For many people in Thailand, the latest reshuffle of the Pro Thaksin Cabinet, looks, smells, and acts like what a coup got rid of in 2006. So there is no surprise that there is increased anxiety in all corners of Thailand that political violence is likely because Thaksin Shinawatra just does not know enough to give up and accept the punishment the courts have handed him.
With just 1 year in office, the pro Thaksin Pheu Thai Party (PTP) has been inching towards that fateful formula that will trigger violence. The assumption that a gradual change back to that formula would avert a negative response has proven to be wrong. The simple fact remains there is only so much of Thaksin that the people can take. No matter how gradual this has come on, it is still unacceptable.
Several things in Thailand have regressed towards the days when Thaksin was in office. For example the amount of corruption and graft has skyrocketed. Also unsustainable government policies that do not make sense simply because they do huge amounts of fiscal harm to the countries coffers as well as develop a negative reputation for Thailand in the international community. In particular the rice pledging scheme that has already caught the international community’s eye as it distorts fair market pricing.
So with the pro Thaksin government as well as Thaksin himself concerned about a growing anti Thaksin movement, there is a true sense of Deja vu in the air. Clearly with the amount of effort being exerted by the pro Thaksin Red Shirts, and the PTP to stop the building momentum against Thaksin, there is grave concern that all their efforts to get this far will all have been in vain.
Every approach is being employed to stop the anti Thaksin movement from the use of the courts, right on down to false press releases to the news meant to discourage the growing storm. The PTP is well aware that if violence results from their violent prone Red Shirt supporters or others, the game is likely lost. If the Government is unwilling or unable to stop the violence being leveled at the peaceful anti Thaksin protesters, the military will have no option but to step in and unseat the government be it with a coup or with some legal means. This is clearly the greatest fear the Government has, simply because they know violence is in their nature, and to use their own violent behavior against them will set the clocks back longer than they want to accept.
So with that thought you begin to understand the logic. The peaceful anti Thaksin group will stand there with their hands in their pockets being zero threat and allow the pro Thaksin group to come and assault them. That will force the military to act as violence can only be seen as an extension of the government. Their connections to violent groups are too well publicized to be read any other way. All it takes is the reminder of downtown Bangkok Burning at the hands of pro Thaksin groups a few years ago, and anyone can connect the violence is the work of Thaksin in one way or the other.