While one report has it that an ex-judge thinks Yingluck Shinawatra will be set free, the military dictatorship continues to worry about a “rally” at the court on 25 August.
Her supporters are being harassed by junta thugs. As a report at The Nation puts it: “The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has toughened security measures and called on people to not show up at the court, citing security reasons.”
It reports a “red-shirt leader from Ratchaburi province, Pongsak Phusitsakul, [who] confirmed that most activists, including those at provincial level, are being watched closely by security officers.” It is added that “activists are being constantly visited by the authorities.”
Because of harassment and because van drivers have been warned off, “supporters were expected to travel to the court by themselves and in the smallest groups possible to avoid security checks.”
The activists “maintained that they had not heard of any organised mobilisation, noting that those red-shirts at the forefront of the protest movement were under close scrutiny by the authorities.”
The yellow-shirted social media has been especially active, goading the junta with claims of mobilization, causing the junta to respond.
The latest response is by Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda. He has”ordered a probe into an allegation that local administration budgets were used for travel expenses for transporting people from several provinces” to Bangkok on 1 August to support Yingluck.
As the report describes it, this allegation “was floated by the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG)…”. It claims to have evidence that such financial support was provided, but has not produced any evidence for this claim or said how the OAG came to investigate this allegation so quickly.
The Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas had a letter sent to the “Interior and Defence ministries urging them to review the use of local administration organisations’ budgets” but apparently did not show evidence.
In fact, “Gen Anupong said yesterday he had ordered a probe into the issue…”, suggesting a fishing trip for “evidence.”
This is a whole of government effort is to limit the numbers showing up to support Yingluck.
Update: Interestingly, a report at The Nation appears to confirm that the Auditor-General is making politicized accusations sans investigation. It states:
“There are reports that some local administrative body officials have planned trips under the pretext of other missions. Local government officials have told us that there are plans to bring participants to the court too,” Pisit said yesterday. “Such actions happened before on August 1.”
In other words, Pisit doesn’t have more than claims, although he says “his office was investigating the reports and would consider releasing the names of those involved.” The reports are mainly from yellow shirt social media and Pisit is acting for the military junta.
In response, Puea Thai Party people have urged Pisit to name names. Surasarn Pasuk said: “In my opinion, local administrative bodies have been very careful during the past few years under close scrutiny. I don’t think they will dare using the state budget for such purposes…”. He’s right. Each local authority is overseen by the locally-based military.