Bloomberg: “Welcome to the Republic of Thaksin”

Thailand’s Big Brother Drama – Bloomberg, November 8, 2013
[The government really has lost control of their message. We don’t think we have ever seen such a harsh article about Thaksin in the international press…]
…But Thaksin raised the strategy to an art form, essentially making an entire nation about him. His tenure from February 2001 to September 2006 saw nothing less than the wholesale bastardization of Thai democracy. He neutered its institutions and enriched his family members and cronies in ways that would have made a Russian oligarch blush.
…The bill might have gotten further if it had also applied to people charged with lese-majeste, which mandates prison sentences as long as 15 years for defaming or insulting the king, queen, heir apparent or regent. Instead the bill would have allowed Yingluck’s brother, army officers and former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who faces murder charges for authorizing soldiers to use weapons during unrest in 2010, to walk free — not average Thais. It left the pro-Thaksin Red Shirts and opponents known as the Yellow Shirts wondering who, or what, they had been fighting for.
It’s time that the Republic of Thaksin became less about one man and more about the aspirations and needs of Thais.

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