The political tension heated up again after the MCOT’s radio station broadcast an interview on which ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that he was ready to negotiate with all parties and stop his international anti-government campaigns for good.
But how much can we trust his words?
Putting aside the ear soothing lead-in, Thaksin’s message is imbued with sarcastic notes which implies the true and relentless intention that the guy is never going to stop.
He spoke during the interview that he would have long ceased his movements only if somebody had asked him to.
Besides, Thaksin said with utter conviction that he was a victim of false accusation by the government and the unjust judicial system.
And the red-shirt group’s father figure has always perceived that helping his wife to buy up state-own land plots is not unlawful. He instead lambasted the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s regulation for its unfairness.
However, what can be concluded from the recent interview is that Thaksin is still seeing himself as having the upper hand.
The real meaning of “ready-to-negotiate” could be translated to Thaksin is willing to talk with anyone as long as he is the only one who gets to set the conditions. He might even choose himself his dialogue partner.
Just like the radio interview on which Thaksin just happened to agree on after the radio station had approached him more than two months ago.
Apparently, the former prime minister was not too busy to give an interview to another media, considering he had so much time to spare on a series of phone-ins and other campaigns, aimed to discredit the government and raise his own popularity.
He just knew by heart how to use the media to his own advantages. The plan to appear on the recent radio interview must have been carefully crafted so that it took place at the right place and at just the right time.
The impact of Thaksin’s manipulation of the media, admittedly, is compelling, considering a great number of his red-shirt supporters.
And it is undeniable that advocates of Thaksin is likely to be ensnared by his words.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister’s Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey, who is in charge of overseeing MCOT, cannot just axe the radio program, for the government will risk being criticized the action as infringing on media freedom.
But if the government is so preoccupied with all these threats posed by the fugitive former prime minister, why wouldn’t it put its best efforts to bring him to justice?
Can’t the government keep tabs on Thaksin’s financial movements and his whereabouts while seeking cooperation from other countries at all?
The task should not be too strenuous; however, the question is whether the government has pulled out all the stops for the ‘hunt’.
From “Kom Chad Luek” newspaper, September 8, p.2
Translated and edited by Wacharapol Isaranont