A Long, Hot Winter

Bangkok Reporting

This post is the latest in a series from our Bangkok correspondent, H. Numan (who is also our Dutch correspondent).

We’re in for a hot winter.

What’s happening? Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted PM is still hiding in Dubai. He wants full restoration of his honor and — of course — all his money back.

He ensured that his younger sister (nicknamed “Madame Gucci”) became the current PM. She is to ensure a full pardon for everybody involved in political crimes. Red, yellow or whatever kind of color.

The problem of this “national reconciliation” is that in real life only the red shirts go free. Everybody else will have to face charges anyway. This sits not very well with the general population, to say the least.

The amnesty bill was shot down by the senate last Monday. Quite unique: it was a unanimous vote! 170 against 0. Popular pressure does work. But… there is a catch. The bill is rejected, yes. But that means it’s sent back to the government. Which, if it so chooses, can resubmit the bill in +180 days. For example, on a very quiet day with only Pheu Thai (Thaksin’s party) being present.

The opposition both in parliament and on the streets are not that stupid, and demand solid promises this won’t happen. They also have announced they want to push for new elections and a resignation of the government.

I don’t thinks will come to a boil this year: it is very impolite to protest around the king’s birthday (5 December). Then we have the holidays. Not because it’s Christmas; Thailand is a Buddhist country. Rather because it’s New Year, and most people have a day off then.

After that, everything is wide open.

This was Bangkok reporting,
H. Numan.

One thought on “A Long, Hot Winter

  1. I lived in Thailand for two years in 1990-92. It’s sad to see that friendly, polite country in political trouble. I recall the news pictures of HM scolding Chamlong and Suchinda like a couple of naughty schoolboys in the wake of troubles back then, but HM is now over eighty, and heading the way of all flesh. I pray Thailand lands on its feet either before or after he goes.

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