Yesterday seven core leaders were released on bail of 600,000 baht each and told not to “incite” (р╕вр╕╕р╕вр╕З) the masses and not to leave the country; in effect, silenced.
Coincidentally (or was it?) also yesterday at around 2 am police finally closed in on Surachai “Sae Dan” Danwattananusorn for his increasingly brazen and frank statements about corruption and nepotism within the ruling regime, continuing injustices, and importantly touching on the palace. In the latter regard this was an excuse to roll out the insidious Article 112 which is used as a political tool against all opposition voices.
Surachai had been urging summit institutional reform along the lines of the Japanese model to avoid the likelihood of civil war in Thailand.
Plain clothes police carrying weapons pointed to his head took him away to hear charges against him and then he was taken to Klong Prem Prison. Surachai told me last month that this day would inevitably come and that he was quite prepared to sacrifice himself for democracy. He said he would not challenge his arrest or retract anything he has said because he felt that this was the truth and he wanted everyone to hear and reflect on this and then see for themselves what is going on in Thailand at this time. His followers are clearly outraged at the continuous audacious and perverted use of Article 112 to persecute opposition in the guise of lèse majesté.
Khun Jakrapob Penkair, from hiding outside the country, issued a strong statement on Thai E-News condemning the arrest saying that “let those among the masses who now have their ‘eyes open’ (р╕Хр╕▓р╕кр╕зр╣Ир╕▓р╕З) and who are ‘revolutionaries’ please continue to join this important path with me. I offer myself to be part of the movement for Thailand’s democratic revolution. Let all core leaders who are ready for the ‘long-distance walk’ such as [Red Siam’s] Khun Palot Chaloemsaen [р╕Др╕╕р╕Ур╕Юр╕ер╕Ч р╣Ар╕Йр╕ер╕┤р╕бр╣Бр╕кр╕Щ] co-ordinate this task inside the country for the masses”. He finally asked all Red Shirts to continue to join together on the path to democracy.
A number of Red Shirts have suggested the timing for the release of UDD core leaders and the imprisonment of Red Siam’s leader Surachai is not coincidental. The intention, many believe, is to create a further rift between these two Red groups within the mass social movement.