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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

While the cat is away the mice attempt a coup

--posted by Tony Garcia on 9/19/2006

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, declared a state of emergency in Thailand. He is currently at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Why the state of emergency?
Tanks rolled through the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday amid reports of an attempted coup, witnesses tell CNN. Members of the Thai military are attempting to seize power but Thailand's leadership expects everything to return to normal soon, Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai told CNN.
Now, who is the 'bad guy' is not so clear.

April 2006...Elections take place which are eventually declared null and void.
An electoral-fraud case pending at the Constitutional Court threatens to disband Thaksin's party permanently on charges of subverting this year's April 2 elections, which the Supreme Court has already declared null and void.
It should be noted that the winner of that election was Shinawatra won that nullified election.

I guess it should also be mentioned that Thaksin has a slew of legal issues.
An official investigation is also under way into the Shinawatra family's controversial US$1.9 billion sale of their majority holdings in the Shin Corporation in January to Singapore's Temasek Holdings, a convoluted divestment that legal experts and opposition politicians contend violated the Foreign Business Act, which bans majority foreign ownership of certain strategic industries, including telecommunications.
And there is...
Thaksin also faces two possible perjury charges in the Criminal Court from an unresolved business conflict dating back to the 1980s with William Monson, his former American business partner in a Thailand-based cable-television venture that Thaksin himself eventually listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
That is just the tip of the iceberg.
Opposition politicians contend that Thaksin should also be held accountable for the more than 2,500 extrajudicial killings that occurred during his government's 2003 "war on drugs" campaign, his government's admitted complicity in the abduction and disappearance of Thai Muslim human-rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit, and his government's systematic subversion and intimidation of the local media, which are protected from political intervention by the 1997 constitution.
So it is hard to say which side is the 'good' side and which is the 'bad'.

The re-vote was tentatively scheduled for October 15 but was pushed into November.

The coup is an additional challenge to King Bhumibol Adulyadej who has worked very hard to "keep Thailand more stable than many of its southeast Asia neighbors."
He is the world's longest-serving monarch and celebrated his 60th year on the throne with lavish festivities in mid-June that were attended by royalty from around the world.
Watching these events very carefully are the diamond merchants and the child prostitution peddlers.



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