Thaksin Confessed to French, His Real Motives
( Last edit 2009-05-01 )
Meet the fugitive hero of the red shirts
By Figaro's special correspondent in Dubai, Delphine Minou
April 17, 2009 at 15:13
Of its gilded exile in Dubai, Thaksin Shinawatra has a quiet smile. "There is no question. I will fight to the end," he said. In Dubai, where he went into exile, the former Thai prime minister has entrusted to the "Figaro". Determined to defend himself, Thaksin Shinawatra called the King to intervene on behalf of political reconciliation and called for an international investigation into crimes allegedly committed by the army.
An arrest warrant sticks to the skin. His Thai passport has been canceled. But his golden exile in Dubai, Thaksin Shinawatra still has a smile face. "There is no question of me. I will fight to the end," he said, comfortably ensconced in the seat of a luxury hotel in this small Gulf emirate.
Here, surrounded by an armada of advisers, the former Thai prime minister, toppled by the coup of 2006, recorded his messages, broadcasted via satellite, in which he called recently for a "revolution" against the government authority. Bottom line was the revenge of the "red shirts", his supporters, from the most underprivileged class of the population against "the yellow shirts, supporters of the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva!, supported by the urban bourgeoisie (urban middle-class) and royalist generals. But after a particularly violent weekend, on Monday, his supporters eventually deserted the Government house in Bangkok which they had blocked for several days.
A sign of personal defeat? "No! I was satisfied just to give moral support to a movement that comes from people who I do not order", he defended himself by sweeping the hand about denying rumors that he had financed part of the revolt, sending, without scruple, the demonstrators who ran about rampaging with sticks and pipes following their own wills.
Refugees abroad since his conviction in 2008, two years in prison for corruption and abuse of power, the small man in black suit spend most of his time doing business between Dubai, Hong Kong, Africa and Germany - a country where he enjoys, he says, a resident card. Being a football fan, he even offered a whim in 2007 to buy Manchester City football club for $ 164 million - later sold, after his British visa had been withdrawn.
Today, he claimed, he had insisted clearly, "It is urgent that King Bhumibol left his reserve". He said that he regretted that his three letters to the monarch remained unanswered. "I also asked, in addition to the dissolution of Parliament, the release of arrested demonstrators and beginning as early as possible, a reconciliation between the various political groups. Moreover, it is important to clarify about the civilians killed, according to my sources, amounted to fifty. Otherwise, we can not exclude new clashes." He warned, quoting an old proverb saying, "you can not hide a body of a dead elephant behind a sheet."
It is a unique story of a former telecommunications tycoon, aged 50. In the Kingdom of Siam, where the elite and promilitaire and traditional royalists control the government, Thaksin Shinawatra is a self-made man who was an outsider. Born in Chiang Mai in the North, he is the youngest of a line of nine children. His father, a former gardener, runs a small business. Ambitious, the rebellious son left for studying in the United States, where he obtained a doctorate in criminology. "My thesis related to the rule of law," he said proudly. Back home, being enlisted in the police force, he became a lieutenant-colonel, but soon got bored and resigned to create Shin Corporation, a telecommunication company which was rapidly becoming a true empire. It then extended its activities to the commercial aviation and the media.
( How Thaksin actually got rich >>> CLICK HERE )
"I am the victim of my own success"
In 1998, he made his first steps into politics by establishing a new party, Thai Rak Thai, which won the 2001 parliament. He was appointed Prime Minister and reappointed in 2005. In five years of power, Asian's Berlusconi made the country's economy to record annual growth of 5%. Thaksin government increased aid to the underprivilleged by introducing the first free health system in rural areas. His populist policies quickly made him the hero of peasants, migrants from the rural areas and small street vendors who lived in the informal economy and represented more than half of the population.
To curb drug trafficking and to fight against Muslim separatists in the south of the country, he did not hesitate to use, as a businessman, tough measures which annoyed the army and the monarch's entourage who began to worry about this concentration of power in the hands of one man. .
( How Thaksin actually deal with Muslim people and suspected drug dealers >>> CLICK HERE )
In January 2006, eventually passions were unleashed when his family enjoyed a tax exemption, after selling in Singapore, all shares of Shin Corporation to a total of 1.5 billion dollars. Demonstrations erupted in Bangkok. His assets were frozen by the order of the junta which overthrew him. In 2007, the businessman-politician was prohibited from political activity for five years.
"I had power. I was popular. I had money and I came from the countryside. I am the victim of my own success. That is why the elite of Bangkok sought to destroy me, " he defended himself.
With all these setbacks, we could have imagined that he would prefer to give up the fight, especially since the confession of one of his accomplice saying, "He was a businessman before being a politician".
But the former prime minister in exile cherished :"the dream to return one day to his post!. To give the image of "a good Samaritan", he reiterated, "the need to send in international organizations to investigate the murders committed by the army." His goal? "Democracy, the symbol of freedom, equality and brotherhood, like in your country, France! Until I have achieved that goal, I will not give up.", he paused before adding:"And then, we must, too, that I can retrieve my assets frozen!"
Comment: Thaksin on several of his phone-in speeches to the red-shirts rally between April 7-10, 2009, had instigated the people in the rural areas to rise up against Abhisit government, either by joining the rally at the Government house, or rallying to surround the city halls in the rural province in order to force "a revolution".
He had made a clear and strong statement to the crowds through personal broadcasting that as soon as the first bullet was fired, he would return to Thailand to lead the people's march to expel the government. However, if what Thaksin's message on and after April 13 had been true that there were some deaths due to the dispersal of the crowd. The same first bullet also killed Thaksin in Dubai, since Thaksin never turned up to help his comrades as he promised.
Just two days before the violence started in Pattaya, Potjaman, Thaksin's ex-wife, together with all of Thaksin's children quietly flew out from Thailand. Though some of Thaksin's relatives, such as Somchai Wongsawat (brother-in-law), Yawapa Wongsawat (Thaksin's sister), Chinicha Wongsawat spent only minutes at the rally before the violence started, they also flew abroad as soon as the state of emergency was declared.
Now, despite the red-shirts was caught by international communities, Thaksin is asking for an international probe into the dead elephant under cover of a sheet. Perhaps, he himself as a Doctor in criminologist should have his own body autopsied since it is rottened and smelling badly in the international community, so much that it was to be immediately sent out of Dubai just some days later.
As soon as the state of emergency was lifted, the red-shirts core leaders emerge both in the House of Parliament and on the street, trying in vain to fabricate lies, framing PM Abhisit government of using violence force and fatal dispersal of the red-shirts. They are conspiring to eventually rally again to provoke violence. But this time, in order to actually at least find one corpse to fulfil their claims. Any military weapons might be simple but effectively used to kill some and frame PM Abhisit at the cost of grassroot lives.