Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thai Impasse

The Red Shirts continued to overwhelm Bangkok and have in fact, become even more emboldened. The Yellow Shirts are starting to make loud noises. The police favor a soft approach – which is, basically doing nothing. The Army puts on a show of might now and then but they prefer to huddle on the sidelines. And the Abhisit government is showing its weakness and demonstrating its inability to act firmly to restore law and order. This is Thailand today. It’s anybody’s guess what will happen tomorrow…

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Thailand’s mess is both worrying and confusing. In a democratic society, when there is a deep crisis, it is customary for the government to dissolve parliament and call elections in order for the people to decide. Indeed, the Red Shirts should have their elections. After all, Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government came to power by using two judiciary coups. But the Red Shirts cannot claim legitimacy because their patron saint, Thaksin Shinawatra is a criminal through and through. For those whose memories are short, Thaksin's rise to power opened up an era of corruption the magnitude of which has never been seen before – e.g. populist policies, conflict of interests in businesses, tax evasion, undisclosed share holdings, and money laundering. So how does Thailand move forward? Your guess is as good as mine! But for Thailand's sake, let common sense prevail!

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