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Thread: Voranai Vanijaka Op - Eds

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Voranai Vanijaka Op - Eds

    My favorite Thai reporter has a piece out very worth reading.. How long until the showdown comes ??


    ============================

    Setting the stage for when the boss is back

    From the Skype meetings to the speech in Mongolia, from the military cleared of all charges and the rally against the Constitution Court _ join the dots and we can see pressure being brought to bear.

    Published: 05/05/2013 at 12:00 AM
    Writer: Voranai Vanijaka

    The desired result of all of these moves is the triumphant return of the Man in Dubai, or in Hong Kong, Siem Reap, or wherever.

    If we can assume that on Monday, in Mongolia, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra revealed what is in her heart, then I say it's about time. Whether one agrees with what she said is irrelevant; appreciation for the national leader for speaking honestly is the point.

    Perhaps her mistake was displaying such honesty in a foreign land in front of foreigners; hence her being called a traitor. After all, it is very much against Thai custom to talk "critically" about Thailand to foreigners. But I'm not one for convention. Speak your heart and mind wherever and to whomever you wish, I say. After all, that's how I make a living.

    Her criticism of the military coup and various agencies, as well as the sound tactic of throwing out catchwords like "democracy" and "the people" every other breath, have already been much discussed. I use the strategy often myself. It works well.

    However, there are other developments worth connecting. After all, political actions are supposed to be a consequence of a carefully planned strategy, putting the pieces (or pawns, if you like) in the right places to accomplish a goal.

    In March, through a Skype meeting, Thaksin ordered the Pheu Thai Party to speed up the push for an amnesty law. The political developments afterwards are but a chain of actions meant to keep the boss happy.

    On Wednesday, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) cleared the military of any wrongdoing during the troubles of April and May 2010 that led to 91 deaths. This is a significant gesture that says: "You are still too powerful, so we are not going to mess with you."

    The gesture further says: "We would rather have you as an ally, as there are many mutual benefits to be had. In this ongoing struggle for amnesty, please just sit back and chill. We don't mess with you. You don't mess with us. We even clear you of all charges. Call it a gift, a gesture of goodwill."

    Meanwhile, the DSI continues to point the finger at senior Democrats Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban as the sole culprits behind the tragedy. The DSI has also set up a panel to study the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship's (UDD) request to dismiss terrorism charges against several red shirts.

    If you, dear readers, suspect that I'm writing about the DSI as if the agency is an instrument of the Shinawatra political machine, then you might be on to something. After all, in this political struggle, both sides are using agencies to further their ends.

    Moving on, we have hundreds of UDD members protesting against the Constitution Court. They condemn the court for being an undemocratic instrument of the old establishment and are demanding that all of its nine judges be removed. This is the court that banned both Thai Rak Thai and the People Power Party.

    On Monday, we had Ms Yingluck's speech at the aptly named Community of Democracy conference in Mongolia, a speech that specifically targeted the military coup, as well as other undemocratic methods and agencies that victimise democracy.

    She condemned the wrongs that have been done to her brother Thaksin, the democratically elected prime minister who was unjustly deposed. She said selflessly that if it were only her family who was suffering from the injustice, perhaps she could abide by it. But it's the people and democracy that truly suffer, and hence she must make the appeal for justice to the international Community for Democracy.

    Personally, I think this is good stuff. The plot, the catchwords and the emotional appeal all ring true, even if it's the truth from only one side of the coin.

    But that's the tried and true art of persuasion, to present only one side of the coin, with the word "truth" capitalised and bolded in red. The other side of the coin, of course, belongs to the Democrats, with their "truth" capitalised and bolded in blue.

    Then there was another Skype meeting between Thaksin and Pheu Thai politicians on Tuesday.

    According to a source quoted in the Bangkok Post, Thaksin said: "I want to come home. Tell the Democrat Party not to worry. If I come back, I don't want anything, I won't ask for any positions. [I would] let Prime Minister Yingluck continue to run the country."

    In this Skype meeting, Thaksin is also said to have thrown his support behind the reconciliation bill proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who himself admitted the bill is designed to bring Thaksin back home.

    So the military is in the clear and hopefully is another step closer to becoming a friend. The DSI does its bit for friends and foes. The prime minister does her job in the democracy roadshow, garnering international support. The UDD performs its duty in pressuring the Constitution Court and stirring public sentiment.

    Mr Chalerm pushes the bill that will lead to Thaksin's return. The man himself holds Skype meetings to make sure everyone does their job. Meanwhile, Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep are further isolated and pressured into accepting the bill.

    There you have it. Connect the dots and we can then pressure being brought to bear, the goal being the return and exoneration of Thaksin.

    The boss is impatient. He was never a patient man. This everyone knows. And when the boss makes demands, the employees must put in the effort. In other words, they must put on a show for the boss.

    But it's not likely to work right away, because everybody also knows that at this point in time the old establishment is still very much relevant and wields significant influence from behind the scenes _ however undemocratic this surely is, as Ms Yingluck might say in Mongolia.

    As well, Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep aren't likely to be intimidated. The Democrats still have a wide base of popular support, even if it's not a majority.

    If the measurement is 15 million Pheu Thai votes versus 11 million Democrat votes in the last general election, then the Democrats won't be pressured so easily.

    Furthermore, as long as the army chief is Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thaksin will not be able to return.

    But he'll retire next year and whoever is appointed next _ well, it depends on how well the Shinawatra political machine plays the game.

    So this is a show for the boss, and eventually the top advisers will calm him down and we can go back to newspaper headlines that are not about Thaksin _ for a while, until the next time the boss gets overly impatient.

    That's the political game being played, and if any good can come out of it, let it be prime minister Yingluck continuing to speak her heart and mind. But let her do so directly to the Thai people.

    The national leader should address her people honestly. If the international audience in attendance at the conference in Mongolia was able the hear truth and honesty from our prime minister, then we the Thai people also deserve at least that much.

  2. #2
    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    good stuff........I personally think it's to late for Thaksin. Even a lot of the poor Issan people that votes for his party don't want him back.
    But then again it's been quiet to long, guess the tourist industry needs another coup........

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    I really like this guy ..read all his stuff..he really helps clarify a lot of things for me..refreshing to hear someone just call it like it is..also someone who I feel cares about Thailand and can also be critical and objective

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    Senior Member kaptainrob's Avatar
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    How many Isaan Pheu Party voters knew what they were voting for? They were paid ~500 bt each, enough incentive to pile into pickups and head home from BKK to cast a vote! All of my extended family collected, even though they were happy with Abhisit.

    Another interesting article here > Thaksin meets Iraqi PM amid row on status - The Nation
    Cheers, Rob.

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    Senior Member soupdragon's Avatar
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    There are times when I think Thailand would benefit from a benevolent dictator (contradiction I know). Now how to find a suitable non corrupt candidate.

    She condemned the wrongs that have been done to her brother Thaksin, the democratically elected prime minister who was unjustly deposed.
    Complete rubbish. Thaksin was an ex-caretaker Prime Minister when the coup happened. He resigned as Prime Minister immediately after the farce election and was given a 6 month term as caretaker to hold new elections. He failed to do so instead he appointed himself Prime Minister again and was working feverishly to change the rules so he could continue to rule when the coup stopped him in his tracks.

    It will a dark day for Thailand if he returns and takes control again.

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    My Mrs family collected the 500 baht but still voted for the opponent 555
    They said at least they got something back from all that Thaksin had "stolen" from them

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    Senior Member kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupdragon View Post
    T~
    It will a dark day for Thailand if he returns and takes control again.
    But he's promised to let Yingluck 'stay' as PM .... lol
    Cheers, Rob.

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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainrob View Post
    How many Isaan Pheu Party voters knew what they were voting for? They were paid ~500 bt each, enough incentive to pile into pickups and head home from BKK to cast a vote! All of my extended family collected, even though they were happy with Abhisit.

    Another interesting article here > Thaksin meets Iraqi PM amid row on status - The Nation
    hmmmmmmm not much sense in this, so they were happy i.e. they knew what Abhisit was doing but they don't know about Pheu Thai? You think all people in Isaan are stupid?

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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geir View Post
    My Mrs family collected the 500 baht but still voted for the opponent 555
    They said at least they got something back from all that Thaksin had "stolen" from them
    55555555555 do they or have they ever paid tax? The horror on my Mrs face at the thought of paying tax

    What Thai government official and other cronies aren't milking the system? Thaksin was just better at it than the others 5555555555555

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Yearly land tax I guess and Chanote tax when they upgraded the land titles.....otherwise no income, no tax 555
    The problem for the farmers is that the government has monopoly on buying a lot of their products......so yes, indirect some way they are paying tax....

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geir View Post
    The problem for the farmers is that the government has monopoly on buying a lot of their products......so yes, indirect some way they are paying tax....
    Yeah but they are over paying the farmers as a vote buying mechanism.. Look at what this government has done to international Thai rice sales / exports.. Prices too high and now huge amounts being stored as they have to sell at a loss..

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    if you look at rubber, it's the other way around. They did subsidize the farmer to start producing, but now they put the price down to half............I'm sure the same thing is going to happen to palm oil soon.....

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Not sure, just know local farmers blame the government........that's always easy I guess.
    They were told to grow rubber as one of the leading rubber producers (don't remember what country) got a pest and are not able to deliver any more for years......(been to lazy to google it and really look into it).

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    Senior Member kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geespot View Post
    hmmmmmmm not much sense in this, so they were happy i.e. they knew what Abhisit was doing but they don't know about Pheu Thai? You think all people in Isaan are stupid?
    Not at all, G.

    The Abhisit Government was pretty well accepted in Isaan, the country had financial stability and general prosperity. You know quite well, the majority of young Isaan family members work in BKK and are far more in tune with politics than their elders. But when it came to voting, the 500 Bt bought a PP vote. Most voters had no idea what the aims of PP were.
    Cheers, Rob.

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    what has Thaksin done that was so bad for Thailand?
    i read a lot but can't figure it out
    he was corrupt? aren't they all, including or worse, US politicians

    that 30baht program is incredible in a country like Thailand

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    Senior Member kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Brother-in-law's spewing over current price after heavy investment in his Chumpon plantation based on highs of 2 years ago. There was expectation of another rise this year. A massive over-supply or stock-piling is responsible for lower demand and price stability.

    Rice is headed the same way, not this year, probably 2014/15. Central Thailand (in fact all) Rice Mills are chock-a-block full. Tarpaulin covered stockpiles are now filling carpark and truck movement areas. Most Mills are extending storage facilities.
    Cheers, Rob.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainrob View Post
    Brother-in-law's spewing over current price after heavy investment in his Chumpon plantation based on highs of 2 years ago. There was expectation of another rise this year. A massive over-supply or stock-piling is responsible for lower demand and price stability.
    Global commodity markets are off.. Cotton off 70%.. Loads of them all down..

    Economies are not healthy.. hence raw materials are not in demand as much.. simple..


    Rice is headed the same way, not this year, probably 2014/15. Central Thailand (in fact all) Rice Mills are chock-a-block full. Tarpaulin covered stockpiles are now filling carpark and truck movement areas. Most Mills are extending storage facilities.
    But this one is a bit different.. This is a direct result of the electioneering price promises.. So they over pay for it (and I read a lot of it ends up in the millers and wealthy dealer middlemen rather than the poor farmers) and have outpriced themselves in the export market.. Just another case of central price planning being a total failure.
    kaptainrob likes this.

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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainrob View Post
    Not at all, G.

    The Abhisit Government was pretty well accepted in Isaan, the country had financial stability and general prosperity. You know quite well, the majority of young Isaan family members work in BKK and are far more in tune with politics than their elders. But when it came to voting, the 500 Bt bought a PP vote. Most voters had no idea what the aims of PP were.
    Yes i can see your argument..............that's why Pheu Thai won the last 2 elections and were in power beforehand, only one of the elections was overturned but the powers that be couldn't take the risk of doing that again without a huge uprising. All political parties offer money for votes..............huge majority victories on the back of 500 per head hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    C'mon Gee, let's get with the program!

    Don't you know that most people in Isaan are too ignorant and uneducated to even be allowed a vote?

    It's just the young ones who flee to BKK to work, that have any idea about politics.

    Maybe the problem with the elections is that the Dem's are "kineaw" and only offer 300thb per vote.
    Last edited by Pablo; 6th May 2013 at 18:09.
    kaptainrob likes this.

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