Roughly for the past 4 years all the political trouble in Thailand has been over one man. That man is Thaksin Shinawatra who is now a fugitive hiding in the United Kingdom seeking to convince the British Government to grant him political asylum. Hopefully they will consider carefully what they will invite to live with them.
All the clashes between People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the People Power Party (PPP) are as a result of Thaksin. Simply Thaksin refuses to give up even in the light of being a fugitive. Thaksin no doubt sees that the trial he fled is being conducted fairly and because of that he suspects a conviction. The hearing phase of Thaksin’s trial is over and the judges are now deciding Thaksin’s fate and due to rule September 17.
The high courts in Thailand have been the shining star of justice ever since the judges held an audience with the King around the start of 2007. Even the most critical observers and critics from around the world are silent and in this case silence is golden. Simply put, Thailand’s high courts are now setting the new standard in Asia to be on par with the courts in the west. To that effect the only appropriate response is applauding them. However the lower courts are still somewhat corrupt but that is another story for another day.
The fact that Thaksin refuses to give up is ego driven. He simply can’t stand to be anything other than number one. In Asia underhanded methods are often used to achieve ones goals. Thaksin was no stranger to those tactics. Even the fact that he has been banned from politics until June 2012, he still persists. He very clearly is the controlling force behind the PPP. This is also something the British Government must consider, to grant political asylum to Thaksin who is still in the game with significant influence. One would think that political asylum is for someone out of the game and who needs to flee from opponents who show signs of not being fair or unjust penalties.
That most certainly is not the case in Thailand. Thaksin just wants an edge to be out of reach of Thai justice while he still continues to manipulate things in Thailand. If that is indeed Thaksin’s intent, then the by the British Government granting political asylum to Thaksin, they could become an accessory to a crime or many crimes depending on what Thaksin does. Thaksin is notorious for using people, and if he can some how manipulate the British government into helping him, that becomes one huge dance with the devil. That most certainly will tarnish that British Sterling shine that the British are so proud of, as nobody comes out undamaged in some way when dealing with Thaksin.
The fact that blood will still be spilled in Thailand over Thaksin is just a complete shame. The unrest in Thailand will continue until Thaksin is out of the picture completely. If he is granted political asylum anyplace in the world, Thailand will still suffer. If Thaksin is unwilling to back down and give up, then someone must step in and do that for him. The Thai courts look to be on that track, and all that needs to be done is deliver Thaksin back to the Thais.
Allowing Thaksin to persist from abroad is the rough equal to ending all security measures meant to keep terrorists at bay. People will ultimately get hurt in either scenario. The hope that the British Government sees things this way too is the hope on many Thai minds who want to see peace in their country.
Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is about Thaksin. Sure, he’s corrupt, but compared to many of his predecessors in the PM position, not exceptionally so (anyone remember Banharn Silpa-Archa?).
I think what ticks off the people with real power is that Thaksin derives part of his power from non-traditional sources — he actually instituted policies to empower (they say pander to) the poor in Issan. God knows where that may lead?
Upper classes in Thailand rarely base their wealth and power on ability and hard work — it’s mostly being born in the position that allows them to exploit the poor, while paying them next-to-nothing.
Screwing the poor Thais is one thing us Farang and hi-so Thais upper classes have in common. We do it literally and pay for it fairly well, though 🙂
Here are some of the things I see that are adding more complications to the problems already existing:
– The fact that the court is being used by the government to push out the demonstrators from the government house only puts a big question mark on the subject of jurisdiction.
– There’s a BIG problem about the ‘media’ and it’s only growing bigger in every sense and dimension imaginable. The fact that the government is manipulating one (if not more) TV station is adding to the ‘dividedness’ of the people_ bearing in mind that most Thais turn to television for information rather than newspapers. This ‘media’ problem is harming the country more and more by the minute.. I think the damage is just as great (if not more in the long run) as the possibility of the ‘tanks’ moving into the city.
– The longer it takes to make the people understand why the anti-government are out demonstrating in the first place, the harder it will be to bring more people in to support the PAD. (and NBT incident is not helping either). With Samak’s ego-driven character, it would probably take every single soul in this nation (except him, of course) to put enough pressure for him to step down.
– The PAD’s “Last War” banner makes the race too long to reach the finish line_realistically (considering the difficult_and inevitable_tasks to be undertaken in order to keep the supporters in the gov house from giving up both physically and mentally) because it means getting to the roots of the problem (e.g the ‘vote-buying’ mentality_politicians and voters alike; the somewhat ‘adopted’ concept of ‘nominated’ candidates_however unethical it may be; and the lack of ‘morality’ in those candidates, etc.) (This could go on and on..!)
– The ‘dividedness’ is so great now. It might take a really big ‘thunder’ to halt (just halt) everthing. Or, ideally, a ‘mediator’ appears from God-knows where to start setting things right. But, the way things are, plus the ‘norm’ of most credible people, it will take more than ‘bravity’ for anyone to take up this post. The problems lies more on convincing everyone concerned to ‘accept’ that particular person.
– Money: God knows how much Thaksin is still pocketing (too much for my maths ability, I guess). Top that with his refusal to ‘step out’ of the game, it only spells (way-big) disaster for this country_and maybe Britain_or any other soil on this earth that this man choose to step on and use as his ‘stage’ !
So, yes, Thaksin is still a very ‘big deal’. If Samak doesn’t step down now, one or more court cases might. And meanwhile who knows what will happen. And as long as Thaksin and his money is still very much in the picture, there are plenty enough of his cronies and puppets to dance away the time (while damaging this country to the last sand) until the Devil reclaims his throne.
Me and my poor head cannot see how we can get out of this mess with no more_or as little as possible_bloodshed.
Yet another great article.
Not that I condone violence but it seems more
and more evident that unless and until
this entire clan is wiped off the face of the earth
Thailand will not return to normalcy.
Ours is not a perfect country. We have our share
of problems but never before has one person
caused so much divide and damage. He could
have become a revered statesman but he choose to
be a crook.
I cringe to think that massive amonts of our stolen money are spent on lawyers, publicists and security
just so the guy can have a life, or semblance of one.