The People’s Alliance for Democracy warned that former prime minister Shinawatra Thaksin would resort to violence to try to destroy the government.
Suriyasai Katasila, secretary-general of the PAD’s New Politics Party, said Thaksin was expected to mobilise all of his men, including those in uniform, to try to topple the government not long after the red shirts start their rally on Saturday, the third anniversary of the coup that ousted Thaksin.
Security agencies would also need to monitor the situation outside the rally ground, as Thaksin would use his network to stage a disturbance near the rally so that the violence could escalate until the government collapses.
The pro-Thaksin movement is expected to gather at the Royal Plaza, Government House and possibly the residence of Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, he said.
Thaksin apparently realises that Saturday’s rally would be his last chance to overthrow the government, he said.
If Thaksin fails this time, it will be harder to force out the Democrat-led government and it might complete its term. Thaksin could be convicted in other cases and his network could eventually disintegrate, he said.
Thaksin would have to use his network to carry out underground operations to try to oust the government because it is expected that the people joining the rally would not be enough to depose the government, he said.
The rifts among the red-shirt leaders would result in a low turnout, he said.
The red shirts were divided into two groups – the three buddies or Veera Musigapong, Natthawut Saikua and Jatuporn Prompan on one side, and Jakrapob Penkair and his allies on the other, he said.
The three buddies want to take revenge for Thaksin while Jakrapob is seeking change to the ruling system, he said.
Thaksin is now a fugitive in exile.
Senator Prasarn Marukhapithak expressed confidence that no coup would happen because of the rally on Saturday.
He said there would be no justification for a putsch as the government could control the situation and no violence would arise.
Thaksin could not manoeuvre much abroad because his host countries, including the United Arab Emirates, would restrict his political movements, he said.
No more than 20,000 people would join the rally in front of Prem’s house and they would disperse peacefully, he said.
The rally would be held just to try to extend the life of the red-shirt movement, he said.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said it was weird that coup speculation sprang up.
“Actually, nobody should have talked about a coup again because they have been calling for democracy. Now, why has it changed into a call for a change through a coup?” he said.
On Saturday, former supreme commander General Chaisit Shinawatra, a cousin of Thaksin, said he supported a coup if it would improve the country’s situation. If one does take place, politics would have to start anew so that the conflicts in the country could end, he said.
Abhisit said he had talked to acting police chief Thanee Sombunsap, who reassured him that there should be no violence on Saturday, as most people want to protest peacefully.
But the government would try to prevent any untoward incident, the prime minister said.
By The Nation
Published on September 14, 2009