The Thaksin love story: Till death and money do us part

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Ironically the divorce should have been kept from public knowledge. A story about a broken family is not for others to speculate as to the motive and intent, unless publicity would lead to some gain.

FUGITIVE ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra has shaken loose from his marriage to Pojaman after 32 years. It was not ’till death do us part’ after all, for the couple who have decided that divorce will serve them better during hard times. Ironically the divorce should have been kept from public knowledge. A story about a broken family is not for others to speculate as to the motive and intent, unless publicity would lead to some gain

The public was hardly shocked. Those in the know about the couple’s movements and their scheming were quick to suspect that the divorce was politically motivated for the two to save their assets and have more room to manoeuvre amidst worsening adversity.

There has long been gossip about their estrangement caused by the man’s excesses in politics and private life. Their detractors and doubters pointed out that the divorce would enable Pojaman to reapply for a British visa and take care of business interests in the UK as well as in Thailand. They must presume that the UK Home Office is naive enough to fall for their apparent heartbreak.

The divorce will set the stage for Pojaman to reclaim a huge chunk of the money frozen by the Assets Examination Committee. It is said that out of the Bt76 billion, more than half belongs to Pojaman, and through legal machinations, she stands a good chance of success.

For Thaksin, he will continue to fight his enemies, whose names might be revealed during his next phone-in to his admirers, scheduled for December 10. His whereabouts are not known exactly after he left Hong Kong for Dubai and stayed under the protection of powerful friends.

Embittered and vengeful, Thaksin has vowed payback for his foes. The revocation of the British visa was additional punishment, diminishing his credibility and exposing his true, self-righteous colours about being a champion of democracy.

What will his next move be after the divorce? He could allow some time for celebration of sorts. He is a free man, and that enables him to do whatever he wants with no guilty feeling.

There is another irony. While in Hong Kong, some of his political minions let loose their tongues that the divorce must have been designed for self-preservation and assets reclamation.

“They looked very close. There was no sign of a break-up,” one of them confided to reporters. Cunning and shrewd as they are known to be, unpredictability is another prime quality.

The gathering in Hong Kong was anther round of scheming for Thaksin and his self-serving causes. There were People Power Party MPs and Cabinet members, as well as a hot-headed ex-cop and a notorious crook barred from active politics.

It is a disgrace that MPs and ministers should consort with a fugitive criminal without realising that it is their duty to apprehend the felon or at least report his whereabouts to the authorities concerned. How can taxpayers expect these politicians to do what is right when the fugitive is their paymaster?

As we all know, our diplomats hold red passports, as does Thaksin. They are now graded in the same league, thus making them less honourable and credible than their status endorsed by the passports they hold. If Somchai feels no shame about all this, then our foreign minister should be equally held accountable for this national disgrace.

Somchai Wongsawat PM

Somchai Wongsawat PM

Now it should be the duty and responsibility of Prime Minister Somchai to find out who was helping and scheming in Hong Kong so that he can consider some legal action, at least on charges of neglect of duty. Alas! Somchai is also guilty of that as well.

 

Will Dubai serve as a base of operations for Thaksin? That is not yet known. There were reports that he would be in Bolivia as a guest of President Evo Morales, who will present the Simon Bolivar Plaque of Distinction to the Thai fugitive. This is weird, when a revolutionary politician like Morales should be in the company of a fugitive convict who has yet to prove that he deserves such a prestigious honour.

We have heard other news surrounding Thaksin. There were denials from Bermuda and the Bahamas that they would give him citizenship. Bermuda has made it clear it welcomes only people of good standing, not crooks or convicts.

The good news for Thaksin is that he will be most welcome in Togo, Chad,t he Central African R in those African countries might give Thaksin valuable experience on how to become a really ruthless dictator, instead of the past role of a small-time despot as perceived by his critics and adversaries.

As of now, Thaksin should concentrate on helping himself out of his immediate troubles rather than sparing his time to alleviate the hardships of poverty-stricken countries in Africa. In fact, the despotic rulers of those states don’t actually like his presence. They love his money. It surely smells better than his boasting.

By Sopon Onkgara
The Nation
Published on November 18, 2008

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