From the Finland Declaration to the Nepal Strategy - Regime change through constitutional amendment and ballot - translated and summarized from Phujatkan, Author: Chiewchawana, April 29,
Below, I have described the background history of Thaksin Shinawatra’s rise to power.
Thaksin Shinawatra did not begin his business career in the usual manner. His financial success in business owed more to his manipulation of influential contacts, rather than to his managerial acumen alone. Our (now) former Prime Minister struggled hard in his early career, in his efforts to take his telecommunications business to the country as a whole. Thaksin was ably assisted in this process by both his father and his politician cousin. Thaksin was eventually able to obtain a license, from the Thai state, to engage in the telecommunications industry at the national level. The success of that business eventually brought him great wealth. Thaksin went on to enter politics, and he established his Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) in 1998 - on the same day on which the French monarchy had been deposed, 209 years earlier. Thaksin was to spend a great deal of his own money building an effective campaign team for TRT. Many members of his ‘team’ were former members of the (Maoist) Communist Party of Thailand. The Thaksin ‘team’ also contained individuals who had previously supported the ‘October 14’ democratic reform movement. The formation of TRT was a great success, as certain groups of conservatives - in the TRT camp - appeared willing to eschew their former political philosophy for the benefits of Thaksin’s money. Thus Thai society was able to witness a growing political rift between the political aspirations of its disenchanted former Maoists and its old guard of bureaucrats - who continued to doggedly serve the notion of an ‘absolute monarchy’. These two political poles are now locked in mortal combat, with the former committed to serving the needs of modern-day capitalism, and the latter committed to preventing the rise of TRT’s capitalist supporters to the main seat of power.
Once TRT had succeeded in winning its first general election, Thaksin stepped up to lead the country in a thoroughly authoritarian and capitalist manner. He began to abuse his new-found power by paying little regard to the letter of the law. Indeed, it is because of Thaksin authoritarian parliamentary manner, and his promotion of single-minded notions of capitalism, that I now wish to express my defiance of his rule. It is obvious to me that our nation’s system of democracy, under a constitutional monarchy, faces grave risks from Thaksin’s continual craving for power. Thaksin is now able to largely dictate the course of Thai politics, in addition to being able to control the fate of those politicians who either favor or oppose him. During Thaksin’s tenure in government, a great deal of corruption is alleged to have taken place. It is also noteworthy that, after Thaksin’s initial rise to power, many websites sprang up to portray our monarchy in a negative light. The Thai Royalty commands the highest respect of the vast majority of Thais, but those wrongdoers who seek to discredit HM the King - many of whom receive Thaksin’s tacit support - have yet to receive the ultimate penalty [of lese majesté prosecution] for their crimes.
The Thaksin governments abused many of the powers they were granted through the ballot box. Not only did the Thaksin administration initiate a policy that promoted the extra-judicial killing of drug-dealers, but it also used those same powers to victimize and silence its critics in non-governmental organizations.
The September 19 coup in 2006 took place under the leadership of the Council for National Security (CNS). That coup was an attempt to oppose Thaksin’s attempt to rise to absolute power over all aspects of Thai society.
From the September 19 Coup in 2006, through the CNS Government (2006-2007), up until the present day - In the aftermath of the 2006 coup, the CNS set up an interim government under the Prime Ministership of Gen. Surayud Chulanont. This government remained in power until December 2007. PM Surayud’s administration tried to pursue policies that promoted greater political peace and harmony in Thai society, but it proved to be incapable of ridding the country of Thaksin’s ‘absolutist’ undercurrents. The pro-Thaksin (AKA ‘old power’) group has now returned to run this country. I believe that this return places our constitutional monarchy in great jeopardy. It should be noted that many websites are once again openly engaged in denouncing the institutions of our monarchy - including the President of the Privy Council. This difference is that, this time around, these anti-monarchy groups are even more aggressive in their condemnations of our august institutions.
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