Thaksin talks to Post Today

See, hear and read what Thaksin Shinawatra said in his interveiw with our sister publication Post Today at his home in Dubai.

Start with the video for a shortened version of the interview. The text below is a longer version and you can read the full interview here: http://bit.ly/mF0Jpd


Click button to listen to Thaksin talks and rightclick to download

Thaksin talks to Post Today

How is your health?

Touch wood, I've never had anything. Staying overseas, when you contract anything, even just a cold, you recover quite quickly. I don't have diabetes, I have no heart problems, no gout, my cholesterol is 160. Everything is fine.

How confident are you that Pheu Thai will win the election?

Based on our own polling, we are quite confident of victory. Our analysis shows that Pheu Thai remains the largest party today, with the largest number of MPs in parliament, after counting the fact that some have been lured away to other parties or blocked from office.

But when you move parties, it's only the candidates that move. The electoral base and support for Pheu Thai remains. The chance that we will win these constituencies again remains strong.

And the Democrat Party has to understand that their performance hasn't been obvious. People can remember what the Democrats have done. What they can remember best is the eggs-by-the kilogramme policy. I think the chance that the Democrats will see their support increase is small. It can only fall. Fall a lot or fall a little remains to be seen.

So we feel that Pheu Thai should win. By how much, we'll just have to wait and see.

Will Pheu Thai win an outright majority?

It's possible if the voter turnout is high and there is no fraud.

The next government should be a coalition government then?

Almost for certain.

How do you see the stability of the next government?

It depends whether all organisations abide by the rules. If everyone accepts the idea of reconciliation and returns to principles of neutrality, of justice, of the rule of law, then the country can move forward with reconciliation.

But if the justice system itself doesn't abide by the rule of law, then things will be bad.

Will there be a lot of vote-buying in this election?

It will be heavy, for certain. But first, let me insist that Pheu Thai has no policy to buy votes. No one has the money to buy votes either. We aren't a party that uses a lot of money. We use the least amount of money of any party.

The coalition parties have a lot of money, a lot of income. We're talking 20 million baht for provincial governors to 700,000 to 800,000 baht for district chiefs. And there's the 30% taken from procurement projects and local administration budgets. The money is there for the taking. So people spend [in the election] in the hopes of coming back to steal once again.

What's important is that state officials have to be neutral. Politicians come and go, but the bureaucrats stay until they retire.



After the election, will we see peace in the country?

The Pheu Thai Party, in particular our red shirt supporters, have suffered the most [from the political unrest]. If those who have suffered the most can accept things and let things be, and not think about retribution, then achieving resolution will be easier.

Pheu Thai itself has to be clear in its position that it desires national reconciliation. The country can achieve reconciliation only after certain steps. Before the election itself, all parties, in particular state officials responsible for overseeing the election process, must allow the election to be held fairly.

This is a precondition for reconciliation.

Second, after the election, after Pheu Thai wins, it has to be clear that there will be no retribution taken. Those who have suffered, forgive and forget and look forward together to the future.

Other agencies, whether they be independent agencies or legal authorities, have to be fair to all parties. They must stop the past practices of taking sides.

Are you afraid of a [coup]?

No. I am quite sure that everyone loves the country, although many might love themselves a bit too much. But I think that ... the country has suffered enough. No one wants to see more suffering.

Will the [political] problems be solved after the election?

If everyone who says they love His Majesty the King, well, this year is an auspicious year [the seventh cycle birthday of His Majesty]. Everyone should do what is right. They should not think of themselves too much but think of His Majesty, think of the country and sacrifice a bit. That way the country can move forward.

How can you explain the resentment and conflicts [between you and the monarchy]?

There isn't any. It's been twisted. If you look at what I have done, for the country and for the institution, then you would know that I am a loyal [subject].

Will you take revenge against your enemies?

No. There is no point. Retribution only breeds more resentment, more enemies. Life will have no peace. If you know how to let things go, then you can have peace.

Some have expressed fear about the return of Thaksin.

There's nothing to fear. I am a Buddhist. I am from the North. I am a former prime minister. I won't hurt anyone. I won't cause damage to the country.

Today my life overseas is quite comfortable. Wherever I go, I am well respected and well received. But I love Thailand and am concerned for the country and the people. I am also concerned for all the people who have come out to ask for justice for me.

How can you explain the violence that took place in the past by the red shirts?

The red shirts aren't dangerous. They aren't violent. But they have been provoked.

They have suffered and they have been provoked. You might remember back to the Pattaya unrest [in April 2009] when these blue shirt people used slingshots and used guns against the red shirts.

When you are provoked, eventually you fight back.

In the King Power case, or even the CentralWorld fire, it's obvious. If the red shirts set the fire, it would have been much smaller, since they didn't have the tools or the expertise. But the bombs and the soldiers, well, it's obvious. The pictures tell the story.

Unfortunately, today the media, in particular television, are under the control of the state, so we only hear one side. The public should consider this carefully. But I want to state again that we were the injured party.

When will you return to Thailand?

Everything has to be according to the law. And the law isn't for the benefit of any one person. It has to further the cause of reconciliation, for the entire system. If I happen to benefit from that, well, that's normal. I was one of many victims. But everything has to be based on the law.

touch wood – to hope that a good thing will continue and to avoid bringing bad luck
contract – to become infected with a disease ติดเชื้อ
recover – to become healthy and fit again after an illness or injury การฟื้นไข้
diabetes – a serious medical condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood โรคเบาหวาน
gout – a disease that causes painful swelling in the joints, especially of the toes, knees and fingers  โรคข้อต่ออักเสบ, โรคเกาต์
confident – being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
poll – to ask a lot of people about what they feel about something – สำรวจความคิดเห็น
analysis – the detailed study or examination of something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study  การวิเคราะห์
lure – to persuade someone to do something by making seem very attractive หลอกล่อ
block – to use your power to stop something from being done or from succeeding กีดขวาง
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
electoral base – an area where there is a lot of support for a political party  ฐานเสียง, ฐานที่มั่น,
constituency – a district that elects its own representative to parliament เขตเลือกตั้ง
performance – the standard to which someone does something การกระทำ, การแสดง, การทำให้บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
obvious – clear; easy to see, recognise or understand ชัดเจน
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
outright – clear and direct, with nothing hidden โดยสมบูรณ์
majority – more than half of the people in a group เสียงส่วนมาก
turnout – the number or percentage of eligible voters who vote in an election จำนวนผู้ออกมาลงคะแนน
(election) fraud – the crime of cheating in an election การโกงการเลือกตั้ง
coalition government – a government formed by two or more political parties working together รัฐบาลผสม
stability – a situation in which things happen as they should and there are no harmful changes; when something is not likely to move or change ความมั่นคง, เสถียรภาพ
abide by – to follow a rule, law or instruction ทำตามกฎหมาย
reconciliation – the process of creating a new and friendly relationship again with someone you argued with or fought with การปรองดอง
principle – a basic rule or belief about what is right หลักการ
neutrality – the state of not supporting either side in a competition, disagreement, war, etc. ความเป็นกลาง
justice - fairness in the way people are dealt with ความเป็นธรรม, ความถูกต้อง, ความยุติธรรม
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
coalition parties – the political parties making up the government พรรคร่วมรัฐบาล
income – money that someone gets from working or from investing money รายได้
procurement – the process of buying supplies or equipment for a government department or company การจัดซื้อวัสดุ เครื่องมือสำหรับบริษัท หรือหน่วยงานของรัฐ
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
bureaucrats – people who work in government departments ข้าราชการ
retire – to stop working because you have reached the age where you are officially too old to work เกษียณอายุ
suffer – to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation ประสบความลำบาก
unrest – angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
retribution – severe punishment for something seriously wrong that somebody has done การแก้แค้น, การจองเวร,กรรมสนอง
resolution – solving a problem, or to finding a satisfactory way of dealing with it  การแก้ไขปัญหา
desire – to have a strong wish to have or do something อยาก, ประสงค์, ต้องการ
oversee – to watch or organise a job or an activity to make certain that it is being done correctly คุมงาน,ควบคุม
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
precondition – something which must be done before something else happens เงื่อนไข
legal – relating to the law or lawyers เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
party – an organized group of people who have similar ideas about the way in which a country should be governed, and who work together to try to persuade people to vote for them in elections พรรค การเมือง
practice – a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
auspicious - suggesting a positive and successful future ที่มีฤกษ์ดี
sacrifice – to give up important or valuable things, so that you or other people can have or do something else เสียสละเพื่อส่วนรวม
breed – to be the cause of something ทำให้เกิด
resentment – a feeling of anger because you have been forced to accept someone or something that you do not like ความไม่พอใจ
conflict – an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง
the monarchy – the royal institution (higher institution); the throne; the crown ระบอบประชาธิปไตยอันมีพระมหากษัตริย์เป็นประมุข
twisted – distorted บิดเบือน
the institution – the Thai monarchy
loyal – willing to support, work for, or be a friend to someone, even in difficult times จงรักภักดี ซื่อสัตย์
subject – a person who has the right to belong to a particular country, especially one with a king or queen ประชากร, ผู้อยู่ภายใต้การปกครอง
take revenge – to do something to hurt or punish someone because they have hurt you or someone else  แก้แค้น
breed – a particular type of animal that has been developed by people in a controlled way, especially a type of dog, cat or farm animal พันธุ์
respected – admired by many people for your qualities or achievements   ที่เคารพ
concerned – worried about something   มีความกังวล
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
provoke – to deliberately try to cause a reaction, especially an angry one  ยั่วยุอารมณ์, ทำให้โกรธ
slingshot (catapult) – a device which can throw objects at a high speed หนังสติ๊ก
eventually – at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
expertise – a high level of knowledge or skill ทักษะความรู้, ความคิดเห็นของผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
state – country ประเทศ
state – to formally write or say something, especially in a careful and clear way บอกกล่าว, แถลง, กล่าว
party – one of the people or groups of people involved in an official argument, arrangement or similar situation คู่กรณี
benefit – an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help ผลประโยชน์
cause – movement; an aim, idea, or organisation that you support or work for  วัตถุประสงค์ อุดมการณ์
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย

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About the author

columnist
Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager