He does not concede. He will never accept that enough is enough.
Thaksin is the first Thai ex-leader to violate this code of conduct. He will not concede defeat even when it is over. He has been plotting to make a political comeback to further fuel the political turmoil. He will never make a sacrifice for his country.
An angry and desperate Thaksin Shinawatra has appeared in Beijing following the UK government’s decision to deny him and his wife, Pojaman, re-entry to Britain. Thaksin said he would start naming the names of his political enemies. There would not be any more kreng jai or holding back.
“I will phone in and talk to the people who love and have faith in me. I will make a longer speech and start naming names because they have pushed me into a corner,” he told Reuters.
He will never admit that he has painted himself into this corner. The problem with Thaksin is that he does not concede. He will never accept that enough is enough.
In the past, all Thai leaders losing in the power play agreed to live in exile or stayed in Thailand in seclusion for the sake of the country. None of them ever rallied their supporters to try to fight back. For this reason, modern Thailand has been spared much bloodshed.
In 1932, King Rama VII faced a military coup that ended 700 years of absolute monarchy. The king conceded because he did not want Thais to kill each other. He handed over his sovereign power to the people as a whole – not to any particular group of people. When the king realised that he could not be part of managing the country in transition for the interest of the majority of Thais, he abdicated in 1935. Then, the coup-makers were more interested in a power struggle for their own interests and benefits. The king left for England and died there. This was his sacrifice. He never plotted to make a comeback.
Pridi Panomyong, the statesman, also lived in exile in China and later France after losing political power to Field Marshal Pibul Songkram, who staged a coup in 1947. He conceded defeat without blaming anyone, at least openly. The stakes for the country were higher than his personal interests.
In 1958, Field Marshal Songkram lost power to General Sarit Thanarat. He fled to Japan and died in exile there. He conceded defeat and never plotted to destroy Thailand, although he had the capacity to do so. Given his power, he could easily have marshalled a military faction to support him for a political comeback.
Field Marshal Thanom Kittikajorn, after the bloodshed of 1973, stepped down from power. He was the most powerful Thai dictator and could easily have eliminated all of his political opponents with his guns and tanks, but he resigned for the sake of the country. He retired in seclusion without trying to reclaim power or plot against his country
General Suchinda Khraprayoon staged a coup and afterwards ran into a political crisis due to the May 1992 tragedy. The military then under his regime was powerful, unchallenged. But he agreed to step down for the sake of the country. He too, never plotted against Thailand.
THAKSIN is the first Thai ex-leader to violate this code of conduct. He will not concede defeat even when it is over. He has been plotting to make a political comeback to further fuel the political turmoil. He will never make a sacrifice for his country.
By The Nation
Published on November 11, 2008