08 December, 2008

Thaksin - " the country faces "a nightmare" unless it respects democracy and the rule of law."

Thaksin uses blog to demand rule of Law

Thailand's former premier Thaksin Shinawatra has intervened via a blog to warn that the country faces "a nightmare" unless it respects democracy and the rule of law.

In a wide-ranging and carefully timed intervention he said that public officials were failing in their duty of carry out the orders of the democratically elected government.

The decision to take to the internet to intervene in Thai politics reveals how Thaksin no longer believes the Thai media would accurately represent his point of view.

It also underlines the importance of messaging to core supporters during a period of extreme uncertainty in the high stakes Thai political crisis.

Speaking to the Thomas Crampton blog he said the army must also obey the government orders as ministers seek to re-open Bangkok's besieged airports.

“They are officials whose salary is paid by taxpayer money, so they have to do what is wanted by the whole of the Thai people, not just for minority groups," he said.

"They must respect Democracy. They must play by the rules. Being neutral means you have to observe the law.”

Thaksin is currently exiled from the country he once governed as a result of a series of criminal convictions against both he and his wife.

He also demanded that the People's Alliance for Democracy leave the airports and allow international air traffic back into the Thai capital.

“The airports must be reopened and the protesters must respect not only the law, but the citizens of Thailand,” Thaksin said. “If no one respects the law, then law enforcement must be done.”

“This is dangerous for the country and there will be a long term effect if the Thai people are not united. The protesters need to leave the airports. Those who violate the law must be prosecuted."

The former premier also warned that the country could descend into civil war in the military attempted to stage another coup.

“If a coup were to happen, there would be bloodshed, this would not be an easy coup like in the past.

"The people in Thailand now face hardship since dictatorship came.”

Thaksin's online intervention led to a rapid exchange of views at the online blog.

Over 300 respondents posted comments, forcing Crampton to close the initial thread on the discussion forum.

The intervention also sparked angry exchages, with some respondents accusing Crampton of being paid by Thaksin for the platform to air his views.

Crampton denied that he had been paid, and also rejected claims he had paid Thaksin for the interview.

In a Twitter Update Crampton admitted that the interview was controversial.

"My Thaksin interview now has 314 comments in my blog and 191 on my YouTube channel. People are passionate about the man," he said.

- PublicAffairsAsia.com



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