Potjaman Damapong (Shinawatra) recently divorced her husband, the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Following the 32-year marriage, they have three children, Panthongtae, a parent-supporting businessman after failing several undergraduate study in several universities, and two daughters post graduate students in U.K., Pinthongta and Praetongtarn who had left some scandals while in the undergraduate study.
Potjaman is a typical lady from a Thai top police family where she was likely to have learnt the actual various practices of Thai police and buraucratic cultures. In addition, she had a good education in a top Bangkok girl school where she built up a lot of strong and long lasting relationship with her friends through her unlimited generosity. Later in their successful lives, her classmates have become wives of top business people, bureaucrats, attorrneys, and judges which undoubtedly facilitated back doors to her busineses. When Thaksin quitted police and started a computer company at first, the business failed badly.
An Extraction/Adaptation from paparda.wordpress
It was her who bailed him out when he failed spectacularly in business and was deeply in debt.
It was her who was the audacious one, who answered all the phone calls from debt collectors to disappear, while all he wanted at the time was to go into hiding and wish for his creditors to disappear.
It was her who pulled out all the land deeds belonging to her and family and mortgaged them to extricate him from debt.
He has kept as a memento the old black-phone to which those debt-collection calls came in. It symbolized the rock-bottom position from which he rebuilt his life and his fortune.
There was also the deep bond born out of sharing the hardship and heartaches, coupled with the enormous respect on his part for his life partner and her guts.
This binds the couple in a way difficult to understand by outsiders.
The Thailand former Prime minister Mr. Thaksin and his wife Potjaman Shinawatra have been living in London with son and daughters.
Mr. Thaksin said he was living a comfortable life in exile and physically fine, but mentally unhappy.
What actually made Thaksin mentally unhappy living with his whole family in the ten-millions-of pounds worth estate in London suburb?
It was them who chose for themselves to flee the bail from Thailand in the middle of August 2008 after their three lawyers were caught red-hand bribing supreme court personnels and sentenced to jail, followed by the first three-year jail sentence from the criminal court for Potjaman's evasion of tax.
Letter faxed to media outlets in Bangkok on August 11, 2008 from London by ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra:
Re: The decision not to report to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.
First of all, I would like to apologise to the panel of judges presiding over the Ratchadapisek land case and to my supporters for my wife and I travelling to England - a country which upholds democratic principles above all else - and for our failure to report to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.
What happened to my family and I, as well as our close associates, was the work of those who wanted me out of politics. There were attempts to take my life followed by a coup. After that, people who were my opponents were appointed to specially handle legal cases against myself and my family and to draft a constitution to prolong the authority of dictatorship. People who directly and indirectly supported the coup were appointed as members of organisations responsible for taking action against me. When there was an election on Dec 23, 2007, most people voted for People Power party candidates who were members of the former Thai Rak Thai to be their representatives.
I thought the situation would improve and that could have been a chance for me to prove my innocence and be given justice and I decided to return to Thailand on Feb 28, 2008. But the situation worsened. What happened to myself and my family was like the fruit from poisonous trees. The fruit was also poisonous. What I mean is that there has been a continuation of dictatorship in Thai politics under the democratic system. That was followed by interference in the judicial process. My cases have been pre-judged, to get rid of me and my family, who are regarded by a group of people as their political enemies, irrespective of the law and international principles of justice. My family and I have been continually treated unfairly.
The interference in the judicial process and the double standards which are clearly apparent have denied myself and my family and others involved of justice. But what is worse is that the long-established credibility and honour of the country's judicial system and related agencies have been diminished. These mechanisms have been exploited politically to the point that neutrality has been compromised, causing the country a great deal of damage.
Moreover, I have been informed that my life is in danger. I needed to travel in bullet-proof vehicles when travelling around. These are the fruits of my devotion to the royal institution and to the country over the past six years as prime minister.
I apologise again for my decision to come to England. I want to assure you that:
1. My family and I are completely loyal to the monarchy and all members of the Royal Family although we have been accused otherwise.
2. Although I am not a perfect man, I can assure you that I am not as bad as has been alleged. When the right time comes, I will tell you everything. Today is not my day. I would like to ask my supporters to be a little more patient.
3. If I have a chance, I would like to return to Thailand and die on Thai soil as other Thais do.
Pol Lt-Col Thaksin Shinawatra
Thaksin later announced that he did not apply for asylum in U.K. against the rumour that he applied for asylum but later withdrew the application.
By the end of October 2008 Thaksin and Potjaman Shinawatra left U.K. to Hong Kong, with Thaksin's intention to publicly address his red UDD/DAAD supporters in November 1 assembly in Bangkok Thailand. Six days later, to everybody's surprise, on November 7, the British Government announce revocation of Thaksin and Potjaman's visas to enter U.K.
On November 14, 2008 Thaksin Shinawatra and Potjaman his wife released the news about their divorce which ends 32-year- long marriage. Thus, the divorce announcement came after series of fatal blows against the couple, which include a garnish order of the couple's assets in Thailand worth of 2 billion USD, a three-year-jail sentence for Potjaman, a two-year jail sentence by the Supreme Court for Thaksin, a revocation of Thaksin's and Potjaman visas to enter U.K.
This divorce was rather a slight surprise to some Thais, particularly to Thaksin's supporters since they always perceive only Shinawatra's good side. Moreover, Thaksin had expressed himself a well-behaved loving husband under darling Potjaman. To anti-thaksin PAD, the rift had been noticed for some time. Since the 2006 coup, there were some rumours about various factors causing strain on their relationship.
The real causes and motives of this couple's decision have been extensively discussed in the media since it can affect the political battle in Thailand. Several of Thaksin's cronies tried to put up faces denying negative comments on the couple's divorce since it rocks their both inner circles as well as their grassroot followers. Analyses of the causes of the divorce may be as follows.
There are evidences supporting that both Thaksin and Potjaman seriously believe in portent, superstition, horroscope, supernatural forces, and ritual sacrifices to earn their fortune and to avoid some mishaps. (However, it is very doubtful if they believe in the Law of Deeds as taught by Lord Buddha.)
On October 24, 2008 before they left U.K. for Hong Kong, they were seen in white dresses, holding a ritual rite and meditation in a Thmmakaya temple, London branch. The couple also donated some diamonds and gold to the temple to make merit. The divorce could be a trick to abolish their forthcoming misfortune which would make their family actually broken.
There has long been a wide rift between the couple because Thaksin likes to sing Karaoke with particular singers but his ex does not. Perhaps the coup in 2006 did not bring much loneliness to Thaksin while he was in self-imposed exile outside Thailand in 2006 and 2007. Certainly, Thaksin, and the singer did not feel lonely when they were both incidentally in the same luxurious hotel in New York. As well in Maldives, rumours came out.
It is also just like games of golf which Thaksin very much fonds of. When Thaksin is done with a hole, he has to move to score next. He has had a distinctly beautiful young singer as a very personally close extra daughter which they, the extra father and the extra daughter, claimed they just enjoyed golf games and beef noodles together. Whereas the ex did not have an extra daughter and sometimes she had no idea where Thaksin was either during and after the games.
In January 2008, Thaksin, claiming a critical threats to his life, sent his much more brave darling Potjaman back on her own to Thailand to face the junta and to carry out some secret negotiation with the President of the Privy Council, General Prem Tinasulanondh.
To the public, he found some excuses for himself and declared that Potjaman returned to pay respect to Her Royal Highness Princess Narathiwas Rachanakarin 's Funeral, to look after their children and to stand her own trials in the court.
While Potjaman faced a potential jail order alone because of her escape of the court warrants in 2007, there were special outbound tour of some women singers to U.K. to sing at MCFC under Thaksin's ownership. When Thaksin was back in Thailand from March to mid August 2008, Thaksin never bothered to go to pay respect to HRH 's funeral by himself.
During Thaksin's stay in Thailand, both at the graduation ceremony of their youngest daughter and at Thaksin's birthday in July 2008 at their political party's office, the extra daughter did not show up to face her rival or to greet the Shinawatras. The unrepairable damage might have been done because some flying saucers turned up after Thaksin dare to propose his finalize deals to Potjaman.
Anyway, somebody might have done her job better than the Military junta in 2006, when she effectively ousted Potjaman. The ex might have given up because of being fed up with the crooked.
People Power Party's MP Jatuporn Promphan in an exclusive interview with The Nation said, "Khun Thaksin will announce on December 14 that he will return to politic to fight to defend his name. He will no longer stand still. He decided to come out to fight as he did not want to be attacked and cornered any more. Thaksin will no longer wait to be attacked, he will fight back by all means, particularly by eye-for-an-eye strategy, from now on. Khun Thaksin now believes that the only way for him Thaksin to survive and to live is to fight for his name. Khun Thaksin and his wife had decided earlier, after the coup d'etat in 2006, that they would divorce if he decided to return to politic. It is a promise between them. So they decided to divorce now that Khun Thaksin will return to politics. However their divorce does not mean that they are no longer in love"
This excuse sounds plausible because Potjaman used to express her view on Thaksin's involvement in politics as a business as she had told Sanoh. It matched her apparent activiiies in politics such as the major donator to Thai Rak Thai party, her presence in all important party's meetings . Moreover, Thaksin often refered to Potjaman's opinions on his entry in to politics as well as the quit from politics. He used to say he had to ask for money from his ex for his political activities.
Now that the coup and the Constitutional Tribunal had interrupted Thaksin's politics which means the business is no longer functioning, it may be safer to restructure the majority of the assets during the marriage no matter inside or outside Thailand, under their names or their nominee names, to the safe haven under her sole occupancy.
Among their own people, Thaksin's authority in Potjaman's absentia eroded the ex's power and her grip on the supporters. The northern faction politicians led by Thaksin nepotism becomes stronger while other factions under his ex become underdogs. The rift in the cronies or factions rivaling, play important part in tearing the marriage apart to some extent.
Thaksin's more direct attacks particulary against the Establishment have become dominant but with a lot higher risk while Potjaman's softer and seductively attractive approaches have become weaker. Moreover, the lifelong connection which Potjaman has built since she was a schoolgirl are under strain because of barbaric strategy of Thaksin against the elites. Potjaman is badly loosing her connections and her say. As the violence grow, in the future when the battle is over with the lost of Thaksin, she and the three children may not be able to reconcile with the Thai society well enough to return to Thailand.
So, it is better for Thaksin's ex to leave him now when she still has the negotiating power with Thaksin and before she has lost all the control and the connections. It is just a cover up of the rift between the coupole to say the divorce is a guarantee of tarnished assets protection plan for Potjaman.
The advantage of their divorce is that they are free from one another's rights and decisions from the moment of the divorce. Some said there may be other advantages for Potjaman in protecting their assets from being forfeited and it may be easier for her to reclaim the garnished assets in Thailand. Potjaman has only two cases while Thaksin has more than a dozen cases against them. Therefore, it is easier for Potjaman to return to Thailand and stand trials without being jaied. There may also be advantages of laundering and mobilizing the hidden assets both from overseas and domestic for personal use, for underground struggles or for overground struggles.
Potjaman has been ruled innocent in the Ratchadaphisek land case, while Thaksin has been sentenced to two years in prison by the Supreme Court for conflict of interest in helping his wife to secure the bid for the public property. The jail sentence for Thaksin is already finalized on November 19, 2008 because Thaksin's intention not to appeal. Potjaman has been sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion in a stock deal dated back to the 1997 period by the lower court. The case is not final therefore Potjaman may still apply for a visa anywhere in the world including UK without having to face legal complications from Thaksin. Moreover, Potjaman is free from the verdict of Constitution Tribunal which has barred most of eminent Thaksin's supporters from political involvement.
However, the joint obligation before the divorce, as a result of either the past criminal or civil deeds are unlikely to be affected by the divorce as some laws experts, including PPP people said. Public prosecutor confirmed that the criminal cases are not affected by their divorce.
Dr.Jermsak Pinthong, one of PAD activist, wrote a Thai article in Manager.co.th comparing the present Thaksin's and Potjaman's tactics with Ramayana epic, in particular the conclusion of Ravana's life when Ravana removed his soul from his body and kept it hidden in a supposed-to-be a safe place. The intention was to give an invincibility and immortality to Ravana while fighting with Rama. All above said reasons may all contribute to WHY they divorce and nicely compared to Ramayana in this aspect.
Ravana's Hidden Away Soul
Ravana in the Last Battle