In just another sign that having a voice against Thaksin Shinawatra will be both prohibited and punishable should he find his way back to power, a now former Cathy Pacific air hostess is still being pursued by Thaksin bullies. But seeing that more or less that Thaksin is in power now with his sister Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra his puppet, there is little doubt this is only the beginning of that all too familiar signature of a dictator.
Because of the huge divide in Thailand that truly is all about liking or disliking Thaksin Shinawatra, it is to be expected those strong feelings are not limited to Thai soil or any soil for that matter. Apparently according to news reports, a now former air hostess expressed her dislike for members of the Shinawatra family who was flying on a flight she was working on. Because she publicized her dislike for not only Thaksin but members of his family as well, she was fired from Cathy Pacific.
Now if losing your job and livelihood was not punishment enough, pro Thaksin Red shirts want to punish her more, hence enter the bullies. Thaksin Red shirts have a wonderful reputation of sorting out things with violence. And although this is but a single instance that managed to find its way to the mainstream media, there have been reports that other anti Thaksin people are encountering forms of violence and at the very least threats.
Most of this is found in the Thai language media, but occasionally it does find the English language media. To the casual observer they appear to be isolated and separate, but if you start to connect the dots you can see that they all have a common focal point and they are all connected to Thaksin in one way or another. Some are direct like the air hostess incident, and others are threats and hindrance to people that are investigating corruption and graft that is very likely connected to Thaksin.
So this is nothing new to Thailand, it has been on going since Thaksin first was elected Prime Minister. There was only one short lull that started when the Coup that removed Thaksin was complete in September 2006, until New Years eve 3 months later when bombs went off spoiling the celebrations.
The concern now is this is becoming more and more overt and direct where people are being targeted for simply having a viewpoint of being anti Thaksin, and that not only removes democracy, it leads to violence. Should anyone have any doubts, just look at Arab Spring and election violence in Iran over the past few years. The dictators are not shy about using muscle to get their way, in fact that is one of the signatures of a dictator.
In general this is a stepping stone that shows Thaksin is still working at winding the clock back and will deal with the people who do not like him. Even major players who have left politics are still subject to Thaksin’s wrath. So once again it seems Thailand is marching back towards another coup as it may be the only way to thwart this dictator without killing him.