For now the problems in Thailand have subsided. Unfortunately this is just the end of a battle, and the war between Thaksin Shinawatra and the King of Thailand will continue.
On December 3, 2008 at 10:00 am Bangkok time, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) officially ended all protests and surrendered the airports. The PAD claimed victory in that they had caused the government to step down. However that is a half truth.
The truth of the matter is everytime the People Power Party (PPP) took a hit, it was because of self inflicted wounds. The wound that cause the party to be dissolved was actually inflicted before they were elected about a year ago. In fact it is hard to identify any significant thing the PAD did to change the thinking and the goals of the PPP. However the PAD was successful in protecting the new Constitution, and that essentially is the golden egg in all of this. He who has the golden egg has all he wants. Every hit the PPP took was as a direct result of the new Constitution.
There is much speculation as to what will happen next as this is the first run for the Constitution in this situation. Whatever happens rest assured Thaksin has not gone away and he will once again look to continue what he was doing. How and where his cronies end up is still going on so it is impossible to speculate at this time what things will look like.
If there is any sure fire thing that will bring the PAD back out it is the mention of tampering with the Constitution. Seeing how the Constitution is a barrier that is keeping the bad guys from being successfully bad, rest assured it is still on the bad guys hit list. How soon that will happen is hard to say, but most certainly not too long.
There is yet one more ingredient that will change things and that is the speech of the King. That is typically made in the early evening hours of December 4. It is unknown what the King will say, but no doubt whatever it is it will change things.
As for Thaksin, he has become silent for the last few days, however that is typical when things don’t go his way. No doubt he is busy trying to salvage as much of his crony government as he can. The unchanged that is being reported in the news are some preliminary names to be the next Prime Minister. To be frank, some of them have still not figured out how to successfully tie their shoes and would make a great puppet for Thaksin.
It is because of this regurgitation of corrupt politicians the battle will go on. No doubt the only thing they have learned is to redouble their efforts in not getting caught. The concept of change completely eludes them, and that will no doubt keep Thailand in the embarrassing spotlight.
If there was anything that came of this that may get through to the Thais who may yet again elect to vote for a Thaksin crony, is the huge global embarrassment and loss of face from what just ended. Not to want to be seen as a fool that can not learn, Thailand may indeed change come next elections.
There is one other possible thing that may have come of this. Because of the airports being closed, the effect was felt in nearly every government around the world. It goes without saying they are smart enough to see what eludes lesser educated Thais. That being that the convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra is essentially behind all of this. Now that they have had a good taste of what Thaksin is all about, they may have second thoughts about letting him walk on their soil. The fact that governments had to invest money to compensate for Thaksin’s doings, may certainly lead to more visa denials from a variety of other countries.
There are also those looking to sue the PAD for the airport closure and understandably so. However if there are groups that do plan to sue then they should direct their lawsuits to the proper party being Thaksin Shinawatra. It was because of Thaksin all this happened. The PAD were reacting to Thaksin supporting a non responsive government that did nothing to stop the fatal attacks as well as being found responsible for at least one of them. Anger certainly may be justified, but please direct it at the right place. That is not at all to mention it is in very bad form to go after the true defenders of the monarchy for doing what needed to be done. That applies not only in Thailand, but in any country where there is a monarchy.
Sue Thaksin? Blaming Thaksin for the PAD hijacking Bangkoks new airport is taking reality out of context. Should we blame the girl that just got raped for wearing a low cut dress or should we blame the perpetrator of the crime? What the PAD has done with this takeover is criminal. There is no gray area. They can not blame Thaksin for this. It is criminal. Black and White. There were other ways to go about the protests, but the PAD group realized they were losing momentum and turned to desparate measures.
I have been a supporter of the PAD platform for years, but like most of the country that support has dwindled considerably since the massive rallies held in 2006. The only thing that I can hold up as honorable for the PAD in the current environment is the strong belief to protect the constitution from changes.
PAD or Peoples Alliance for Democracy was initially formed in 2005 because of the widespread abuse of power by Thaksin and his government, but the name of the group itself seems to be a grave misnomer. In spite of it’s name, they are neither democratic nor representative of the people. In my opinion, they are tearing away what little democracy Thailand has left. Would a truly democratic group really take away the right to vote from people they don’t consider worthy? Would they instead really try to appoint those they consider worthy – like themselves?
I live in the US but travel to Thailand extensively, just coming back recently during this trouble. Are there uneducated people in the US that vote for our President based on BS promises and personality? Absolutely! Do I like that? Certainly not. Do these Presidents hand out favors to their chosen few and follow their own agendas? Unequivocally the answer is yes. But a true democracy is based upon allowing the people to make a choice. If criminal elements are involved, laws are enforced. The PAD, if given the choice, would move away from a democratically elected system to one of appointment because the people that vote for Thaksin are “uneducated and can not make an informed vote”. That is an assanine assertion by a relatively small group that seems intent on sending it’s country into a civil war.
Either the PAD has lost their way over the past few years or they have begun to show their true colors. I believe it is probably some combination of the two. Don’t forget the PAD has some very strong figures behind it in the palace and the military.
Regardless, as you say in your 1st paragraph, this is just another battle. The next round of the Thaksin puppets and the PAD protest show should start soon so stay tuned.
The concept of the corporate government as “true democracy “succinctly explains why democracy based on manipulating the uneducated and unthinking is not “democracy” at all. At the point where bought and paid for “democracy” is substituted for the will and best interests of the people whether in the u.s. or thailand, it is little more than a cruel prank. At least in thailand the people get the cash and not the advertising media. But bought and paid for is bought and paid. Keeping the voters ignorant seems to be a key to modern “democracy” while persuading them to act against their own interest is a key to “corporate democracy.” The struggle in Thailand is between the monarchistgs (unelected) and the corporatists as personified by Thaksin. At least the monarchists have a long history and place in Thai society. Modern corporate greed is – well – modern. The PAD has seriously affected our family travel plans. My (very) Thai (very) educated wife is very clear that the PAD is about saving the nation while PPP is about fools who are helping to rob themselves blind. Thanx. AI
What do you do when politicians not only lack moral and ethics, but support nightly bombings at protesters? While many are pinpointing at PAD’s wrongdoings, what about those killings and bombings that the police chose to turn a blind eye to? Even the world’s most dangerous criminal deserves a fair trial. Yet none of this is being mentioned now, let alone investigated and brought to justice.
Most importantly, when the monster you’re fighting has all the power and money (and greed for more of both), and simply refuse to play by the book, the ‘book’ is inevitably tarnished.
Moreover – with all due respect – I do not expect the western world to fully understand our sentiments when it comes to the King who, I believe, is unfairly dragged into all this by some propaganda media. In other words, the world may be surprised how many people out there in the PAD would be willing to serve not any legal terms, but even die, for doing whatever they did to protect the nation and especially the monarchy. I only pray that truth will prevail before we lose more lives..
Reading along in several posts, I find myself agreeing that a state of civil war is present in Thailand. Because of that, monetary losses as a result of the airports being closed may just be written off as a casualty of war. Bringing a lawsuit against the PAD may prove to be more difficult than normal. But who am I to say, I am just a retired court clerk.
Anitya – You seem intelligent and passionate; two very strong traits to have. Yet, at the same time very naive about what is taking place. When you state
“the monster you’re fighting has all the power and money (and greed for more of both), and simply refuse to play by the book, the ‘book’ is inevitably tarnished.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a fight between two very powerful groups. Please do not be fooled into believing that your group does not have power or money when your group has BOTH. On the money side, your group actually has more than the Thaksin side. Your group is being led by the old school elitists that are really protesting for a system that is a rollback from democratic values that will protect their vast wealth further by asserting more control over who will sit in key positions. All the time, the propaganda machine is delivering a message implying they are the only ones trying to save the country.