There is simply no other way to put it. The ego driven convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra is crossing the line that defines treason.
Several dictionaries define treason as;
- the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
- a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
- the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.
In Wikipedia the description is a bit more refined.
but no matter how you slice it, Thaksin is clearly standing on the line of treason. Connecting the Dots points out the following;
Thaksin clearly looks to incite a civil war in Thailand. He would clearly benefit from that.
Thaksin is encouraging his red shirt army to go beyond their so far peaceful protest. He has identified specific targets that are to be taken out. Although they simply have little if anything to do with today’s government, Thaksin clearly is looking to settle a personal grudge at who he feels did him wrong. It makes no difference to Thaksin that there was a proper democratic election between the coup and today that simply placed Thaksin’s targets on the sidelines of today’s active government. Nobody is beyond Thaksin’s rage. Even the entertainers that performed on the stage of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) are being targeted.
For those that do not recognize this, this is the signature of a dictator as no other opinions are allowed no matter who you are. For a realtime example all one needs to do is look at Burma, and should Thaksin ever succeed in getting back into power, that is what Thais can expect Thailand to turn into very quickly.
The coup that Thaksin is still fighting was also made moot by the December 2007 elections. The people spoke and elected their choice. Unfortunately for Thaksin, the pro Thaksin bad boys that got elected could not play by the rules and they were sent packing too. That simply left Thaksin with the ‘C’ team. The ‘A’ team was sent packing in May 2007, the ‘B’ team was sent packing in December 2008. So that is why Thaksin wants his ‘A’ team back because the ‘C’ team is totally inept. Everything the ‘C’ team does simply makes the democrats look better. Former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of the ‘B’ team was even quoted as saying the democrats were ‘squeaky clean’, so any use of negatives against the democrats can only make them look better once the negatives are disproved. It seems the ‘C’ team is incapable of anything but negatives.
It does not matter if Thaksin’s inciting statements are true or not, it is the underlying intent for saying them that meets the definition of treason, and that is to overthrow the government. Thaksin is a fugitive and by law has no right to be elected until after he finishes his 2 year sentence and 5 year suspension from politics. If he was able to be elected then he may not meet the definition of treason and this could just be seen as a political campaign with violent overtones. But even then political campaigns are only allowed just before an election. The last element that would secure the definition of treason would be if violence were to erupt directed at anyone in the definition of treason as a direct result of Thaksin’s urging.
The new calls for two privy counselors that Thaksin identified to step down simply is ice too thin to think about. The post of privy counsel is not an elected post, they are appointed by the King of Thailand and only the King of Thailand. In short that means the King wants them on the privy counsel. To look to pressure the two privy counselors to step down can easily be seen as at the very least immense disrespect for the King as well as drag him down into politics. One’s imagination can mark the other end of that scale. If the privy counsel is attacked in anyway by Thaksin’s urging that would meet the treason definition as Thaksin was the person who targeted them. Prior to Thaksin saying anything they for the most part were just tending to the King in their duties as privy counselors.
This entire exercise is to define the enemy as Thaksin sees them, and seeing as the red shirts are prone to violence, it would not take much to start a civil war with 30,000 of them in Bangkok out to destroy the enemy. Seeing it is dead in the middle of the hot season, tempers are naturally short and does not take much of a push. It is very apparent this is the game plan Thaksin has. It is a make or break push for Thaksin as his popularity is slipping fast. With this one focused effort, there is a slim chance he could succeed as there are so many fence jumpers in Thailand’s government.
If there is no violence then very simply Thaksin loses. The democrats can simply wait them out. Should the Government house truly need to be used, a face to face confrontation can be eliminated by simply going over the red shirt mob with helicopters. A face to face confrontation places Thaksin’s targets in arms reach of the red shirts. This is Thaksin’s ‘Hail Mary’ play without doubt. If his poll numbers slip into the teens that is just a few points away from 23% approval where he is now, that very likely is the point of no return unless the democrats have a major blunder. It seems in Thai politics fatal wounds are self inflicted.
To summerize, Thaksin only needs to incite violence againts the government to be guilty of treason. He has made the connection that he is the indeed leader of the red shirts.
Interesting. Where do we draw the line between attacking the privy counselors and attacking the king himself? Although it’s true that privy counselors are appointed by the king, does that make it impossible for someone to say they’re not fit for the job?
The privy counsel is for the King and nobody else. I am sure you can see where Richard is coming from that the members of the privy counsel is of nobody’s concern. It is like someone criticizing the meal you made for yourself, only you will eat it so who else should care what is in it. This is clearly Thaksin trying to settle a personal grudge by making up things to incite unrest. I seem to recall Thaksin trying to push Prem around in July 2006. That did not go over too well for Thaksin, so there is the basis for Thaksin’s false accusations, they are only to satisfy his ego and come out on top at all costs. As far as Thaksin is concerned Prem must pay the price for challenging him the same as anyone else.
Your analogy is interesting, But if, say, my father is having a meal and I happen to notice something poisonous in it, would you expect me to remain silent and let him eat that thing (because it’s his meal, why should I care?), or to speak up and try to prevent him from eating it?
Likewise, when certain privy counselors meddle with the country’s political affairs so much that their actions have damaged the reputation of the privy counsel as a whole, I’m sure there are reasons for the public to pressure them to quit their jobs, for the good of the beloved king.
Again nobody’s concern. That is the job of the other privy counselors should there be a problem. The privy counselors are people of demonstrated wisdom and high character, that is why they are offered so much respect. This is a far cry from Thaksin that is the poisonous item you refer to. If you happen to read today’s Nation you will see the word Republic is now tied with Thaksin, and you can’t have a monarchy at the same time as a Thaksin run Republic.
Nobody’s concern? I believe the public has reasons to be concerned. I guess they even have the ‘right’ to be concerned. The king is a universally revered symbol of this nation. He has been the head of state for over sixty years and Thai people hold him in very high regard. When some of the people around him are doing things that threaten to undermine the monarch’s position, do you not think that we should at least be a little bit disturbed?
You also assert that “the privy counselors are people of demonstrated wisdom and high character”, but to me this doesn’t entitle them to interfere in politics and other affairs that are legally the responsibilities of the government. I’m not saying all of the privy counselors interfere, but some of them do. And I have little respect for those who do.
I didn’t mention Thaksin anywhere in my posts so I’m not sure why you brought him up. Anyway the word Republic has been associated with Thaksin for quite a while now so that’s nothing new.
Well may a pose a question to you. Seeing that both of the privy counselors are in exactly the same status today as they were before the coup, where is the personal gain that Thaksin is implying? Certainly people do not do things without some reward. I do not see any incentive for what Thaksin is accusing them of. Thaksin would have been removed from office anyway when his party was dissolved in May of 2007 and that has nothing at all to do with anyone except the TRT breaking the law.
General Surayud became prime minister in the coup-installed government. Does that count as a reward by your standard?
General Prem saw a prime minister who was challenging his dominance overthrown and a group of generals loyal to him come to be in power. Isn’t that also a reward?
Besides, it’s true that TRT would have been dissolved regardless of whether there was a coup or not, but the coup greatly dampened Thaksin’s chance of a comeback because the junta issued a decree to retroactively ban TRT executives from running for political offices. This punishment could not have been in place without the coup.
Duncan McCargo has written extensively on Prem’s influence over Thailand’s politics. See his articles ‘Network monarchy and legitimacy crises in Thailand’ and ‘Thaksin and the resurgence of violence in the Thai South: Network monarchy strikes back?’.
Actually Thaksin has zero credibility as he always lies and says opposite the truth, I don’t even know why I am debating you on this considering the source of the accusations.
I have no objection. You are free to believe what you want to believe. You are rightly sceptical of Thaksin’s version of events. So am I.
I’m not saying Thaksin is telling the truth or even half-truths, but it’s been pretty entertaining to see Mr Piya Malakul (the host of the dinner attended by the alleged coup masterminds) come out and deny Thaksin’s accusations, only to embarrass himself (and thus undermine his credibility) by messing up the chronology of events.
For example, Piya said he invited General Panlop because Panlop was at the centre of the car bomb case. In reality the dinner took place three months before the car bomb thing, so it’s absolutely weird how Piya could so accurately foresee the future!
Piya also added that Pramote Nakorntap was invited because he was well-known for exposing the Finland Plot (the alleged plan of Thaksin and co. to overthrow the monarchy). Again, Pramote’s article on the Finland Plot was actually published twelve days after the dinner. Was Piya really able to foresee the future, then?