At around 12:30 PM on May Day ( postpones to Sunday May 3rd ) , Sondhi Limthongkul will hold a formal press conference for the first time to speak his mind. He has miraculously recovered from the injuries caused by an assassination attempt on him since two weeks ago. You can clearly stitches on his head, which went through an operation to remove iron scraps.
Will he tell it all?
“I have personally forgiven those who have attempted to kill me. I just leave it to the law of karma and the law of the land.”
Sondhi was able to maintain his composure as a team of assassins fired more than 60 rounds of bullets at his vans with war weapons at the height of the declaration of the state of emergency. He saw the face of one assassin taking aim at him with his rifle.
In his interview with Nation Weekend (May 1, 2009), Sondhi said he did not feel angry or vengeful against the gunmen because they were paid to do the job while those who hired them also did their part. He did not name the real masterminds, who he said represented a combination of the military and the police. He expressed confidence that within two weeks the police investigators would be able to to round up the gunmen.
Pol Gen Thanee Somboonsap, who is in charge of the Sondhi case, has made substantive progress in the investigation.
Interestingly, Sondhi showered his praise on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva over his leadership quality during this time of deepening political crisis. Apart from Thaksin Shinawatra who is staying abroad, he pointed out that the key players of the Thai policial scene are Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, Gen Anupong Paochinda, Pol Chief Patcharawat Wonguswan and Newin Chidchob.
Sondhi touched on Suthep Thuagsuban, the deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, briefly. Suthep would like Pol Gen Jongrak Juthanont to oversee Sondhi case, but Abhisit intervened to appoint Pol Gen Thanee for the job instead. By crossing over Suthep, Abhisit is showing his leadership.
We all know that Jongrak and Sondhi have been at loggerheads. Before Thanee’s arrival to handle the case, the police gave equal weight between woman affair and political affair as the motif behind the attempted assassination on Sondhi. Now Thanee is focusing on the political motivation alone.
Sondhi said Abhisit’s mettle will be subject to a big test as he is under pressure to rewrite the Constitution. If he wants to stay for a short haul he would rewrite the Constitution. If he aims for a long haul, he would not do so. But in the end, it would not be easy to rewrite the Constitution under the current atmosphere. It would take time. Abhisit may be trying to buy time.
Both the military and the police share the same characteristics. Once they have the positions, they are really powerful. Once they are removed from the job, they mean nothing. Sondhi said if Anupong were no longer army chief, he would not mean anything. The same thing applies to Gen Prawit from the Defence Ministry. Abhisit would consolidate his political power if he were to assume concurrently the job as defence minister.
With this move, Newin would find it difficult to manipulate the politics because he could not serve in the military. Besides, Newin would need more time to accumulate capital for the next election. In effect, Abhisit would be able to stand atop the situation, depending on how he would like to play the game.
We all know that Sondhi and his Manager Group has been attacking Gen Prawit and Gen Anupong and Pol Chief Patcharawat all along.
A failed coup
Lt Gen Chamlong Srimuang, one of the core leaders of the People’s, has hinted about an attempted military coup in the evening of April 12, 2009. If the coup were to succeed, a minister in the Abhisit government, would have step forward to become prime minister. Chamlong said there could be a connection between this move with the assassination plot against Sondhi.
“In the evening of that day, there were negotiations among the regional army generals about the positions after the coup succeeded. But the talks fell through. Importantly, some military officials in the Gen Prem Tinsulanonda camp in the Second Army Region and some in the Air Force did not go along with the coup. This is one of the main reasons that the attempted coup failed. And it is not a surprise that Chamlong and Sondhi, who have connections with the Si Sao Theves Residence, came out to disclose the coup plot,” a military source told Nation Weekend.
Let’s wait and see whether Sondhi will tell….
Original Post : Thanong / Thai Talk
Sondhi Postpones Press Conference on Murder Case to Sunday
A People’s Alliance for Democracy senior leader has postponed a press conference scheduled for today to discuss the assassination attempt against him and his views on the current political conflict until Sunday at 12:30pm.
Sondhi Limthongkul, founder of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, postponed his first public statement since he was shot on April 17th until Sunday because he was feeling unwell and doctors suggested he rest. Sondhi had also intended to offer his views on the latest developments in the political conflict.
The PAD core leader was shot in the head by unidentified gunmen at the Bangkunphrom intersection while driving to work in the early morning of April 17th.
Sondhi was scheduled to hold a press conference at Manager Group headquarters on Phra Athit road at 12:30 this afternoon.
Yesterday he welcomed deputy national police chief Police General Thani Somboonsub to his office to give testimony regarding the assassination attempt.
It was Sondhi’s first official statement to police since he was shot. Afterward he said he trusts Police General Thani and is confident police will not arrest a scapegoat.
Sunday’s press conference will be held at 12.30pm at Manager Group headquarters
PAD Leader Confident in Police Team Investigating His Assassination Attempt
People’s Alliance for Democracy founder Sondhi Limthongkul today gave his first testimony to police investigators since the assassination attempt against him earlier this month.
People’s Alliance for Democracy founder Sondhi Limthongkul welcomed deputy national police chief Police General Thani Somboonsub and police investigators to his office at Baan Phra Arthit to give testimony regarding the assassination attempt against him on April 17th.
It was Sondhi’s first testimony since the attempted murder. He said he is putting his trust in the investigative team led by Police General Thani and is confident the team will not arrest a scapegoat.
Sondhi denied reports that he is planning a pilgrimage to Nepal, saying he must remain in his motherland to continue to fight for his country, religion, and His Majesty the King.
Tomorrow, Sondhi is scheduled to give a press conference about the attack on him, which occurred during the state of emergency in the capital.
After meeting with Sondhi, Police General Thani said Sondhi’s testimony would help the investigation and that investigators may visit him again to ask more questions.
Police General Thani said police have not arrested any suspects and that so far no military or police officials are suspects. However, he said police would contact supervisors of any suspects prior to their arrests if they were government officials.
Police General Thani said police have sent a letter to the Army to ask for specifications of their ammunition, which were reportedly used in the murder attempt, but have received no response yet.
He said the investigation is progressing and expressed confidence that police have done their best to find Sondhi’s attackers, especially through their use of CCTV video footage from the crime scene.
He added that the bullets and casings found at the scene would be compared with all automatic weapons used in crimes nationwide.
He said three people earlier detained by police for suspected involvement in the assassination plot were found to be innocent.
Police General Thani also denied reports that he had pledged that the gunmen and ringleaders would be arrested within a week.
Suthep vows Sondhi’s claims won’t affect stability
The deputy prime minister in charge of national security affairs said claims that military officers were behind the attempted assassination of a core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, would not affect the government’s stability or the army.
Suthep Thaugsuban, deputy prime minister in charge of national security affairs, was responding to PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul’s claim that military officers and police hired the gunmen who ambushed him on April 17th in Bangkok. Suthep said he believed the accusations would not affect the stability of the government or the army.
Suthep said individuals, not the government, tried to kill Sondhi, and acknowledged that the tension would ease if police could solve the case quickly. He refused to set a deadline for solving it, however, saying he did not want to unduly pressure the police.
Army chief General Anupong Paochinda, meanwhile, has vowed that any military officers or police involved in the attack on Sondhi would face charges.
Meanwhile, Suthep met today with the National Security Department and the foreign ministry to discuss preparations for the ASEAN Public Health Ministers Conference scheduled for May 7th and 8th. Thailand will host the conference.
Bangkok Post– Sondhi postpones news conference