Well, it’s certainly nothing I had ever thought I’d be accused of. Come on….terrorism? You hear about it in the newspapers. You see it on international news stations. You never think the concept would ever hit so close to home!
By definition, terrorism is “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.” “Terror” is more specifically defined as “violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands.” Now, don’t go thinking that it sounds vaguely familiar. Yes, the People’s Alliance for Democracy used various means to pressure the government, but you can hardly call our actions “violent” or “destructive!”
Would you call road closures violent? Would you call hand-clappers violent? Would you call old ladies, dressed in yellow with weird pro-PAD accessories violent????? Come now…everyone knows that the average age of the PAD protestors was AT LEAST 55! 55-year-old terrorists??? Ha Ha Ha.
But seriously, could they have come up with something a little bit better? If you recall, the PAD came together for a reason. Not to cause disruption. Not to cause chaos. Not so we could sweat our respective “behinds” off in the summer heat.
We came together so that the then-Samak administration would not amend the 2007 Constitution. Before our first big rally on May 25, 2008, the PAD issued four separate statements, warning the government of mass protests if they moved ahead with charter amendments.
Leading up to the airport closures, we were being bombed at Government House on a daily basis. The death toll was at 10. We went to the airport to “welcome” then-Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat home from an overseas trip.
And if you look at the chronology of the events leading up to the protest at Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will see that Airport Director Serirat Prasutatnont closed down the airport as protestors were merely approaching the airport. Misleading news reports then suggested that flights were being canceled because the PAD weren’t letting people in or out of the terminal.
THAT IS ALL A BUNCH OF BULL’S WAX! I remember hearing that PAD leaders present during the protest were getting calls pleading for them to let Thai-Muslims headed for flights to Mecca depart. The PAD leaders’ response to that was “We haven’t done anything. We’re outside!”
Are we worried about the allegations? Well, let’s put it this way. The atmosphere at a meeting last week of all suspects named in the charges can only be described as “delightful.” Jokes flew around the room as to who would be named the “prettiest terrorist” in Thailand’s history or what kind of food we’d like our supporters to bring us if we were jailed. For a bunch of people facing possible life imprisonment or the death sentence, we couldn’t be a lighter-spirited group.
The allegations are ridiculous and I can only say that we will fight them tooth and nail. Of all the absurd things that I’ve seen Thai police do, this, by far, tops it all!
And to the top police officers and big-time politicians who might be patting themselves on the back for putting this all together…to you, I can only say GOOD LUCK, cause you’re definitely going to need it!
Story by: Sarosha Pornudomsak
SOURCE: TAN / Perspectives
Another perspective on airport shutdown
Even if some 36 people are now summoned for an “interview” with the police, that doesn’t change the fact that the airport was not closed down by the PAD people.
The PAD went there to see then-PM Somchai upon his return from South America. When the PM’s plane was diverted to Don Mueang and PM Somchai then immediately flew on to Chiang Mai (and basically hid at his wife’s house for weeks), the PAD decided to stay at Suvarnabhumi. After all, the “old” protest site was repeatedly shelled with grenades, with several people killed.
The airport was declared closed by the director of the airport at 9pm on that day, but without any prior negotiations with the PAD people. The director, who I hear was a Thaksinist, intentionally aggravated the situation with his decision. If he had been clever, he would have negotiated with the PAD leaders for them to gather at a place inside the airport where there was no interruption of regular service for passengers and flights. For example he could have offered some space on the parking lot opposite the main hall. That would have reduced the available space for parking but not disrupted the service of the airport or infringed on security of air traffic.
So instead of asking the PAD, we (or the police) should quiz the director of the airport on what made him come up with this wrong decision!
SAM MUNICH / BANGKOK