Friday, July 10, 2009

Thaksin and justice

They say that if you tell a lie for long enough, it becomes the truth. If that's the case, then it must be true that the Thai authorities are desperately trying to bring Thaksin Shinwatra back to Thailand to face punishment for his crimes.

After all, we keep hearing that Thaksin narrowly escaped police swoops in various countries, we hear every week of a 'request'' from Thailand to some other country for his extradition and let us not forget the likes of The Nation publishing unfounded rumours, anonymous sources telling us where the man is hiding right now.

It all seems a little strange when you consider the real facts: he was allowed to leave Thailand  immediately after his wife was found guilty in court. That's right, the door was left wide open for Thaksin to leave Thailand to go to the Olympics in China the very day after Potjamo was sentenced. Imagine how hard it must have been for the powers that be to act surprised when the billionaire decided to remain overseas instead of coming hoe and facing possible jail time.

There are other points to consider too: is it really politically beneficial for Thaksin opponents to bring him home? His political and financial muscle seems to have passed its peak. The Song Kran riots achieved little, his phone ins have become dull and even Thaksin himself asked his supporters to cancel his birthday celebrations out of fear of reprisals. Bringing him back to the country and sentencing him in court would run a certain risk of bringing all the emotions and fanaticism of his supports back to the surface, kicking off a new wave of clashes. It's clear that his opponents fear being unable to control Thaksin, but it would be far more damaging to lose control of his supporters once more.

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