31 March 2014

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A court on Thursday (Dec. 12) indicted former
prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva for alleged murders, but his deputy
did not arrive for the same indictment because he was whipping up a
right-wing "people's revolution" which cut off the prime minister's
electricity and water to force her resignation.



The murder charges date back to 2010 and are echoing in Bangkok's
current month-long "insurrection" which is fueled mostly by
urban-based royalists and military officers, plus middle and upper
classes who favor dictatorial, appointed officials instead of
popularly elected politicians.



In the latest twist, a man standing in the street on Thursday (Dec.
12) afternoon used a lengthy pole to disconnect overhead electric
cables leading to Interim Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's
now-vacant Government House office, while a curious crowd watched.



Others cut the water supply and some barbed wire protecting the building.



Ms. Yingluck refuses to resign and now uses police and army buildings
as her office.



This Buddhist-majority, Southeast Asian major non-NATO U.S. ally has
spiraled into political chaos partly because Ms. Yingluck has been
reluctant to use force against thousands of anti-government
protesters.



In response, anti-Yingluck protesters occupied and looted the Finance
Ministry, the Technology Crime Suppression Division, and other
official buildings, stealing computers, hard drives, and smartphones
-- paving the way for a possible WikiLeaks-style expose of
confidential documents.



A Criminal Court on Thursday (Dec. 12) meanwhile issued a murder
indictment to Mr. Abhisit who was prime minister from December 2008 to
July 2011.



He was released after posting bail.



The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had charged Mr. Abhisit and
his deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban with premeditated and
attempted murders committed in 2010.



The two politicians allegedly approved the use of live ammunition,
allowing troops to shoot at thousands of Red Shirts and others who
fought with Molotov cocktails, slingshots and other weapons behind
bamboo barricades, while calling for nationwide elections.



At least 90 people, mostly Reds and other civilians, died during the
nine-week uprising.



The murder charges came after a man, 43, and girl, 14, were allegedly
shot dead during the crackdown.



Mr. Abhisit and Mr. Suthep deny wrongdoing and said they acted within
emergency laws they had declared at that time, which also granted them
some immunity.



Today, the elitist Mr. Abhisit leads a Democrat Party which was unable
to win popular elections during the past decade, so he joined the
current right-wing protests.



Mr. Suthep, the wrathful self-appointed protest leader, faces charges
of "insurrection" -- punishable by life imprisonment or lethal
injection -- after five civilians died during clashes among his
supporters and Reds favoring Ms. Yingluck.



Mr. Suthep demands cancellation of Ms. Yingluck's 2011 landslide
election victory.



He also wants to blacklist Ms. Yingluck and her wealthy powerful
relatives, plus all her political allies, from government in the
future.



Mr. Suthep demands replacing Thailand's superficial, unbalanced
democracy with a dictatorial "people's revolution" which would unveil
a "people's council" which he said on Thursday (Dec. 12) will include
400 selected people, but no politicians.



The council could then take 18 months "reforming" Thailand's governing system.



The result would severely weaken future elected politicians, and
empower additional appointed officials who favor their business
cronies, monarchists, the military, the urban elite and others.



The often confused Ms. Yingluck, who draws most of her votes from
Thailand's north and northeastern neglected rural areas, recently
appeared on the verge of tears.



She dissolved parliament's House of Representatives on Dec. 9, leaving
a half-appointed Senate in power.



She is now a caretaker prime minister facing fresh elections scheduled
for Feb. 2.



Mr. Suthep rejects that election and said Ms. Yingluck must resign, so
a pliant leader can be installed who would agree to Mr. Suthep's
authoritarian schemes.



"I will do everything to stop the next election," Mr. Suthep told
inquiring businessmen, bankers and industrialists on Thursday (Dec.
12).



Thaksin Shinawatra, Ms. Yingluck's manipulative elder brother, is
meanwhile boosting his sister who he dubbed as his personal political
"proxy."



Mr. Thaksin was toppled in a bloodless 2006 military coup.



He suffered when post-coup court convictions sentenced him to two
years imprisonment and seized $1.2 billion of his cash and assets, as
punishment for two separate business deals conducted while he was in
power.



Mr. Thaksin and his sister became Mr. Suthep's easy targets when Ms.
Yingluck's government failed to win a justice-defying "amnesty" for
officials on all sides accused or convicted of crimes since 2006,
including Mr. Thaksin.



Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who played a role in the
2006 coup, is publicly trying to appear neutral, denying speculation
by Red Shirts and local media that he may be using Mr. Suthep to stage
a "civilian coup."



"The suspense is building, everyone in #Thailand would like to know
which side Gen. Prayuth is on," a pro-Red analyst tweeted on the
Rajprasong News site on Thursday (Dec. 12).