it was a very informal conversation highlighted by sardonic quips and ironic banter meant to feel each other out. There was a sublime moment in the conversation. I told him that I blog for news.inbangkok.org under the name Hawkeye. He replied “I guess I’ll be BJ.” It was one of the best moments of the night.

Content trumps grammar.

Hawkeye

Mr. Prasang after a marathon meeting.

Difficult to get on here…


I tried all last night to access News in Bangkok but I kept getting the yellow server reset message. Anyway, the wife and I are heading to the rally today. We are thinking of officially joining the UDD. The organizers are very open to foreigners joining them in their struggle.

I spent last Saturday at the rally and had a really interesting discussion with a Red Shirt supporter. His name was “Tun”. He explained to me that the government propaganda was having no effect outside of Bangkok and that the UDD is signing people up left, right, and center. I did see a constant line of people paying for their ID cards. Tun also told me that the Army and the “Ronin” warriors have had pitched battles outside of Bangkok that have not been reported in the press. Apparently, the military is divided, confused, and terrified of these “Ronin” warriors appearing out of nowhere, inflicting heavy casualties and then slipping back into the general population. It is quite obvious that they are well trained and motivated. What motivates them is the question? Are they a combination of Thai and foreign mercenaries paid to protect the Red Shirts or idealistic Thai warriors motivated to do what they believe is right?

My previous comment about the military being confused and scared is backed up by a sad even in Khorat. From the Prachathai website:

On 1 May, Private Thiwanont Thienthes, 23, was reported dead at his house in Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Dressed in full military uniform, he was found to have hung himself from a tamarind tree in the backyard.

His mother, Wassana, 52, said that he was a recruit attached to the 1st Special Warfare Training Company, Thanarat Camp, in Kaeng Krachan district, Phetchaburi province, and was due to be demobilized on 1 Nov 2010.

Given a week’s leave on 24 April, he returned home, looking normal, and regularly followed news of the red shirts, she said.

However, when he was due to go back to camp, he complained to his mother about his fear of being sent to disperse the demonstration in Bangkok. In the late afternoon of 30 April, he put on his uniform and asked for 400 baht for the bus fare back to camp.

While his mother thought that her son was on his way back to camp, her neighbors found the body hanging from the tree.

The situation does not bode well for the boys in green.
Hawkeye

Red Shirts Plan Multi-Pronged Campaign?


It looks like we may have a month or so of intensified political action as the pro-democracy UDD movement is rumoured to be widening its campaign to take in a number of targets. For example, today we can see:

A rally outside the Department of Special Investigations to find out whether and for what reason the petition for a Royal Pardon for former PM Thaksin has been delayed.

An accusation that current PM Abhisit Vejjajiva is also involved in this delay.

The suggestion that UDD supporters will stage a rally outside Suvarnabhumi Airport to protest about the shameful delay into investigating and arresting the leading fascist PAD supporters who seized the airports in 2008, causing an estimated 140 billion baht worth of damage to the country. The ringleaders include the current Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya. This is a dangerous tactic since [certain people who will not be named here] are likely to organise violence at such a rally and then claim moral equivalence with the heavily-armed yellow shirt fascists.

A suggestion by a government suit (which seems to be an entirely evidence-free assertion which might be used to increase the use of jackboots laws) that as many as ten different locations might be targeted by the pro-democracy movement.

The Puea Thai Party may be suing the head of the Electoral Commission for failure to dissolve the Democrat Party for (allegedly and so on and so forth but really ….) taking illegal donations – evidence far more substantial than that used to dissolve non-establishment political parties, according to what some people say; I couldn’t possibly comment.

It is no surprise that an intensification of action, if it does happen, will happen over the next few weeks since it is anticipated that the court will announce the decision concerning the judicial seizure of assets of Khun Thaksin – it is being bruited about that those who really make the decision (on the entirely fanciful basis that it is not done purely based on legal merit – I would never do anything illegal like suggest that judges are motivated by politics and secret orders) are preparing to seize the whole lot.

Not all UDD supporters are supporters of Thaksin, as I have mentioned before. But such a blow would affect the whole political framework – would it even mark the final victory of the establishment against redistributive ideology?