Thursday, July 31, 2008

History in the making

Something special happened in Thailand today, a 'Khunying' (roughly equivalent to the western title of "lady") and wife of a very influential politician was found guilty of a crime.

As Pundit points out, the length of the sentence is significant as it disallows suspension. The appeal will be heard at the Supreme Court. Many are predicting a lesser sentence for the appeal but then many - including myself - predicted a fine rather than a jail term for this hearing.

Politicians in Thailand have always been corrupt and many have argued that in this context the Shinwatras are being persecuted. However, two wrongs don't make a right. Thai politics is immature and is still struggling to get past the stages of rampant corruption, but whatever the reasons surrounding this sentence (old money vs new money , the old elite stifling development of younger politicians, etc.) the fact remains that the decision was just and sends a signal that money doesn't always buy you justice.

Thaksin must be worried about his upcoming cases. The number of cases alone is cause for worry. In the past, post-coup trials of politicians have always ended in a farce, this time it looks like things could be different. Still, it's not over yet.

No comments: