Re: "The people's voice, yes - but Suthep is the conductor", Letters, January 2.
I have a certain sympathy with Songdej Praditsmanont’s opinion of the power of Suthep’s demagoguery, but I still maintain that it was the fact that almost everyone was against the amnesty bill which brought success. What real success has Suthep had since?
You can argue that Yingluck stepping down was a success but it closed the door on the possibility of changes to the Constitution because while the House is dissolved the Senate cannot convene.
You can argue that he succeeded in marching up and down and breaking into government buildings – but that is something the PAD has always been good at. You can argue that he succeeded in interfering with the election – he definitely succeeded in angering a lot of people who do not like their right to vote being challenged.
Yet, now he is simply a part of the PDRC in which his value is seen in his ability to draw large crowds – which “have no idea about the outcome of the reform cause”.
As stated in The Nation’s Q&A with PDRC core leader Witthaya Kaewparadai (“Seeking ‘return to morality’ via a mass people’s movement”, January 2), Witthaya gives a fairly cautious set of replies to Hataikarn Treesuwan’s questions. However, an honest and interesting reply to the question below – which essentially asks, what is Suthep’s remaining role in the PDRC?
The reply makes it clear that ‘He (Suthep) can call for a great number of people.’
The reply also clarifies the type of people that Suthep attracts...
People ‘who have no idea about the outcome’ but just hope Thailand would be better off without the Shinawtras.
Is Witthaya Kaewparadai just talking about Suthep’s supporters from the South? Or does he include the Facebook brigade in the ‘Suthep supporters with “no idea” why they are there?
“I know why I’m here! I just want to take a ‘selfie’ to post on Facebook.”
Q: You mean PDRC secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban is a symbol of morality, right?
A: I don’t think so. Suthep has just become a symbol of the fight for reform in Thailand.
He is very serious and dedicated about this fight. He can call for a great number of people to join the rallies, even if they have no idea about the outcome of the reform cause. I think they just hope that Thailand would be better off if the Shinawatra family were not here.