Is Thaksin Funding Thai Protest – Al Jazeera

The top publicist for ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said today that he did not know how much his client was funding the violent street war on the streets of Bangkok.

‘I have no idea. You might as well ask how much is the government spending on bullets,’ said London based lawyer Robert Amsterdam.

Amsterdam was speaking after the Thai government froze the bank accounts of 106 people including the Shinawatra family and companies linked to red-shirted anti-government protesters

Robert Amsterdam, Thaksin Shinawatra’s new spin doctor

But in answer to a question as to whether the exiled former owner of Manchester City Football Club was paying protesters, he replied ‘Absolutely not!’

He replied: ‘People do not take bullets on the basis of who is funding what.’

The Thai government believes a disgruntled Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted from power in a military coup and subsequently accused of corruption, has been funding the riots.

In the initial stages of the protest protesters were reported to be getting up to 2,000 baht a day, a month’s pay for some people in North East Thailand.

From the red shirt side May18 2010 Rama IV Road, Bangkok

Televisions stations have been set up to broadcast their message, and in their Bangkok camp they have state of the art power generators, fan cooled dormitory accommodation and free food, although cash handouts now appear to have stopped.

 A British businessman, who asked for anonymity said: ‘There is absolutely no doubt the protesters are being paid. I have seen it with my own eyes.  Most of my staff are ‘Yellow shirts’ or supporters of the government.

‘But last month at lunch time my staff used to put on red shirts and queue up for cash.  They took the shirts off again when they came back to work. On the first day when they signed up they got 2000 Thai baht each (?50)  I do not know what they got later.’

Thaksin Shinawatra has been open in his support of the protesters and has called on the UN to intervene and negotiate a settlement.

When he was in power however , when the United Nations criticised  his war against drugs in which 2,500 were killed without trail he replied: ‘The UN is not my father’.  He has also stated that western styled democracy is not suitable for Thailand.

From the army side May 18th

With the death toll running  has at 37 the Government rejected talks with the red-shirts before the disperse. Sporadic fighting continues in the capital and petrol trucks have been maneuvered into key locations. Several major hotels were evacuated.

Thai camerman begs Thaksin Shinawatra to answer why his mother and father were gunned down by police in his ‘War on Drugs’

Thai camerman begs Thaksin Shinawatra to answer why his mother and father were gunned down by police in his ‘War on Drugs’

 Yesterday when Al Jazeera put to Robert Amsterdam, a Canadian, that other human rights lawyers had a different view of Shinawatra ‘under whose government ‘thousands of people died arbitrarily without trial and the media was censored’, Amsterdam replied that he disagreed with that view and that Shinawatra  had ‘addressed the needs of the rural citizen ship.’

The rest of the week has been declared a holiday and all city train services will terminate tomorrow (Wed)

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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