Royalists see Thaksin as a problem

6 09 2009

Also available as สำหรับพวกคลั่งเจ้า ทักษิณคือตัวหายนะ

Yes, we know, a dog bites man headline. In fact, though, The Nation (6 September 2009: “Broad reforms needed now”) reports a story that has some interest for PPT as the gathering of royalists is usually an indication of political maneuverings underway.

The Nation story claims that “academics” and others got together to “call for removal of root causes of problem haunting the country” and to reassert that Thaksin Shinawatra is “funding unrest.” As usual, when royalist “academics” get together, Chulalongkorn University is the venue.

The story notes that “comprehensive reform” is required. These people have come together to try to shape some of the ideas about reform and to control the agenda. This has been seen in previous rounds of political reform, when the elite tries to maintain its control.

These royalist and PAD-associated academics and other discussants apparently agreed that, “as long as Thaksin continued his political activities, the country would not achieve reconciliation and undertaking political reforms would be problematic.”

Amorn Chantarasomboon added a twist when he said that “there was no guarantee the country would achieve political stability even if Thaksin withdrew from politics.”   Declaring the political system “a dictatorship by capitalists,” Amorn said he wanted simultaneous “administrative, legal, and justice reforms…”.

Amorn, like many royalists, stated that “political reform should be undertaken by politicians, because they had a conflict of interest…”. His suggestions are for committees that would oversee reform – now who might get those positions? And who might nominate or appoint them?

The report then mentions one of the most important royalist commentators: retired police general Vasit Dejkunjorn. On Vasit see here. In 2006, Vasit’s In His Majesty’s Footsteps. A Personal Memoir, was published in Bangkok. It expressed his great love for the king and royal family.

Vasit added to the “academic” discussion, saying that “he had been told by unconfirmed but reliable sources that Thaksin had sent a huge amount of laundered money through other people’s bank accounts to fund political activities and create political disturbances in the country.” He believed that the red shirts were being “used” by Thaksin and that “Education is the best medicine [to solve this],” adding that “Our country will not come to this point if people understand the politicians’ true colour.”

The links to earlier PAD thinking can be seen in this, but the tone is classic royalist: politicians screw things up and they can’t be trusted, so “education” about the true nature of things will sort this out. The real story is invariably focused 0n the true “good people” in the palace.

And, just to confirm his perspective, Vasit doesn’t see elections as solving anything: “… dissolving the Parliament was not a solution to national problems because a general election did not guarantee that the country would get ‘a new breed of MPs or Senators who put the country’s interests above their own.” This line was strong in 1992-97 as well.

Another discussant and royalist who supported PAD, General Saiyud Kerdphol, “urged Thaksin’s family to stop him instigating political unrest and to face the justice system.”

Saiyud said that red shirts threatening to stage a mass rally might see the government unable to control it and a military coup might result – the fear argument again.

These positions are “classic” royalist positions by senior spokesmen for elite interests. That they have come together and attacked Thaksin and his family, as well as elections and politicians, suggests that there is a great concern amongst the royalists about their continuing political control and are fearful of broader debates.


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7 09 2009
สำหรับพวกคลั่งเจ้า ทักษิณคือตัวหายนะ « Liberal Thai

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8 09 2009
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10 09 2009
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[…] most read posts. He has also recently been working for the Democrat Party-led government and has long been a Thaksin […]

22 12 2011
Royalist racist Vasit at it again « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Prachatai has a revealing article that confirms the old royalist police general Vasit Dejkunjorn remains a right-wing racist. In the past, Vasit has opposed Thaksin Shinawatra, opposed elections, […]