Aung San Suu Kyi on Thaksin’s payroll

26 04 2010

When confronted with any statement they find objectionable, yellow shirted intellectuals and associated media have regularly accused the international media and commentators of being in the pay of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. This has included conservative magazines like The Economist.A few days ago PPT posted an account of comments by Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi about the failures of democracy when the military writes constitutions. At the time, we said: “Suu Kyi’s comments will send some yellow shirts into a low orbit.”

It seems were were right. In this article in The Irrawaddy, while there is a clarification of Suu Kyi’s comments – not that they change the thrust -some of the reaction is reported. The report cites Matichon and acting Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn as “saying that Suu Kyi could not be uninformed about Thailand’s political situation.” The ignorant Panitan suggests that Suu Kyi is challenged in various ways and claims that: “Some countries might not get enough information because of the language or because the methods of communication are systematically blocked. Thus, the news may not be complete.” Perhaps he means Thailand?

Thais said to be “intellectuals who sympathize with Burma’s pro-democracy movement” also challenged Suu Kyi’s comments. One doubted she even made these comments and pointed out that Thailand and Burma are different:  “Politics and the military in Thailand are very different from those in Burma. It is surprising to learn that Suu Kyi compared the Burmese junta’s Constitution to Thailand’s…. Both were written under the military, however, under far different political contexts. We shouldn’t have a stereotypical image of the so-called ‘military’…”. PPT assumes that Thailand’s military are to be seen, not as thugs, but as well-meaning armed men who disregard elections and make coups in the name of minority interests.

Some felt that her comments would damage relations with Thailand’s Democrat Party that “has supported the democracy movement in Burma during the past two decades…”, although the current government hardly seems to fit that history.

Perhaps the “best” response was from a yellow-hued appointed Thai senator who is cited in a very Thaksin-like response to Suu Kyi’s  comments.  Senator Prasong Nuluck says: “I feel very disappointed. Aung San Suu Kyi should understand Thailand better than this…”. He actually “called for an investigation into Suu Kyi’s financial assets to determine if she received ‘any money from any person,’ presumably a reference to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra. The senator said Suu Kyi’s comments would cause damage to Thailand’s image in the international community.” And his will do wonders to take it even further down.

We say this is “Thaksin-like” because Thaksin was often over-zealous in contradicting opponents and wanting them investigated in some way, including their assets.