Once describing himself as a “tamed dog”, it appears that convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has now irreversibly turned a full-time “vicious and mad dog” biting at the hands which once fed him and barking at everyone even at his own shadow.
Completely devoid of any sense of guilt, shame, decency and self-respect, Thaksin still has the temerity to call for His Majesty the King’s intervention to end the political crisis despite the open fact that he played a crucial role in inciting his red-shirt protesters to rise up against the Abhisit government through his almost nightly phone-ins and video linkups with the protesters.
In his interview the France-24 television on Wednesday from Dubai which Thaksin has been using as his overseas home base, the fugitive ex-premier said he had urged His Majesty to intervene and that the King should work to reconcile the factions in Thailand. To quote Mr Thaksin’s statement: “He (the King) is the only person that can intervene otherwise the violence will become wider and also the confrontation would be more and more.”
Mr Thaksin’s appeal for the King’s intervention smacks of hypocrisy and is also highly improper.
Firstly, the crisis situation in Bangkok was over after the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship decided to end the protest and to allow the protesters to return home even though the problem of political divide which appears to have worsened remains to be resolved. As such, there is no need for the King to step in.
Secondly, Mr Thaksin himself had the capability to end the violence perpetrated by his loyal supporters by simply telling them to stop and they would undoubtedly heed his words since he himself was largely responsible for their protest. But instead, he chose to let his red-shirt protesters to go on the rampage by holding the city hostage, hijacking and torching public buses, blocking and paralyzing road traffic, terrorizing innocent people with their terrorist tactic and forcibly breaking up the Asean summits in Pattaya. But when the situation turned against the protesters in a way which would render the protest futile, the ex-premier abruptly changed tact and sued for peace by seeking the intervention of His Majesty the King.
Mr Thaksin might have lost memory of what he had said to his red-shirt crowd in his many phone-ins during the height of the protest in front of the Government House. Or he simply didn’t care any more of what he said as they no longer had any credibility. For a reminder, here is an interesting statement from his own mouth. He said he would return to lead the protest in a “long march” (obviously copying from the late Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung’s long march) if the army fired the first shot at the protesters. But in an interview with the western media after the protest ended, he said he didn’t want to return home because he was quite happy with life abroad.
While Mr Thaksin urged on his red-shirt supporters to bring their children to join the protest for “real” democracy which was, in fact, a cover for his own good, he and his whole family, including his divorced wife, Khunying Pojaman, were having a good time shopping in Dubai. So much so for a protest leader who boasted to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with his red-shirt rank-and file in Bangkok.
by Veera Prateepchaikul / Bangkok Post Opinion
April 16, 2009