We're just days from victory, Sathit says

Sathit Wongnongtoey, a former Democrat MP and anti government protest leader, believes the Bangkok shutdown protests of his People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) group will finally stop the caretaker government from functioning. Mr Sathit says a violent response to demonstrators will speed up the end. He shares his views with Bangkok Post reporters.

How do you evaluate your Bangkok shutdown movement?

The shutdown approach consists of street blockages, seizures of government offices and rallies at the residences of key supporters of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The street blockages in Bangkok's key commercial areas have received cooperation from local people and are aimed at putting pressure directly on the government.

Many government officials welcome the sieges at government offices and recommend more government organisations that deserve to be seized. The sieges are intended to prevent the government from commanding government organisations and thus to make it a failed government.

Sieges at the residences of Ms Yingluck's supporters are also aimed at making her government a failed administration. The PDRC will proceed with its present moves until tomorrow and afterwards we will meet to evaluate the situation and how to escalate the protest. In the meantime, demonstrators will try to find Ms Yingluck.

What will you do if your plans are not successful and Ms Yingluck continues to stay in office?

I must admit that peaceful movements limit our strategies. We think that the worst-case scenario is that Ms Yingluck refuses to resign and will wait for demonstrators to become tired. PDRC secretary-general Suthep [Thaugsuban] keeps encouraging demonstrators to fight until Ms Yingluck and other caretaker ministers resign and the Thaksin regime disappears from Thailand.

The game will end faster if government officials and soldiers side with the people. The game will end faster if the government deals violently with demonstrators. We know hardcore government supporters will launch violent attacks and black-clad men are carrying out their missions and enjoying support from some police officers.

At what stage is the PDRC now at in its fight to end the Thaksin regime?

The PDRC is in the last stage of its fight. The escalation of our movements, strategies and goals reflect this stage. The goal is to get rid of the Thaksin regime. All the sieges have reduced the space of Ms Yingluck and the government. This refers to the physical space for their movements, the space for their political movements and the space of their command over government organisations.

I say this is the last stage because the power based on government officials has been shaken. Government officials have expressed their stance for the first time as the permanent secretary for public health has demanded the prime minister resign and for reform to precede the election.

What is obvious is the views of the military that disagrees with the government's plan to impose an executive decree on public administration in emergency situations to involve soldiers in controlling demonstrators.

The military also demands the government refrain from using force against demonstrators and take responsibility for any violent incidents committed against the people.

These are signs of the shaken power of the government and the deciding factors in this fight.

Will the last stage take long?

I cannot tell if it will take three or five days but only the last goal remains to be achieved - that is the Yingluck government becomes a failed administration. The House has already been dissolved and the government has lost its legitimacy to stay in power as it has defied the authority of the Constitution Court.

We expect two possible outcomes. One is the people's revolution can oust the government, leading to the establishment of the people's government and council.

The other outcome is that Ms Yingluck and her ministers resign and the Senate speaker appoints an interim prime minister and an interim council to plan national reform for a year before the next general election.

If the government sends its people to negotiate with us and proposes that one of its ministers is picked as Ms Yingluck's successor, we will turn it down. There cannot be a win-win situation, nor can we meet each other halfway in this fight.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 20/01/2014 at 05:29 PM
With the autocrat leader Thaksin behind them the UDD were ' preventing law abiding citizens from carrying out their daily work' , yes you are right, it was 'not the cure' then and it isn't now, but what is the differenc?. Maybe this one is more peaceful (no black shirts) but the length of time is about the same, just a lot of shee perhaps, both times - although they are more educated this time and not being bought!
Discussion 2 : 20/01/2014 at 05:22 PM
another thing you need to understand is that it is ironic that the UDD call themselves democratic when it is well known that their defacto leader, Thaksin, was dismantling democracy by doing away with all the checks and balances through cronyism and nepotism when he was in power. He was paving the way for dictatorial rule. This is about Thaksin ruling the country from Dubai.
Discussion 3 : 18/01/2014 at 02:17 PM
Top marks for the military yes. Top marks for the police a definitive no way.le The police force is most probably one of the root causes of all what's happening ere in Thailand, corrupt from top down in it's entiety, involved in unaccountable reports of criminal offences from murder, drugs, extortion, kidnapping just to name a few.
Discussion 4 : 18/01/2014 at 01:04 PM
PaleRider. One thing you need to understand is the PDRC are not the Democrat Party. The protest leaders are ex Dem Party MP's but resigned before leading the movement. The PDRC are not a political party but a political movement.
Discussion 5 : 18/01/2014 at 12:03 PM
Thailand is rapidly becoming a joke around the world. A would be democratic country demonstrating openly that it has no respect for democracy or for those with differing views. Suthep speaks like a would be dictator, that the majority of Thai people despise. It is true that corruption is endemic in Thailand, but roaring like a wild bull, preventing law abiding citizens from carrying out their daily work is not the cure. Top marks for the restraint shown by the military and the police.
Discussion 6 : 18/01/2014 at 11:33 AM
An an outsider with a soon to be Thai wife, I have been following this situation closely. It seems to me that it is very transparent the so-called failed government is a result of bully tactics by the opposition party that lost control after the last election, and the only way the Democrat Party can regain control is to once again set the stage for another military coup. But this tactic is failing, and Mr Suthep and his fellow leaders know this. So there are trying to manipulate their supporters to keep fighting with the promises of toppling the government. Does anyone else find it ironic they call themselves Democrat Party?
Discussion 7 : 18/01/2014 at 10:25 AM
Thailand has alot to look forward too if this is the calibre of the alternative.
Discussion 8 : 18/01/2014 at 10:14 AM
yeah, ask him a real question, invetigative reporter.
Discussion 9 : 18/01/2014 at 09:53 AM
Brave words from this ex Dem official. What else is he supposed to say , inorder to boost the dwindling number of protesters ? Just listen to Suthep speech last night , how desperate he was , laying all the blame of the bombing squarely on the government. The part that made me laugh was when he kept stressing the red cap found with M16 , belonged to the UDD. Below him sat his supporters, listening to his diatribe and guess what, some had red caps on
Discussion 10 : 18/01/2014 at 09:39 AM
'The sieges are intended to prevent the government from commanding government organizations and thus make it a failed government'. News flash Mr Sathit, any nation under a failed government which can not command it's ministries and organizations is in fact a failed state. So the explicit intent of you actions is to regress your country into a failed state. Wow! With such lofty ambitions as creating a fully failed state under the dictatorial control of you and your buddies, I have no idea what the vast majority of Thais are so worried about? Your 'days away from victory' alright, that's assuming your definition of victory is to spark civil war
Discussion 11 : 18/01/2014 at 09:20 AM
Here we are again... Days away to victory, but Khun Pradit and Khun Manop failed in their primary responsibility to discover what the PDRP PLANS to do once the government changes!! Is no one even curious? Or is it just a way to ease things along in a power swap...
Discussion 12 : 18/01/2014 at 09:14 AM
Weird. and indeed puzzling. I doubt that this is the right way to get the country on track. No willingness for compromises and negotiations is nothing but extremism that will be counterd with extremism ot the opposition. An endless game. Where has the wisdom of the middle path gone? Is Thailand not a Buddhist country anymore?

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