Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Messing with the Cops

Don't get the wrong idea, I'm not messing with the Thai cops. A few years back there were about twenty-five hundred alleged drug dealers gunned down by the police. It was reported that they had all fired on police. Yeah, okay.

This past week Prime Minister Samak transferred the police chief, effectively stripping him of all power. The purported reason was allegations of corruptions againt Police General Sereepisut Taemeeyaves. Quite possibly it could have something to do with the fact that Sereepisut was appointed by the coup leaders, and Samak is cleaning house where he can. The Prime Minister's ability to effect transfers in the militar is limited, so the police department is a place that he can weild some influence.

The article in today's Bangkok post revealed that perhaps Sereepisut will not go quietly into the night. He called the transfer irrational, and warned that he was capable of revenge. When asked about Samak, Sereepisut replied "I am healthy and will keep myself fit for tomorrow so that I too can attack others. I have a lot of supporters, if I whistle they will come out."

In addition to the corruption charges, Sereepisut was also critisized for yelling at a subordinate in public. His response certainly showed spirit, "Who the hell should bother to be concerned?"

Thai politics are just at such a differnt level than in the U.S. It is so easy for Americans to take our democracy for granted. We are incredibly lucky.

I can't imagine such a public challenge in American politics. Can you imagine the head of the FBI challenging the President of the U.S. in such a manner? It just wouldn't happen.


e said...

You mentioned that the police general said he may be capable of revenge. Can he get in trouble for such a threat. I would think here in the US if you made such a threat you would have a world of headaches.

Brian V. (aka Spurlock) said...

I don't think that he will get into any more trouble. My guess is that he'll simply lose power and that will be the end of it.

Its funny, but there are a lot of Thai politicians and candidates who have been convicted of crimes. Usually it involves some kind of financial misdeeds, like corruption or securities rules (i.e. stocks) violations.