Monday, March 9, 2009

Come on Thaksin - Please spill the beans

Another interview, this time with the Far Eastern Economic Review:

When you go back will you play a political role, do you see yourself as being prime minister again?

'Well, it depends on the future; it depends on the political development in Thailand. But I hope that democracy will be in Thailand soon. And if the Thai democracy has not been developed to a mature stage, Thailand will never prosper and be stable. If you can remember Amartya Sen’s books, they are talking about if the country does not have democracy the people might face starvation, so I think democracy is really needed for Thailand and the rule of law'.

Do you think that you yourself might share some of the blame for the situation?

'I don’t think so. If you play by rules, if you respect the rules, if you are not boycott election, if you go election if you lost you lost, you win you win, if that the case nothing can happen. But because you are not able to win under the games, so you want to kick out me and then change the whole rules of the game. So that’s why the people cannot live with the society without the rule of law'.

Rule of Law - pity he didn't think that way when he was PM!
(Those drug war victims must be groaning in their graves or cremation urns)

Would a royal pardon clean the slate?

'Well, you know, we probably have to go back to square one. Which is bring all the people back to square one, that is there shouldn’t be any case against each other politically any more. And from now after we do the reconciliation, if anyone did something wrong it must be according to the rule of law'.

This reconciliation talk sounds promising, but I doubt those behind the yellow's will be interested due to the massive rural vote still enamored to Thaksin.
The old elites need 'new politics' to overcome the 'Thaksin factor', but IMO a better reconciliation solution would be to somehow contractually bind Thaksin and his immediate family from re-entering politics for a lengthy period.

He also talks about economic issues, criticizes Abhisit's follow the others stimulus package, but when pressed for further details he is light on specific recommendations and doesn't offer much more then wishy washy statements:
'sit down and map out new strategies'
'where is Thailand going to stand? Where is the point where Thailand is going to be? We have to have strategy of where Asia is heading for and where Thailand will be part of it'
'So you have to balance everything. You have to plan the growth. You have to plan the change. You have to plan the future by infrastructures …physical infrastructure and infrastructure for new talent. So you have to plan and drive it. Sometimes policy may be the same but implementation may not be the same.'

I suspect he doesn't really have any specific idea's, and even if he does, he knows the safer strategy (to look like an economic savior) is to just criticize what Abhisit is doing, because it's obvious that the prospects for success are low.

Original Post
Thaksin interviewed in Time magazine:

"We have to ask those who are behind the divisiveness to stop meddling into the system. When I was in power, there was a meeting in one house on Sukhumvit [Road in Bangkok] and one of the attendees revealed to me--and I have the tapes of what happened--that the meeting was about getting rid of me, by assassinating me or getting rid of me through politics or through the courts. I know who these people are. I'm thinking of naming names, but I'm afraid that may make the whole situation worse. I have to be extremely cautious. I have to bite my tongue and taste my own blood."

He's made the threat so often, and been on the losing end for most of the last 2 years without pulling the trigger, that I'm starting to suspect it is an idle threat.

He might have nothing that can stick, but more likely is that he knows so much that he cannot let it out for fear of bringing everything down like a house of cards, including stuff that he and his cronies had a hand in.

The rest of the interview he sounded almost reasonable (looks like he has learned something from Abhisit!), and he might even be in the mood for compromise judging by the 'bury the hatchets' talk.