Thai Politics - Now What?
Thai politics - now what?
The former Thai Premier Taksin Shinawatana has returned to Thailand to fight his corruption cases on February 26, 2008. Will his return be developed into a social turmoil as many have feared?
The day on his return, CNN and Reuter reported that Taksin will certainly not abandon politics as he had vowed in many occasions. Foreign news media apparently raised a question as to whether Thailand will now have two Premiers concurrently. Samak Soontorawed, the elected Premier, has been regarded as a nominee or a puppet of Taksin. Samak took the interrogation as an insult and blasted out in his habitual blatantly style when answering a reporter's question as being senseless.
Yet, few days before Taksin's return, his former personal lawyer and hand-picked current Foreign Minister of Samak's cabinet issued a Ministerial order to return Taksin's official Prime-Minister passport to him. The Minister is also reported to be threatening to remove the Thai Ambassador to Britain for miss-conducts. Taksin had since been in self imposing exile and sought his residency in Britain when he was ousted by the military coup 18 months ago. He is known to be displeased with the Thai Ambassador to Britain in many occasions while in London.
Few days after his return, four top key government officers were lightening transferred to an inactive posts with unreasonable explanations or no explanation at all of the removal. A move interpreted not only as to please Taksin, but more importantly to help him out in his corruption fighting cases in the judicial system.
The first butchered lamb was the D.S.I. (equivalent to F.B.I.) chief Mr. Sunai. D.S.I. is one of the major government units in investigating corrupted officers and in the many cases of Taksin's corruption charges. Sunai has since submitted 2 of Taksin's cases to the government attorney general. His removal will certainly weaken evidences to be presented to the court later.
The other three important divisional chiefs are FDA, Media and Police. Samak has denied that the move is not an order from Taksin to take revenge on those officers. A denial no well informed person would believe. Meanwhile, the military coup leader General Sonti moved from his residency to live in the military compound on the day Taksin came back to Thailand.
Things seem to be happening all at the same time. The disintegrated intellectual and technocrats group had also regrouped to counter Taksin on the same day of his return. It was the movement of this group that eventually brought about the coup that toppled Taksin. Civil servants in the FDA department have gathered forces to demand the return of their former chief. They have already petitioned the King for justice to restore the position to the former FDA chief. They will also gather 30,000 signatures of the people to submit a call to fire the Health Minister. Some vowed to fight to the end of their lives for their demands.
Many new familiar social critics' faces have also emerged yesterday as a group to seek alliance with other groups with goal to keep a closed watch on Taksin. The removal of the police chief came out only yesterday. He said he will not yield to the command unless explanation is given. Samak signed a transfer notice without given any reason to it. We do not yet know what the repercussion will turn out to be. The police chief is well loved by the general public as one the cleanest police chief Thailand ever have.
Taksin has all along been saying he will not do anything to take revenge to those who opposed him nor will he be interested in playing politics again. But he is also known of his doing of not following his own words. He promised to quit politics once when the country was in a political chaos only to return in full power a few months later. As the saying goes' "Action speaks louder than voice", and his actions have certainly reflects his true intention on his return.
Thailand is in a situation that has never experienced throughout her entire history - a nation divided. On the day of Taksin's return, two people were killed in two separate incidents in heated arguments as to which side of political coin is right. The scene is set for a social confrontation that may lead to a situation many have feared.
Tags: Thai Politics , Politics , South-East Asia
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