Thailand's post-coup caretaker government is tightening the political screws on ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies as polls show the party he supports is ahead in the post-coup election. Several moves against Thaksin and his family this week suggest the coup-makers and the interim government they appointed are worried that his money and influence will sway voters in the December 23 general election, analysts said.
"This flurry of activity is no coincidence. They are trying to discredit them," political commentator Sukhum Nualskul said, referring to Thaksin and the People Power Party (PPP) backed by his supporters.
Meanwhile, an anti-graft panel, appointed by the generals who ousted Thaksin in a bloodless coup last year, said this week it was accelerating its year-long investigation of ex-Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej, who now leads the People Power Party, which includes many former members of Thaksin's government.
That news followed opinion polls published by two newspapers, which showed People Power leading the race for 480 parliamentary seats. The Bangkok Post poll said the PPP was favoured by 51 per cent of those polled versus 41 per cent for the Democrats, Thaksin's main opposition. [via The Peninsula]
Former ruling Thai Rak Thai party executives, who remain in the spotlight as politicians banned from playing active political roles for five years -- including anything relating to the December 23 election, plan to deliver public speeches at Nonthaburi pier in north suburban Bangkok on Sunday.
Thosaphorn Serirak, one of the 111 ex-TRT executives, said his colleagues had turned to Nonthaburi pier in place of Lumpini Park after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had turned down their request to use that venue in the heart of the capital to speak this weekend.
Speculated as being part of the so-called "Home No.111 Meets the People" are former TRT acting leader Chaturon Chaisaeng and other ex-TRT executives including Adisorn Phiengket and Sutham Saengprathum.
Mr. Thosaphorn said his colleagues planned to meet with BMA Governor Aphirak Kosayodhin next week to discuss ways and means to speak publicly somewhere in the capital, because, he said, not only provincial residents but also Bangkokians wish to hear their viewpoints as well.
Besides, the ex-TRT executives planned to launch another public speech in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima on Tuesday.
The Election Commission had earlier resolved to prohibit the politicians from speaking in support of People Power Party candidates contesting next month's election. [via Bangkok Post]
- Baby Dolls Go Go Mamasan's Birthday party, Saturday Nov 24
- Blues Factory Loy Kratong Party, 9.00pm Saturday Nov 24
- Illegal football betting worth $680 million have been uncovered in an Interpol operation in Thailand and six other Asian countries, Singapore police said Friday. The raids were part of Operation SOGA, short for Soccer Gambling, which began in June and was timed to coordinate with the major soccer seasons, a police statement said.
Planning for Operation SOGA started in early June when officers from law enforcement agencies in Asia met to discuss its strategy, the statement said. An expert group comprising members from Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Macau was formed. The group "provides a regional cooperation platform against illegal soccer booking and gambling activities," the statement said. The operation followed Interpol's move last year to set up Project Asian Organised Crime.
Dozens of illegal football betting houses across Asia have been shut down, leading to the arrest of 187 people in Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia alone, the statement said. [via Bangkok Post]
- A proposed new law to boost patriotism in Thailand would be "chaotic" because it would require motorists to stop when the national anthem is played twice a day, lawmakers said on Friday. [via Reuters]
- Typhoon heads for Philippines, halts travel - Air and sea travel were canceled on Friday in the eastern Philippine provinces threatened by a powerful typhoon, as authorities took advantage of the pre-storm calm to evacuate thousands of people to safer areas. Typhoon Mitag's maximum sustained winds increased to 175 kilometres per hour with gusts of up to 210 kilometres per hour, said Nathaniel Cruz, a senior official of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
- Heidi Klum loves her bazooms
- MTV launched MTV Arabia in Dubai Monday for people in the Middle East. It will feature groups singing in Arabic. The only downside is, in this part of the world rap artists will have to show respect for women in order to rebel against their culture.
- Further to my comments of a few weeks ago that Windows XP Service Pack 3 was available, Microsoft have announced it will be released in the first half of 2008. I guess they should know.....
- Two Girls One Cup - They're now selling T. Shirts but did you see the original video? Ed. I thought I'd tried most things until I saw this. The only way I can get my head round it is to assume the two girls are from Hull ..........
- Actual Calls To Directory Enquiries
Caller: "I'd like the number of the Argo Fish Bar, please"
Operator: "I'm sorry, there's no listing. Are you sure that the spelling is correct?"
Caller: "Well, it used to be called the Bargo Fish Bar but the 'B' fell off the sign."
Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.
Operator: "Woven? Are you sure?"
Caller: "Yes. That's what it says on the label -- Woven in Scotland ."
- Q. What is the difference between Lewis Hamilton and England? A. Hamilton still has a Maclaren
- Oxo have launched a red and white cube for the England team - its called the laughing stock