From the start of December 2008 until mid January 2009, there have been significant changes in things that will affect the fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra. It goes without saying that Thaksin despises all of them.
Starting in December 2008, Thaksin has seen the second party affiliated with him dissolved. The first being the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) in May 2007, and now the People Power Party (PPP). In each case more of his cronies were placed on the banned from politics list for 5 years.
The general assumption many people had that the second reincarnation of the TRT would come into power never happened. The coalition partners of the PPP decided enough was enough and jumped to support the Democrats. Thaksin’s heavy handed arrogant approach with the red shirts was doing more harm than good to the political futures of the coalition. Seeing as that Thaksin cares for nobody except himself, the coalition simply saw that this dance with the devil was highly likely to have long lasting consequences, if not be politically fatal. Particularly so after Thaksin tossed them aside after they were used up.
The next blow for Thaksin was the loss of his diplomatic passport and the by-elections of January 11, 2009. During that election, even more seats went to the Democratic coalition. This left Thaksin cronies being a significant minority. Once again all the wounds Thaksin received were self inflicted.
Looking at Thaksin now, you see him keeping his whereabouts secret. The perils of the high profile road are taking a toll. There is only one reason Thaksin would hide, and that one reason is fear. Normally when Thaksin disappeared in the past it was to plan strategy and he was out of sight for less than 3 days. This prolonged dropping off the radar is uncharacteristic of Thaksin and strongly suggest things are much worse than he is letting on publically.
There are no doubts at all Thaksin is being hunted. The hunters could be bounty hunters looking to return Thaksin to Thailand, or several of the friends he made over the years with his stellar personality looking to pass a round bullet through is square head.
Thaksin needs to be in contact with his support base to keep them. But his fear is outweighing that for the moment. The longer Thaksin is out of sight, the more faded his memory becomes, and the suggestion that his time has passed becomes stronger.
However Thaksin is not dead yet and he is clearly exploiting his few remaining options. There have been signs over the last few rallies of the red shirts that their support is fading. When several people left a rally when it was discovered Thaksin’s planned live presentation was prerecorded. Also many red shirts removed their red shirts when departing the rally site. The appearance of a very vocal minority is appearing. This is much the same as the Pro life movement in the United States. It was not until people finally looked at the numbers did they realize they were in such a minority. Their loud and in your face approach created the illusion that they had much bigger numbers. The same psychological game appears to be underway. Keep in mind many Thaksin supporters were paid to attend rallies to create the same illusion.
The red shirts are also possibly being used as a distraction. The chances of Thaksin coming back in the grand style he would like to see are getting slim. It is more likely now Thaksin may seek to employ a coup with his class 10 military buddies while all eyes are on the red shirts. Again this is just a possibility that still remains for Thaksin. Whether he attempts it or not remains to be seen.