The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) took to the stage at Sanam Luang with intense nationalism. Fiery nationalist rhetoric was stressed and repeated, while decades-old nationalist anti-communist songs were played throughout. The ‘Hun Sen Model’ was the latest term introduced to characterize the Cambodian leader. A larger rally was called for 5 Dec.
On 15 Nov, on stage with a pink backdrop which read in Thai ‘Unite the Strength of the Land. Protect Nation, Religion and King’, and in English ‘Fight for Thailand. Fight for our King’, the event started around 4 pm with some lesser known speakers.
Prasert Lertyaso called for the beheading of Hun Sen, General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, and Thaksin Shinawatra, alluding to an old Thai saying of shedding blood to wash royal feet. He banished Thaksin’s supporters to Phnom Penh and Dubai.
Saken Sutthiwong said that Cambodia was afraid that [Thai] F16 fighter jets would miss their targets and bomb Angkor Wat and Prear Vihear instead, because they earn their living from those ‘old stones’. Afterwards he sang ‘Ayutthaya’ and ‘Bang Rajan War’ songs which are about defending the country from its enemies, the Burmese in this case. He said he wanted Cambodia to get rich, so it could take its tens of thousands of beggars back home. Cambodian people are poor, as can be seen on TV when they storm through the border checkpoint like hell breaking loose. Thailand is not like that, because the Thai people have the King and Queen, he said.
Then some students came up to condemn Hun Sen and Thaksin, the traitor. They vowed to fight to the death to protect the Nation, Religion and King. A group of artists also read a statement, referring to both men as ‘non-human’.
After the playing of the ‘Siamanussati’ song, whose words were penned by King Vajiravudh, the sixth King of the Chakri Dynasty and the current King’s uncle, a Royal Cadet School classmate of core PAD leader Gen Chamlong Srimuang, Gen Preecha Iamsuphan, who had led yellow shirts in raucous protests near the Prear Vihear site in September, spoke to the crowd that it was time to get rid of traitors, as they all had appeared before their eyes. ‘We have to quickly finish them off for the sake of our beloved King and ancestors, so that Thais stop quarrelling with one another because of these scoundrels.’
He said that he heard a government spokesperson say on radio that Jakrapob Penkair had smuggled weapons across the northeastern Thai border to start a revolt.
The retired general said the Thai army had fought those ‘vulgar Cambodians’ at the Aranyaprathet border, and he himself had attacked them with bombs. He would not mind if there was another war. If the army does not fight, he will fight with his bare hands.
Khamnoon Sitthisaman, ASTV Manager columnist and non-elected senator, gave a brief history of how Hun Sen came to power, and concluded it with the term ‘Hun Sen model’: getting support from a foreign military power [Vietnam], supporting an ‘unprepared’ royal to become king, having the new king appoint him a royal, using a communist organizing system to control a political party and the people to take power under the guise of western democracy (elections), centralizing political and economic powers and opening the country for western capitalists to exploit its natural resources.
He said this was probably what the Thai ex-prime minister wanted to emulate.
He speculated that Thaksin would intensify his political campaign from December this year to early next year, when Parliament is closed. The red shirts would also intensify their movement, besieging or even seizing Government House. Thaksin would probably take a ‘long march’ from Cambodia, enveloped by a red-shirted mass. All this would be supported by the ‘underground operations’ of a certain retired general [another classmate of Gen Chamlong, Gen Panlop Pinmanee, who has switched sides from the PAD to support Thaksin].
Thaksin’s initial expected outcome is a House dissolution. His political party will get a majority of seats, and an amnesty will be granted to all sides, bringing the country back to where it was before the 19 Sept 2006 coup. If this fails, and if circumstances allow, a people’s revolution might be called, the senator said.
‘I believe what Gen Prem Tinsulanonda has said, that the country is sacred. I believe in the power of the Emerald Buddha. I believe in the power of the City God. I believe in the law of karma,’ he said.
He ended his speech by reading a couple of lines from an anti-communist song ‘We Fight’, written by the present King.
Sondhi Limthongkul said the nation was important because it was composed of religion and the King. When people have faith in religion, religion is strengthened and so is the monarchy. Religion and the King will never be separable.
Thailand exists today because of the blood of its past soldiers, kings and queens. Sondhi raised as an example Queen Suriyothai, who died for the King, her husband, and for Siam.
He said when he vowed to fight for the King four years ago, he was reproached and ridiculed.
‘His Majesty is a virtuous king. He would not hold a grudge against anybody, no matter who speaks ill of him, no matter who performs a ritual inside the Emerald Buddha Temple. Despite his disapproval, he has to endure. We have our duty to protect Nation, Religion and King. As I have always told you, His Majesty has no one else to count on, except us,’ Sondhi said.
The nation is composed of religion and the King. Whenever the King is weak, religion will also be weak, and there will be no more nation, he said.
Sondhi said that in the previous week he had had lunch with the ambassador of an unnamed European country. He explained Thailand’s present political situation to the diplomat through the allegory of an ancient Siamese king and his corrupt prime minister. The prime minister served the king for 6 years, and embezzled the royal treasury. The king confiscated his wealth and sent him into exile, as a light punishment.
The prime minister gave some of his embezzled money to his minions in Siam to stir up agitation in the country. He even caused rifts among members of the royal family. He eventually sought help from the Khmer King.
Sondhi said he asked the ambassador what he thought should be done. The ambassador told him that there would be no other choice than to finish him off once and for all, and the King of Siam had to wage a war and conquer the Khmer Kingdom.
He called for a much larger gathering on 5 Dec, the King’s birthday, to form a line starting from the Chitralada Palace to the Grand Palace, to show the world that they love the King.
Then they played 'Scum of the Earth', a staple anti-communist song which was given heavy airplay during the war against the communists in the 1970s, and 'The Highest Dream' whose words were inspired by 'The Impossible Dream' of the Broadway play 'Man of La Mancha', with a melody composed by King Bhumibol.
Pipop Thongchai, another PAD leader, read a statement entitled ‘The Thai People’s Declaration to the World’. Translations of the statement in Cambodian and English were also read.
After a couple more speakers continued to revile their enemies and arouse nationalist sentiments, the demonstrators rose to sing ‘Salute to the King’ and the Royal Anthem, and dispersed around 10.50 pm.