Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thailand in political crisis

Thailand is in political turmoil. Many are very unhappy with the prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. The final straw came with 73.3 billion-baht sell-off of Shin Corp to Temasek back in January. This was a tax-free sell-off of Shin Corp shares by the Shinawatra and Damapong families. This has upset a lot of Thais, especially in Bangkok. There have been rumblings ever since. These rumblings have escalated to the point where there are whispers of possible coups which are, of course, fiercely denied by the military... but who knows what's in the wind.

In today's SMH is an article: "Opponents reject Thai PM's plea for crisis talks"

On February 23 the Bangkok Post had an article: "Suchinda urges House dissolution"
Former premier Suchinda Kraprayoon, who stepped down in disgrace following the May 1992 popular uprising, yesterday advised Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra that he dissolve the House and return power to the people.

His suggestion, however, does not please Mr Thaksin's critics led by Chamlong Srimuang, who would rather see the prime minister resign than call a snap election.

Thaksin went ahead and called the snap election... and it has not quieted to critics. The opposition is talking of boycotting the elections as they want him the step down... now!

Thaksin is seen by his critics as self-serving and using his position to feather his family's nest (and cronies' nests). Are the politicians in the opposing ranks any less self-serving? Is there anyone with integrity and honesty out there to lead this wonderful country? I hope so.

Too many countries in Asia have been (and are being) ruled by men who use power to fleece the people. One of the worst examples of this is Burma. There is a travesty of human rights going on all the time and this country becomes poorer and poorer while the privileged few become richer and richer.

God have mercy.

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