On the run

In Thailand, it would seem that the word ‘flee’ is associated with Thai men when it comes to dealing with the law. Most certainly there are different reason to flee at different levels, corrupt police can be one of them.

From a western perspective it is a bit sad to see one shirking responsibility when it comes to the law. But running from corrupt police is one thing, however running from a respected court is very much another.

Vatana Asavahame or perhaps properly put fugitive politician Vatana Asavahame in early July made a dash out of Thailand to Cambodia because he was about to get convicted and sent to jail. As it turned out a 10 year sentence was handed down and the ruling was undeniably correct.

Then one month later former and deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra fled to London because he too suspected a conviction. His case is over but the court has delayed the ruling because Thaksin was not present in the court on September 17. That ruling has been now set for October 21.

The next politician in the starting blocks is former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej who lost his appeal in court on September 25 and faces 2 years in jail. Samak is entitled to petition for a final appellate review by the Supreme Court within 30 days. It is expected that Samak will play the clock and file his appeal on the last possible day. Unfortunately for Samak is the final appeal rarely overturns the lower court. So the question is when and not if Samak will run.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has ‘for now’ taken over the government house, and the government has set up temporary shop in the old international airport Don Muang that is now used by the military. There is some hushed chuckling going on that most of the ministers are defendants in one or more court proceeding that could land them in jail, and moving the seat of government to the airport provides quick access to ‘flights from justice.’ The PAD would be very happy if they would just leave and not come back no doubt.

But it is not only politicians that flee the scene. In this apparent eye witness account by a weekly Thailand / Bangkok nightlife columnist, he speaks of an apparent fatal accident between a city bus and a motorcycle. Click here to read the entry.

This does leave one wondering as to where this behavior was learned. Running from corrupt police makes a certain amount of sense considering that money will often decide guilt or innocence. The one who looks like they have the best ability to pay off the police will no doubt be the guilty party fault or not. In the case of Thai vs foreigner the police will probably side with the Thai as past accounts have shown.

Even the fake monks who solicit money from foreigners who don’t know real monks never ask for money have been seen wearing Nike sneakers. The reason is no doubt to make a hasty exit when the police get involved. Sandals or barefoot is how real monks dresses and that provides far less that top speed when on the run.

this does leave people breathless that this is happens all too often and is the rule and not the exception.

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