Tag Archives: Thaksin

The Boiling Black Songkran


Looking at the heat via the Intertube

The riot in Thailand has spoiled Thai New Year, Songkran celebration. The crash caused the cancellation of ASEAN Summit in Pattaya. Red Shirt occupied main traffic routes in Bangkok, the state of emergency was declared and the military was ordered by the Government to get the city back to order. That did not help them over the accusation of being backed by the military. However, the situation has been dissolved, for now. The Government won the battle, this time.

Outside Thailand, I watch the colourful event turned black only from my laptop. Streaming live from Thai television networks and twitter updated me. The story was recapped by the major networks on YouTube as well as raw footage from people on the ground. The word democracy was over used. It struck the most me when the representatives from the both sides had their chances on live interview with foreign journalists and they blew it.

It looks like they have no idea how fierce BBC, CNN or Al Jazeera can be to get what they what to know. They do their homework and can attack you as a lightning. It is their job to nail you on the spot. If you cannot get away with it, you become a fool on the global scale rather than spread your agenda.

Thai Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, is ahead on this game. His British academic background helps him get through foreign media. On the contrary, Thaksin Shinawatra, the key figure of this political turmoil, and anti-government protest leaders sound shaky and unconvincing. They just cannot buy any creditability of their actions when they speak to the professional interviewers.

However, Gile Ungpakorn, who is also in exile for Lese Majeste charge, gives us the most concrete ground on Red Shirt movement.

It is inevitable that Thailand is in the international community and the nation economy almost entirely depends on exports, foreign investment and tourism. Who will be the front face of the country to deal with the international diplomats and media? Could Thailand afford to have the one who looks like in self-denial run the country whichever what colour they are?

The Unstoppable Samak

Samak Sundaravej

I have to say I am almost shattered with the unofficial result of the latest Thai General Election. It is likely to be in the favour of pro-Thaksin People’s Power Party (PPP). That means its leader, Samak Sundaravej (สมัคร สุนทรเวช), could get the first choice to be the next Thai Prime Minister and form the government. EEEWWWW!!!

He had been ministers many times and the hi-light would be the Minister of Transport while Thailand was in rise of bubble economy in the 80s where he could grant big projects under his authority. However, the long time in politics had taught him that he would never get to the top of the mountain because his strong base and supporters would never expand beyond Bangkok. So he’d rather be the big fish in a small pond and demote himself by going for local politics, which won him the Bangkok Governor title in 2000. But would that be enough for him? It could be until the big opportunity for him to grab the country’s strong hold of dissolved Thai Rak Thai voters and lead the party.

No one knows how long he would govern the country for, maybe until he lets Thaksin back in without any trials as promised or until another protest against his allies to lead to another coup. Have we learn something from the past at all? Here are some reminders:

I honestly cannot trust this low-rent doormat. Mind you! I did not go to vote and have not voted for almost a decade since I moved to Sydney. I have just got a new Thai ID card but it was too late to register for overseas voting this election. But I have a feeling I am not going have to wait for another four years to vote in the next election.