Interview with Thai red shirt leader Arisman
Share this on

Interview with Thai red shirt leader Arisman

Andrew Spooner has an interview with Arisman Pongruangrong, a red shirt leader who is on the run. The excerpt below is from part 2 and is on whether there will be a coup and if so, the red shirt response:

What will happen first – election or coup? Absolutely the coup first. The planners of the coup will be the Surayud group, including Prasong Soonsiri, Chamlong Srimuang, the Privy Council and high ranking army officers, including Prayuth Chan-ocha, under Prem’s control. The PAD will also do a lot of work and will be out on the street. They might try to make the PAD and the Red Shirts fight one another by creating a chaotic situation that could involve grenade attacks or other acts of violence. This could create the conditions in which the army could stage a coup. Therefore the election is unlikely.

If there is a coup will there be any organised reaction from either the Red Shirts or pro-democracy elements in the military?

The Red Shirts would openly oppose any coup. Some of the army might join this opposition as well. But the elite will try to get rid of the Red Shirt leaders and any crackdown could be even more brutal – this could lead to civil war. For example the army might try and assassinate a few important people in the government, like Abhisit, Suthep and Newin and then blame it on the Red Shirts.

BP: But if the army’s new ally Bhum Jai Thai can beat Puea Thai in elections, why would the army stage a coup?