I’d like to ask New Mandala readers for some help. I’m trying to establish whether Thaksin issued a call to revolution in his video and phone messages between 26 March and 14 April.
On13 April, AP ran this story:
Mr Thaksin, who addresses his supporters by telephone from self-imposed exile abroad, called for a “revolution” on Sunday. [=12 April] “Now that they have tanks on the streets, it is time for the people to come out in revolution,” he said in a message shown on giant screens near the prime minister’s office. “And when it is necessary, I will come back to the country.”
The quote was repeated by BBC and others. On the 12th, Thaksin appeared by phone, not by videolink. There are two clips of this conversation on YouTube (Part 1 and Part 2), and they seem to have the whole thing. I’ve listened to the clips and I cannot hear him saying the words quoted by AP. However, the phone line was bad, and the recording is made from the loudspeaker broadcast, so the sound quality is bad and I could have missed it. If anyone else can hear these words, please indicate the position in the clip.
Thaksin talked about “people’s revolution” on 3 April. Based on the transcript in Thai Rath on the 4th, he said:
Since 1947, there have been a total of seventeen revolutions (pathiwat), ten of them successful, and twenty-two elections, meaning that there was one revolution for each two elections. How can a country exist like this? The interesting thing is that twice in history, on 14 October 1973 and 17 May 1992, there were revolutions by the people. It’s not known whether this 8 April will be like that. Everybody who loves democracy please come on 8 April.
Note, it is not a call to action, just a historical reference.
On 30th March, he said (video and transcript from Matichon):
If there is the sound of gunfire, of soldiers shooting the people, I’ll return immediately to lead you to march on Bangkok.
The question is this. Did Thaksin really issue a call for revolution and promise to return to lead it – all as one thought? If so on what day, and where is the evidence (in Thai), as transcript or recording?
Or is the AP story a fudge of his earlier mention of people’s revolution, coupled with his earlier promise to return?