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Monday, August 11, 2008
Thaksin's overseas refuge may not be temporary
August 11, 2008
By now it is obvious that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, Khunying Potjaman, will not return to their home country for a long time and will not stand trial in court on all the cases against them as well as other cases which are yet to reach the court of law.Â The couple are currently in London with their three children who flew from Bangkok to join them since Saturday.
Both Thaksin and Potjaman who are on bail are due to report to the Supreme Court's criminal division for political office holders today.Â Their lawyers will have to explain to the court the reason for their clients' failure to show up.Â But I wonder what else the lawyers will be able to say to the court to ensure that their clients will return to stand trial now that Thaksin has made clear that he will not come back because he has no faith in the justice system here which he strongly feels of being interfered with and of being biased against him and his family.
In his hand-written letter explaining his reason not to come back to stand trial which was faxed from London to the media in Bangkok, Thaksin claimed that he was the target of an assassination attempt in order to get rid of him from Thai politics and from Thai soil.Â Thus the need for him and his family to take a temporary refuge outside Thailand.Â Nevertheless, he vowed to return "when the time is right".Â "Today is not my day," he said.
Many of Thaksin's supporters will have sympathy for him and will miss him.Â They will also believe in what he said.Â His opponents, however, will cheer his departure although some of them, like the PAD core leaders, said they wanted him to stand trial.
For me, I believe Thaksin's absence from Thailand is a blessing in disguse for the country and, in particular, for the political climate which should gradually and steadily improve.Â Our worst fear that there may beÂ violent clashes between pro- and anti-Thaksin forces which could lead to a bloodshed should, from now on, ease.Â But this does not mean that the deeply-entrenched political divide and hatred between the two opposing sides will soon disappear because of the absence of the Thaksin factor.Â The rift is so wide that I have no idea when it will be bridged.Â Or whether it will ever be bridged.
Minus Thaksin, the People Power party is doomed.Â Already beset with bitter infighting, the party is likely to break up.Â The next election will see medium-siezed parties competing with one another without a single party emerging as the dominant party.Â
As for Thaksin, despite all the court cases and corruption charges against him, he remains the same old Thaksin - defiant, arrogant and that he is always right.Â Not even the judiciary which most of use have faith in it is seen by Thaksin as being biased against him.Â With this kind of mindset and attitude against the justice system here, I believe Thaksin will be away from the country for a long, long time.Â I wonder his final wish to return to his motherland and to "rest in peace on the Thai soil"Â like all Thai citizens will ever be fulfilled.
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