Govt to monitor Thaksin’s SMSs
The government plans to closely monitor the SMS messages that ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra plans to send directly to his supporters, to see whether they represent a threat to national security, Prime Minister’s Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey said on Monday.
Mr Sathit admitted it was not easy to control text messaging.
The government would also check the programme content of satellite broadcaster PTV, operated by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), following complaints that the programmes gives misleading information.
The political movement backing the fugitive politician was getting more vigorous, he said. He pointed to Thaksin’s use of a leader of a neighbouring country to pressure the government last week, and the stress it caused.
Last Wednesday, Puea Thai Party chairman Chavalit Yongchaiyudh paid a one-day visit to Phnom Penh and met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. He said latern that Hun Sen was willing to host Thaksin if he wished to stay in Cambodia.
Gen Chavalit said Mr Hun Sen was full of praise for Thaksin and expressed sympathy for the “political injustice” he suffered in Thailand.
On arrival in Thailand on Friday to attend the Asean summit, the Cambodian leader said Thaksin was welcome to serve as his economic adviser and his government would not allow his extradition to Thailand.
Govt to Keep Watchful Eye on Pro-Thaksin Media
The government says it will look into media that are supportive of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as their contents may post a threat to national security.
Prime Minister’s Office Minister in charge of media affairs Satit Wongnongtaey said he has not seen the flash-news short messages from ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra reportedly set to be sent to his supporters’ mobile phones but the government must examine their contents to see if they have any effect on national security and find out their origin.
The minister added the government will investigate a pro-Thaksin satellite TV station, the People Channel, whether its content aims to incite social disorder after several people have filed a complaint accusing it of providing inaccurate information to bring about unrest.
Satit believes the Cambodian prime minister’s recent aggressive stance against Thailand is part of Thaksin’s political game to escalate conflicts in the current political situation.
The minister also said he is not surprised by a poll’s result on a fall in the prime minister’s approval rate, saying a change in popularity is normal.
Satit revealed the premier will visit more provinces in the North, South and the central plain as the ASEAN Summit has already concluded but admitted he is concerned that the red-shirt group will intensify its anti-government moves.
The minister also said he has never heard a speculation that he will be replaced by senior Democrat MP Ongart Klampaiboon but added any Cabinet reshuffle will rest with the prime minister.