Thaksin Shinawatra, the billionaire telecoms tycoon who won election landslides in 2001 and 2005, has a personally close friend and a good advisor Somkid Jatusripitak, the best marketing professor in Thailand, (also joined the two Thaksin’s cabinets). Thaksin is always conscious of how he would market himself, his companies and his products. He follows marketing tactics which conventionally constitute of four principles ie, Products, Position, Promotion and Prices. Moreover, he is good at openly as well as secretive campaigns to achieve his goals.
Positioning whatever his at the most advantageous points in the battles, either to monopolize the resources, the opportunities, the channels of sales and advertisements, has been the key strategies for both business and his political battles.
Before seriously involved in politics, Thaksin (Shin Corporation) had won the telecommunication concessions to become rich through the monopoly of the only single sattellite of Thailand. From that spring board of wealth, enabling his entry into the PM office, he extended his telecommunication business empire into Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, at the expenses of the Kingdom of Thailand such as interest-free loans to Myanmar.
Also, in his PM terms, he got control of the hearts and minds of the majority poor Thais with promotion tactics, he made himself and his parties popular by populist policies, free taxis, free medical charges, cheap houses, easy and cheap loans, but at the expenses of the nation’s budgets and without the actual reform of the country’s infrastructures.
Thaksin, through his Shin Corporation, cheaply took over “ITV”, a “once” credible public free television station (supposed to stand for truths and democracy according to the reform after Black May Massacre of 1992) and acquired strong connections and official controls to all sorts of other media, radios and entertainment media houses. Radio channels and television programmes in Thailand are subjected to annual renewal of contracts and concessions from the state. For any public media to speak out the truths against Thaksin, are to sign their own dead wishes in business.
also relatively cheap under Thaksin and Pojaman’s huge secret budgets, press columnists, used-to-be aggressive political analysts and commentators on public TV like Sorayuth Suthasanajinda became unnaturally silent. To recruit “Thairath” and “Daily News” the two Thai giant commercial tabloid newspapers to write or not to write whatever in favour of Thaksin is evenmore feasible.
During his term, Thaksin specially arranged his weekly one-hour program on every Sunday morning on a public national television and on nationwide radio. Opposition politicians were rarely, if ever, allowed to appear in television or radio. It was a coincidental big loophole in the 1997 Constitutions to allow any strong government by majority to go loose without parliamentary checking measures such as parliamentary debate and vote of confidence of the PM.
On top of that,Thaksin always respect marketing surveys and continuous advertising campaigns. He does not only monitor the people’s talk but also manipulate what they talk about through teams to carry out secretive positive advertisments for him and negative advertisments against his opponents or even from time-to-time divert public’s attention to other nonsense nonpolitical agenda when negative rumours of him leaked. Webboards are the usual propaganda billboards of Thaksin’s teams
After the September 19, 2006′ s coup, Thaksin in exile, openly hired international advertising companies and lobbyists such as Baker Botts to present his messages and his images to the world. Lots and lots of personal English websites as well as Thai websites have been set up. He got interviewed several times by major international media, including CNN and got on the front cover of the Times.
While in Thailand, he hired his own lawyer, Noppadol Patama who later became a Foreign Minister in Thaksin’s proxy goverment, his colleage judge, and some other TRT members to be his personal spokespersons. Those are open messages where he declared that he gave up with politics and would not involve himself with Thai politics after Constitution Judges ruled that TRT party had committed frauds in the past election and unconstitutionally acquired the state’s power and Thaksin was sentenced to prohibition from politics for 5 years.
Thaksin’s secretly sponsored National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), No Po Ko in Thai, or the red-dressed gangster, either by violent demonstration, street rioting, press publications, web sites. UDD, former TRT members and the new proxy party of Thaksin (PPP People’s Power Party) relentlessly accused the President of the Privy Council, General Prem Thinasulanond to be the mastermind of the coup, in order to indirectly accuse of the royal involvement and undermine the people’s loyalty to the King.
On-sale politicians, on-sale scholars, on-sale left-wing NGOs or heart-broken ex-communist university lecturers have been employed by Thaksin to adversely campaign upon the coup leaders, the interim government, the King, the courts and the PAD.
In later administration of Samak, Samak together with a team led by bankrupt Weera Musikapong, (once jailed for lese majeste decades ago), Jatuporn Prompan, Nattawut Saikua, leaders of UDD (once jailed for street rioting in front of the President of the Privy Council’s house) took over National Broadcasting of Thailand, national network of nationwide public radio and television, to get daily prime-time one-sided propaganda programme targetting against PAD.
The most important tactic of PAD led by Sondhi Limthongkul is using truthful straight forward plain facts and simple but challenging questions to Thaksin (and Samak) publically through the only available channel ASTV, a satellite cable TV network. Thaksin has never ever directly replied no matter where, in the parliament or in the public whereas Samak slickily but shamelessly lied and eventually got caught several times.
The counter-attack replies of Thaksin are never a direct answer to “WHAT” Thaksin has done. -Instead, those replies are just nonsense lies and smears to undermine the creditability of the rebellious stand-up of the people who demand the rights to know.
PAD has prooved their points through the 120-day-continuous outdoor protest, amidst all the tropical difficulties which include the daily soaking rain, the burning heat and the bright sunlight, the mosquitoes, the police brutality and the red gangster threats etc.
Rather than ignorantly reporting only WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW, world media and reporters should also report WHY WHY and WHY, as never before in the world, hundreds of thousands of people come out together for four consecutive months to insist on their rights for equality, their rights for justice to have the guilty politicians tried in the courts of justice (no matter how rich they are) and to have a decent government through a fair democracy.
Author: Ronayosk (source)
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