If there was ever a time someone would not want to sit down and write about Thai politics, this would be it. The nausea that comes from just thinking about politicians overriding the courts be it under duress or not is just a total shame when viewed with western eyes.
The time is now about 2:00 am Bangkok time on May 6 as this is being written, and having just looked at what was being written in The Nation about amnesty is just down rite sickening. No doubt some things will have changed by the time this gets published some 22 hours later.
Connecting the Dots does not like to write about things that are in negotiations, in fact we prefer to shift to non related stories elsewhere in the world until the dust settles. But in this case what is being allegedly talked about is just a huge slap in the face to everyone who has a western sense of morals and ethics Thai or not. So with that thought, this commentary will focus on the fact that even that type of talk even came up.
Right along Connecting the Dots has been writing about things that just make sense. Although some readers have concluded that we are Anti Thaksin and therefore anti Red Shirt as well, we would like to point out one thing that may have eluded some readers. Coming up with western values and having a strong sense of punishment for harming others be it physically, financially, or emotionally tends to drive our views. When the Thaksin team clearly looks to do any or all of that, we naturally would frown on it to say the least. If the Abhisit team was to do the same, they would receive a similar review from Connecting the Dots. Also the fact that good news does not sell as good as bad news, you can understand the emphases on bad boys.
It goes without saying the bad boy Thais would like to be let off the hook as they always have been in the past. But the fact now they want it in writing sets up a whole new precedence in Thailand. The government would simply be signing off on lawlessness and vigilantes. If that is the case the courts may as well be replaced with 7-Eleven stores.
How that would be viewed in the eyes of the global community of governments would clearly be negative and rank right up there with Somalia and Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan. That will very quickly rank Thailand on par with the floor behind the toilet bowl of a public toilet. Companies would not only avoid Thailand, the companies there now would look to leave as soon as humanly possible to avoid extortion. Although much of this political crisis is about the double standard, the fact remains there is in fact a triple standard that places all Thais above foreigners no matter what.
But that is besides the point, the point is why was this even being floated. It clearly shows a whole lot of dirty laundry to the world without shame. It also tends to show disrespect for the King as he often cites the courts as one of the pillars of Thai society. So to disrespect the courts, there is also disrespect to the King. Seeing that there is a claim that Thaksin and the Red Shirts are anti monarchy, this behavior would support that.
So trying to fathom and justify the boldness of the amnesty request, and to have it be given any consideration makes some people want to go and bang their head against a cement wall saying ‘no, no, no this can’t be happening.’ The gut wrenching feeling as some Thais cry watching Thailand take a huge step backwards on the order of a century or more is truly sad.
Even to say that the Yellow Shirt leaders are being treated different holds no water. Arrest warrants were issued for other things, so it is like comparing apples to oranges. The Yellow Shirts were not passing bullets through peoples heads, although they did cause similar financial hardships similar to a union strike. However the financial damages are civil and not necessarily criminal. There were some laws enacted after the Yellow Shirt rally at the airport that would now make it criminal as well.
So in closing, we can only say we hope this gets sorted out in a way that does not cause huge loss of face for all Thais. Saying anything more would be premature at this point.