Royalists flocking together

13 11 2009

Prawase Wasi, sometimes said to be a “liberal royalist,” has made an interesting statement that The Nation (14 November 2009: “Beware of the Thaksin-Hun Sen trap – Prawase”) reports.

Prawase, who has a considerable audience amongst Bangkok’s middle class and NGOs, “warned the government yesterday not to fall into a trap set by fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and Cambodian leader Hun Sen,” who he sees as being in a “temporary alliance for some purposes.”

Prawase warned “against fuelling feelings of patriotism among the people, which he said could lead to hatred against people in the neighbouring country and even a war between the two nations.” He sees this diplomatic spat as being essentially a matter of disagreements between politicians. He added that “ordinary citizens should not allow themselves to become victims of politicians, and politicians should not lead their people to war.”

That might all sound reasonable and in line with the “liberal royalist” position that politicians are not to be trusted are venile and cause problems.

But Prawase then seems to get a bit odd, saying “he suspected Hun Sen’s trump card would be to lead his country into a war with Thailand in order to deflect the public’s attention from his faults.” He also urges “Thais to view the Cambodians with kindness as Thailand is like an adult while Cambodia is a child. Thailand has more population, greater military might and economic power…”.

In the end, then, if reported correctly, while Prawase urges restraint, he sounds little different from the old-fashioned paternalistic “big Thai brother” lecturing the Cambodians. That mixes his message.

Meanwhile, PAD is set to rally, in the same places that the red shirts have recently held mass rallies. But, as noted previously, without the huge military presence and Internal Security Act. This is because PAD is pro-government, and its rally is claimed to be “an expression of loyalty to the Royal Family and to show its readiness to protect the country’s dignity.” The Nation’s headline, claims a “huge” police presence, but it is miniscule compared with the turnout for red shirt rallies and the newspaper is simply trying to convey evenhandedness by the government. But it is biased.

Update: Just to help out, the Office of the Attorney-General has suddenly decided to revive some cases against Thai Rak Thai politicians from the annulled 2006 election. No surpise in this as it is a regular pattern of post-2006 coup governments to attack the “Thaksin regime.” The Democrat Party and its powerful backers must be feeling pressured and need their judicial system backers back in the game.



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17 09 2011
No shame Abhisit | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] policy meant: letting Thailand’s racist nationalists off the leash; recalling diplomats; royalists speaking badly of Hun Sen; jingoistic militarism; illegal claims to “ownership” of Preah Vihear by […]

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