And Now, the Inevitable

anupong_somchai

From Chiang Mai and via TV Channel 11 or NBT, he might be declaring a state of emergency in the areas surrounding the Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport.

Army Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda is now reportedly at TV Channel 5. This military channel is now announcing troop movements in the running text on its screen. This is not normal.

Thursday , November 27 , 2008

5:50 PM: Somchai Wongsawat, the prime minister, is fighting back against a coup threat.

From Chiang Mai and via TV Channel 11 or NBT, he might be declaring a state of emergency in the areas surrounding the Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport.

The police forces would be assigned to step in to quash the protesters. The police would be using water spray to disperse the crowds to clear both airports.

The Cabinet meeting ended in the afternoon at the Provincial Hall of Chiang Mai. Somchai would not dare to sack Gen Anupong Paochinda, the army chief.

Chalerm Yoobamrung, the health minister, has already confirmed that a state of emergency has been imposed at Suvarnabhumi and at Don Muang Airports.

The police will soon take the action, with the water canons and other forces.

Well, Gen Anupong would not be party to this suppression of the anti-government protesters. The military are keeping a close watch from afar.

But the atmosphere in Bangkok and Chiang Mai is very tense. You can breathe war.

———————————————————— 

4:00 PM: We have arrived at the political dead end. The military might be forced to do the inevitable. And it is becoming inevitable.

Army Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda

Army Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda

If it is not he, then it could be someone else.

Troops have been stationing around Bangkok at key positions. Military officers at the command level are in high alert, including the police force.

Army Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda is now reportedly at TV Channel 5. This military channel is now announcing troop movements in the running text on its screen. This is not normal.

He has given the ultimatum for Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to dissolve Parliament to end the worst political crisis ever in return for the anti-government protesters to withdraw their occupation of the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The crisis cannot prolong further because the Suvarnabhumi Airport cannot be allowed to close more than 48 hours. The airport is the nerve centre of the Thai economy. Allowing it to close further would deal incalculable damage to the economy and the country as a whole.

The authorities would like to re-open the Suvarnabhumi this evening. But that would be impossible to clear all the security checks. The first flight from Suvarnabhumi should resume tomorrow’s morning.

But the AOT Plc, which manages the Suvarnabhumi, has announced that the airport would resume on Saturday, November 29, 2008. Obviously, the AOT knows that something big is about to happen.

The PAD knows this game. The airport cannot be closed for too long. That’s why it is holding the country at its hostage in order to force a radical political change. 

But Somchai, who is now in Chiang Mai, has tried to prolong his government as long as possible. He would like to sack Gen Anupong. If he sacks Gen Anupong, Gen Anupong would stage the coup. If Gen Anupong does not stage a coup, somebody else will still do it.

The situation has already reached a point of no return. A potential coup is thick in the air.

The foreign embassies in Bangkok have been alerted of a potential coup. They have prepared their statements for condemnation if the coup were to happen.

Can Somchai revert the situation by dissolving Parliament? Would it be too late to prevent a coup now?

Nobody knows at this critical hour. Offices in Bangkok have already told their staff to return home early. They, too, are not sure what’s going to happen.

But the military do not want stage a coup, if only Somchai were to make one step backward by dissolving the Parliament or if the PAD were also to retreat from the airport. The polarisation is beyond any remedies.

So whose side is Gen Anupong now? It is probably official now that he is against the Somchai government — and Thaksin Shinawatra by extension.

Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra almost landed in Thailand yesterday along with Somchai to pave the way for her ex-husband return. Somchai would like to hang on his premiership as long as possible to prepare for Pojaman’s return.

If Pojaman could return to Bangkok, the political equation could have been tilted drastically in the government’s favour by virtue of her deep pocket.

But Pojaman could not make it to Bangkok because she would go straight to jail. The Court would not allow her a bail because she has jumped bail before. A lot of negotiations were going on behind the scenes for her to get a bail.

But it was not Pojaman’s time this time. Thaksin could only return to Thailand in triumph with a revolution in his favour.

Pojaman would like to clear all the cases against her and her husband and get a chunk of her family’s Bt76 billion, now being frozen at the banks, back in return for Somchai to dissolve Parliament. But this deal could not get through.

The Thai political crisis has been singularly revolving around this gold pot of Bt76 billion. 

On Wednesday evening, Somchai had the aircraft captain turn the direction to Chiang Mai abruptly instead of landing in Suvarnabhumi, where the protesters were waiting for him. Disinformation was spreading out to give the impression that he would either land at U-tapao Airport in Chon Buri, which is under the Royal Navy, or the Air Force airport, which is adjacent to the Don Muang.

Somchai was afraid that he might be held under hostage by the unfriendly Air Force. He did not want to become another Lt Gen Chatichai Choonhavan, who was held at gun point at the Don Muang Airport by a senior air force officer.     

You know the history. 

Thanong Khanthong

State of emergency to be declared on airports

Govt set to declare state of emergency on the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports, as coup rumours continue to swirl

Public Health Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung confirmed that the Cabinet resolved to declare state of emergency over the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.

Speaking to reporters via a teleconference at 5:50 pm, Chalerm said that the government would declare state of emergency for Suvarnahbumi and Don Mueang airports and would assign police to handle the situation.

He said the Metropolitan Police chief would be in charge of situation at the Don Mueang and the commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau 1 at the Suvarnabhumi…(read more)

Nation

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