Posts Tagged ‘Thaksin’

Memories of Burnt Things

June 4, 2010

After the government finally broke up the Red shirt rally on May 19th, 2010, the red shirts who were not put in jail, reacted by trying to burning down buildings and causing even more violence. To me, the Red shirts reverted ti what they have always been: sore losers.
In 2008, Thaksin Shinawatra and his people which included the Red shirts, had to two chances to control the Thai government. They failed due to the Yellow shirts and their own stupidity. They just couldn’t help being corrupt and breaking laws. After backing two losing horses, they decided to back the second largest party in the Thai parliament, the Democratic Party. Through parliamentary maneuvers, the new government was formed with the Democratic Party controlling reins of power.
Instead of accepting that they lost, the Red shirts have spend the last year and a half trying to bring the government down. It is true that it was not the best way to form a government, but you do have to accept it. Your side lost and you should spend the time until the next election making sure that you rule the parliament without a coalition. You don’t trash an ASEAN summit. You don’t have riots during the Songkran Festivel of April 2009. You don’t try to get amnesty for Thaksin Shinawatra from the King of Thailand in an illegal way. Only the family of the accused can ask for amnesty and the accused have to be in jail. You don’t shut down the city of Bangkok. You don’t burn down buildings. Politically, the Red shirts should have their status of losers and try to work within the system to become the winners they want to be.
Thaksin and his people have twice not accepted losing gracefully. God knows what is going to happen if they lose the third time.

The Ghost of Thaksin

May 22, 2010

One of the problems that the current  prime minister of Thailand, Abhisit, had with the red shirt protest of the last few months is that he is dealing with a ghost. The ghost has a name and it is Thaksin Shinawatra.

            I do want to say that Thaksin is in fact alive. His spirit or ghost still exists in Thailand even though he has been in exile for the last two years. He is too chicken to go to jail for two years. He may not be here, but he is able to haunt Thai politics through good use of his money and through supporters he had in northern and northeastern Thailand.

            When Thaksin was in power from 2001 to 2006, his policies partly helped people in the above-mentioned Thai regions. HE gave them everything that they wanted and he focused on them no other Thai PM had ever done before. He even had a program to give them free cows which meant a lot in the agricultural Northeast or Isaan as it is called in Thai. He literally gave them money There are pictures of him giving 1,000 Baht notes on the streets of Isaan streets in the Bangkok Post and the Nation. As a result, he viewed almost akin to a god in Isaan. Most red shirts come from Isaan and the Thai North.

            Abhisit and the Thai government have to beat a person that is a legend, a spirit and a god. How do you beat such a person? You can’t use reason because he is above reason. You can’t kill him because he has become immortal in the eyes of his followers. You can’t argue with him because he is not here. It is very hard to beat somebody who is not even here.

            Thaksin is like those ghosts in all those horror films. They can’t be touched. They can’t be killed because they are already dead. The protagonists of these movies like Abhisit will have to deal with the villains in the endless sequels of the original movie.

            Thaksin is like Madonna. He has changed his image to suit his purposes. When he was in power, he was the decisive CEO dictator who squash his anybody in his way by using the Thai legal system. When he was out of power, he suddenly became an ardent supported of the democratic concept. He and his supporters said that he was the victim of a mysterious third party that was out to destroy all that he stood for. After his money was confiscated earlier this year by the Thai courts, he is Jesus, a fighter for social justice and a victim of the elites. How do you fight a person who keeps on changing his stand?

            Abhisit is fighting a person who is not here and who keeps on changing like a changeling. It is no wonder that the Thai government can’t deal with such a man.

Red Shirt Hatred

May 14, 2010

     In the last few months, the red shirts have taken over the World Trade Center and parts of Ratchadamri and Ratchaprasong, roads in downtown Bangkok. The red shirts are officially known as the UDD, an abbreviation that I can never remember what it stands for, no matter how many times the Nation or the Bangkok Post say what it stands for. To me and to most Thai people, they will always be known as the red shirts or Se Dang (the Red in Thai).

            Everybody in Thailand knows that they represent the interests of Thaksin Shinawatra. His primary goal is to make sure that when he comes back to Thailand, he will not serve a day in jail for the conflict of interest case that Thai courts convicted him of. He was only sentenced to two years, but he talks as if he has been sentenced to a hundred years. The Thai courts sentenced him in 2008 and he probably would have been out of prison by now if he actually took responsibility for his actions. He also wants to get back the money that the Thai government confiscated from him and his family. The big rumor is that Thaksin has been using the money that he stashed overseas to pay the red shirts to protest. There are pictures on the Internet of red shirts leaders giving money to some of the protesters if you choose to Google for them.

            The red shirts have made speeches where they say that they are doing the protest for social justices. Whether they really believe in what they are saying is a big questions mark.

            To me, the week of May 3rd proves that the red shirt leaders only care about their own skins. The current Prime Minister, Abhisit, came up with a plan that will end with an election on November 14th. This means that the Thai parliament will have to be dissolved in the last two weeks of September as an election has to take place 90 days after parliament has been dissolved. Even though this seems like a good compromise with the red shirts who have been asking for dissolution of parliament, they refuse to stop this protest. Do you know why they won’t stop? They will not stop unless they get amnesty for what has taken place during the protest. Like their master, they will not take responsibility for their actions and serve a day in jail for their actions. Could you imaging Jesus or Martine Luther King, Jr. taking a position? To me, they are most selfish protesters for social justice ever.

            What have they done? They have:

            -shut down a major part of Bangkok

            -made it almost impossible to go from one part of the city to the other by motorized vehicle

            -disrupted long distance train to keep soldiers from coming to Bangkok

            -had two violent clashes with the Thai military in April of 2010

            -disrupted service on the BTS Sky train by putting tires on the track

            -could be responsible for the grenade attacks that have plagued for the past few months as the targets seem to be places that the red shirts hate

 

For all these actions, the red shirts want no punishment. It would be a great injustice if the red shirts get amnesty.

            I do also have a personal message for the heads of Thai hospitals. If the red shirts come to your hospital and demand to search, you should tell them to go screw themselves. Chulalongkorn Hospital had to close for a week just because they allowed the red shirts to search the place. They had to send patients to other hospitals. Red shirts are just civilians so they basically have no authority. You should just tell to go to Hell.  I am sure that they will appreciate it.

Thailand Political Players 2006

December 5, 2009

If you live in Thailand or have read about this country in the last months, you know that the political situation is quite messy. It is so messy that it would certainly take more than 900 words to describe the situation fully. The best I can do is at least tell you who some of the players in this mess:

  1. Thaksin Shinawatra: The last official prime minister of Thailand and the instigator of the mess. He was a police officer in Chaing Mai, Thailand, and resigned from the ranks to start his own company, using his police contacts. His company was the Shin Corporation and it became the biggest corporation in Thailand by running a mobile call service called AIS. For some reason, he stepped down from this company and he started a political party called Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) (rak meaning love in Thai). He became the prime minister in 2001 and did a lot of things that eventually would cost him his job. He viciously put down his critics. He called NGOs (non-government organizations) lazy lunatics when they didn’t like what he was doing. When there was a drug war by the government in 2003 that killed 3000 people and the UN human rights complained, he said that the UN was not his father. He had some scandals. The Burmese government bought a Shinawatra Corp. satellite with a loan from the Thai government. The buying of a bomb detector in the new international airport in Bangkok was very suspicious. The big scandal that brought him down was Temasek, a Singapore company, It bought Shinawatra Corp. for 1.9 billion dollars and he had to pay no taxes. This is when the Thai people finally got angry and he had to resign as prime minister.
  2. Chavalit: A former prime minister who is partly responsible for the Thai economy collapsing in 1997. He became a part of the TRT government as a Deputy Prime Minister. Thai soldiers were inspecting bombs at an arsenal and accidentally caused one of them to explode, destroying a nearby village, When he went to the village, he criticized the villagers for living too close to the village. He retired then he rejoined the government to help the government help fight poverty despite his bungling of the economy in 1997
  3. Chalerm: A mobster who occasionally gets involved in politics. He has three sons. Two of them who are police officers spent 5 years starting fights in Thai bars. The only thing that stopped them was that bar owners were beginning to bar them from their establishments unless they stopped their fighting ways. The youngest son was accused of killing a cop in a nightclub and was found not guilty due to lack of evidence even though he did it in front of 200 people. He ran for the governor of Bangkok in the last election and lost. What he is currently doing has not been reported by the newspapers.
  4. Chuwit: He bribed police officers and military people to demolish property that he was having legal problems with. He was not punished for this act and actually became famous for this act. He became a politician and ran for the governor of Bangkok. He lost. He formed his own political party then quickly dissolved it to join a more established party. He became a Thai Senator and he is a not Senator now because he did not run in the last election due to more legal problems. Once his problems are resolved, he will probably come back. He did run for governor again, but had to stop because he punched a reporter. 
  5. Samak: The last governor of Bangkok and future Thai Senate speaker. As governor, he did not very interested in the position; he seemed more interested in his cooking show. He had a website that was devoted to his cooking show, not the Bangkok government. He said that the Bangkok flooding was due to mother nature. He said that all rubbish bins should be removed to beautify the city of Bangkok during a summit of world leaders that was held in Bangkok once. A year before the end of his term, he said that the problems of Bangkok were too much for him. He did not run for governor and ran for the Senate this year. He won.
  6. Apirat: The current governor who actually seems to do constructive things for the city of Bangkok and has not made any strange statements or has had any scandals.
  7. Abhisit: The head of the Democratic Party and wants to be the next prime minister when they resolve the mess caused by Thaksin’s resignation. He seems to be competent and has not done anything to question his competency.     
  8. Banharn Silpa-archa: The head of the Chart Thai Party. His nickname is The Eel. His party usually forms a coalition with the party that has the most seats, but not enough to dominate Parliament. It makes sure that his party is part of the people in charge. It does mean that you are never sure what he is going to do. He is slippery like an eel.                                                                                                        

The 2000s: The Fall of Thaksin Shinawatra

December 5, 2009

Recently, Thailand’s military dethroned Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin brought his downfall by engaging his critics in a destructive manner. He never seemed to respond constructively to criticism. He always acted like a petulant child. He has called his critics lazy, crazy, and senile.
Some of Thailand’s most respected men criticized him. Most of them were elderly so he referred to them as senile old men. How can you respond to someone like that? That is the only way you can be as childish as Mr. Shinawatre. You didn’t discuss with Mr. Shinawatre; you had a shouting match.
A Bangkok reporter misquoted him because of his strange northern Thai accent when he said things like devils were in the taxis. He said the reporters misquoted him because of his strange accent
When his government launched a war against drug dealers and executed 3,000 of them without a trial, he claimed they were killing each other in a gang war. This seems to be a gang war in which there would be no gang members left and nobody to sell the drugs except if you wanted a job where you were going to die very soon.
In Thailand, people could not take these lies any longer and cheered when the military took control. He said a bomb placed in his car was being used to kill him even though the bomb was not even operational.
The man had no self-control. He could not control his impulses or keep his temper in check. He always had to respond when a critic said something. He couldn’t just let go. It’s okay not to say anything at all. A politician doesn’t have to say everything. They can just shut up. Thaksin never learned that lesson.
In the summer, there was a mysterious powerful person to blame for his problems. The person to blame for his problems was the person he sees when he shaves every morning.
Although he may not know this, Thaksin is responsible for his own fall and hopefully, he will learn from it.