Let Me Help This French Journalist See Thaksin Through
( Last edit 2009-06-23 )
Original: Revenge of Thaksin
La vengeance de Thaksin
from Thailande-fr.com on Thursday, 16 April 2009
Suggested by BR21
Comment by ronayos: It is not a paradox at all. It is the crook opportunistic Thaksin who bribes bad media to confuse people with fabricated lies to claim himself a democratic hero only to justify the reclaim of the frozen billions of dollars back in Thailand. Actually, the writer wrote in the third paragraph.
Thaksin Shinawatra may have been in exile, his party dissolved by the Constitutional Court, and sentenced to two years in prison by the courts of his country, he continues to exercise a decisive influence in Thailand. Even his most bitter opponents must admit: since his forced departure in September 2006, Thailand has become ungovernable.
Click for Detail of violence instigated by Thaksin
Thaksin is in fact a major cause of the instability prevailing in the kingdom. The humiliation is the cancellation of the ASEAN Summit which shows that he can no longer be ignored, and that his case cannot be regarded as a legal simple matter any more.
Click for Detail of violence instigated by Thaksin
Provided Thaksin cannot seriously argue a return to power, and a new coup would be disastrous for the image of the kingdom. It is very likely that negotiations will take place and they will include the $2 billion of assets belonging to Thaksin and his family which the Thai judiciary has frozen.
It would however be wrong to underestimate the cleavage that divides Thai society at the moment: it is a choice of society in question. Thaksin did return, to support his party and personal interests, a portion of the population that previously had no right to the administration. The poor rural and urban areas, often from poor regions in eastern Thailand, suddenly represented a real political issue and became aware of their importance.
Previously, the game of chess that led to power, politics, was played between the elites. Thaksin has betrayed the league. Thaksin himself is a part of the Sino-Thai elite that has always had privileged positions in Thailand. He drew upon for poor domination, rising above the heads of the traditional elites.
It is generally accepted that economic growth is naturally a step towards democracy. Would Thailand be against example, by proving that it is possible to have strong growth, without completing a revolution of its democratic political system? Is Thaksin the bridge to the awakening among the quiet masses, rural, poor and uneducated, who form the majority of the electorate in Thailand?
The coup d'etat in Thailand on September 19, 2006 put an end to nearly 6 years of parliamentary democracy, the longest period that Thailand has ever known. It is the latest in a long series. A look at the history of Thailand highlights the ongoing struggle for power between the monarchy, army and bureaucrats.
But most Thais are actually divided on the outcome of Thaksin. On the one hand, they oppose the corrupt politician (Thaksin) who has abused the Thai political system for his own interest. On the other hand, they admire Thaksin legacy which has improved living conditions, and given the purchasing power to poor rural and urban areas by populism which Thai administrative class never managed to do before.
From a strictly legal point of view, the career of Thaksin Shinawatra is in principle finished. He was banned from politics for five years by a court ruling last May and sentenced to two years in prison, and is considered since as "fugitives" by the justice of his country. Moreover, Red-shirts criminal attack on pattaya as provoked by Thaksin Shinawatra, was directly responsible for the cancellation of the ASEAN Summit.
But politically it is far from being the case, and his desire for early retirement did not last very long. Thaksin has not resigned. His exile politics is now certain as his recent speeches by phone were witnessed during public gatherings organized by the "red shirts".
Rarely a politician who has been away and banished from his country would have been so talkative and influential. Thaksin continues to make the headlines in Thailand, and to determine the dividing line between the two camps clash at this time.
The misfortune is that the episode Thaksin arrived precisely at a time when Thailand had established a truly democratic constitution (1997) and appeared to evolve into a genuine parliamentary democracy. Thaksin is the only Prime Minister to have served a full term (from 2001 to 2006) and his re-election at the end of this mandate. The fact that he undoubtedly abused his dominant position to take liberties with human rights, freedom of expression and the laws on conflict of interests and very damaging to Thailand's young democracy. Some Thais are now convinced that the democratic system itself is not suitable for their country.
This crisis touches paradox at the heart of Thailand, a modern industrialized society, including economic growth in ten years has enabled a dramatic rise in living standards. But a society whose way of thinking and the social structure has remained almost feudal.