Thursday, March 4, 2010

Political Waters

When Tim and I were shopping at Othaga market, I saw a woman selling this bottle of water. The label is for the UDD, i.e, the red shirted supporters of Thaksin. I just thought the idea of political waters too tempting to pass on. After we bought it, the woman was asking us in Thai if we liked the red shirts. I just smiled.

The red shirts are planning a large rally across the country that will culminate in a massive (they hope) protest in Bangkok from March 12th through the 14th. There was an article in today's Bangkok Post talking about how the military is concerned with security around the rally.

The stakes are certainly high. While the Thai Supreme Court did not order the seizure of all of Thaksin's assets, his legal troubles are not over. The verdict has opened the door to a whole new slew of civil and criminal charged, and current Prime Minister Abhisit intends to take full advantage of them. He has stated that this is not politically or personally motivated, but is instead about justice. Um, okay, sure. I believe him; and the son of the Nigerian oil executive who is going to share a billion dollars with me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not pro or anti Thaksin. Its possible that he deserves everything he is getting. This government, and the Thai people in general, are obsessed with him. Perhaps they should be. If he were somehow to return to power I think life could be very, very unpleasant for some people.

Nor are the implications limited to Thaksin. The court ruling could impact the mobile phone carriers revenue sharing with the government. Not only could it affect AIS, the company that Thaksin formerly owned, but other providers as well.

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