One of the striking elements of recent political conflicts has been the deep and highly personalized nature of the opposition to Thaksin Shinawatra. Indeed, many of those close to the palace, in the military junta and in the leadership of the various anti-democrat movements have expressed a deep personal hatred of the man.
While this hatred is not the only element in anti-Thaksin politics, it has seen several former “leftists” align with and become supporters of the military, monarchy and other rightists.
Royalists have been particularly keen to remove any royal “honors” that still adhere to Thaksin, considering these a personal affront to their world of status, hierarchy and royal stamps of approval.
In this connection, the Bangkok Post reports that the saga of removing Thaksin’s police rank and royal decorations continues. Driven by The Dictator’s personal hatred of Thaksin – he cannot bring himself to mention Thaksin’s name – General Prayuth Chan-ocha has “signed the order stripping fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra of his police rank,” which now goes to the king for ratification.
This particular move, long hoped for by anti-Thaksin activists, is said to have been prompted by Thaksin’s comments accusing “privy counsellors of playing behind-the-scene roles in street rallies that led to last year’s coup.” The report states that the “revocation of Thaksin’s royal decorations [is] likely the next target of his detractors.”
Prayuth indicated that this revocation was a punishment, spitting: “This person has not stopped and (the public) cannot escape his presence. Everybody gets excited every time this person makes a move…”. Lying, Prayuth stated: “I’m not fighting anybody…”. More truthfully he added: “he will be arrested (if he comes back)…”.
Thaksin recently “told a red-shirt meeting in Finland … that he couldn’t’ care less about his police rank…”. Yet he knows that these moves are driven by royalist hatred for a man they see as a traitor who tried to upset the hierarchical order.
While they are very different figures, this hatred for Thaksin and the desire to “unThai-ify” him reflects a similar treatment of Pridi Phanomyong in the past. The royals, including the princes ousted in 1932, hated Pridi and could never forgive him for upsetting the hierarchical order.