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Monday, January 26, 2009
Thaksin's old broken record
Those of you who are fans or no-fans of exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra should have, by now, learned what he had said during his phone-in interview from somewhere abroad with the Dstation of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship on Sunday.
As usual, what Mr Thaksin said Sunday was the same old stuff that he has kept repeating time and again like a broken record: that he and his family were unfairly treated; that he has not done anything wrong; that he was falsely accused of not being loyal to the monarchy; that he has been targeted for assassination attempts and blah-blah-blah. He vowed to keep the fight for the justice until his death.
So what exactly is the justice that Mr Thaksin has been fiercely fighting for all these days? Obviously, the justice is all about the 76 billion baht in assets earned from the sale of his Shin Corp shares to Singapore’s Temasek holding company which have been ordered frozen by the now defunct Assets Scrutiny Committee; about all the charges against him and his family which are still pending or which have become final, foremost of all the allegation that he is not loyal to the monarchy. Apparently in his fixed mindset, he has always believed that he is innocent because he has never stolen anything from the state and that every baht earned by his companies was legally earned.
As a former prime minister, Mr Thaksin should know fully well that waging a war of words via the air waves is not a right and proper channel to demand justice for himself and his family unless he has other motives to exploit the air waves. What he should do is to come back to defend himself against all the charges against him. Which will also spare him all the troubles of having to hop around the globe like a vagabond that he described himself to be.
During the phone-in interview on Sunday, Mr Thaksin went a bit too far by comparing his ordeal to that of Nelson Mandela. The two men are totally different like black and white. Mr Mandela was jailed for 40 years for his selfless fight for justice for the black South Africans against apartheid and the cause of human rights whereas Mr Thaksin’s fight for justice is all about himself and his family.
The Abhisit government has made it be known for the exiled former prime minister to come back with assurance that he will be treated fairly according to the letters of the law. But so far the offer has been ignored. Instead, Mr Thaksin chose to make use of the air waves, originally through the state-run NBT television station and now the DStation of the UDD which was partially financed by himself, to pave the way for his return home. Through the Dstation which is connected to some cable networks run by Thaksin loyalists, the ex-premier can communicate directly with his grassroot supporters and woo their support. Which explains why Mr Thaksin these days rely and trust the UDD and its red-shirted people more than the Puea Thai party.
At a major rally planned this coming Saturday by the UDD, Mr Thaksin will again address the red-shirted crowd. But how many of the red shirts from the rual areas will turn up this time to hear probably the same old tune from the man in exile remains to be seen. Without free bus ride provided by the organizers, the huge crowd as anticipated by the organizers may not materialize. Since the rally is important as a show of strength of the red shirts and also a show of Thaksin’s popularity, the UDD core leaders and their sponsors will doubtlessly make all the efforts to ensure a huge gathering.
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