It was so interesting to see how quickly Thai Scholars mirrored what was said here at Connecting the Dots. Usually this type of response when one Thai talks about the failures of other Thais is very un-Thai itself. But when it comes to Thaksin Shinawatra, it seems the obvious overrides any potential loss of face.
Thais have not forgotten the fact the Thaksin Shinawatra is the primary cause of the divide in Thailand. It was Thaksin who was driving the Red Shirts to riot in 2009 in an attempt to overthrow the Abhisit Government by force. It was very clear to everyone Thaksin was the fire under the boiling kettle. Just click the Connecting the Dots March and April 2009 archives and see what the Thais remember.
So because Thaksin was the wedge as well as the man with the hammer, there is little doubt the divide will not mend while he is still around and free. To put it in simple terms, Thaksin has become a toxin for Thailand. His every attempt to get himself off the hook by trying to force changes to the Constitution simply angers people. His arrogance and continued lies just rub way to many people the wrong way.
As this post does not say that much that is new about Thaksin, it does show a trend that Thais are not so much concerned about damaging the face of other Thais when it comes to Thaksin. Issues that are not related to Thaksin, there is little or no change in Thai behavior. However what this shows that the divide runs so deep, cultural norms are set aside when it comes to dealing with the issues in and around this conflict.
So if this dot holds to be true, then the next logical dot says Thai culture is about to become a lot more like many western cultures where face is not much of a concern if at all. How much that shifts and if it is permanent or not depends on how long it takes to get Thaksin out of the picture. Thailand still should remain a positive place for the most part. Things and people that tend to be negative tend to stop becoming a part of Thailand in one way or the other, but then that is true in most places that look to be positive. The fact that the overwhelming majority of westerners view Thaksin in a negative light, and the fact he is on the run and out of Thailand support this.