A phone call from Abhisit

A student in Had Yai received a surprise phone call from Abhisit Vejjajiva after he had sent an SMS to the PM condemning his road map proposal.  He claimed to have been told that Thaksin was paying coalition politicians 100 million baht per head to switch sides.  Abhisit admitted making the call, but denied that he had said this about Thaksin.

On 5 May, according to ASTV-Manager, Thanawat Waharak, a 2nd year political science student at Had Yai University, spoke at a public gathering at Had Yai Municipality, saying that after he learned about Abhisit’s road map proposal including the scheduling of a general election for 14 Nov, he sent an SMS to a phone number he believed belonged to the PM.

The message was sent at 10.54 pm on 4 May, reading, ‘Previously, I thought that it was Thaksin who was a tyrant and a betrayer of the country, but now that you have made such a decision, I’ve lost all faith.  Beware that you will become the next tyrant.  Why haven’t you dealt [with the red shirts]?  Please tell me.’

Thanawat received a phone call from the PM at 11.23 pm.  At first, he thought he would complain about the PM’s decision on the road map, but he became sympathetic when he listened to what the PM said to him. 

Abhisit told him that he was quite uncomfortable and he could not make a decision alone.  Thaksin was lobbying MPs of the coalition parties to change the government with a bribe of 100 million baht each.  It was up to those MPs as to whether they would betray the country for Thaksin or save it, said Abhisit according to Thanawat.

Thanawat asked the PM why he had not dispersed the red shirts. Abhisit told him that he would have to seek a justification for the dispersal, which was what he had wanted to do, but he was afraid that it would cause too many casualties.

Thanawat also expressed his rejection of amendments to the charter, as he thought the 2007 charter was already good enough.  The PM replied that it had to be gradually amended, not all at once, and he then hung up.

On 6 May, at about 10.15 am, Abhisit called a phone-in at the Sapha Tha Phra Athit programme of ASTV station, admitting that he had made a phone call to the student, but had never talked about Thaksin paying 100 million baht to MPs.  He said he had explained the issues of concern to the student.

Thanawat told reporters that he had been interested in politics since he was in Matthayom 3 (junior high school).  He had frequently joined the People’s Alliance for Democracy’s protests, but had always been at the back of the stage.

He said that when he heard the voice of the PM, he was sympathetic and was aware that the PM was under stress and was working hard to solve problems for the sake of innocent people.

He had previously made about a hundred calls to the PM, but the number had always been busy.  So he decided to send an SMS instead.  He had got the number from an ASTV programme which showed it on screen.

He did not expect a call back from the PM, and he was glad that the voice of a small person like him was heeded by the PM.

His father is a traditional fisherman and a friend of Jurin Laksanawisit, the Minister of Public Health, but he denied having any involvement with the Democrat Party.  Instead, he started to dislike the party, because it had been too slow in solving political problems. 


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