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Thailand coup: bye bye Thaksin

It appears that there’s been a (so-far) bloodless coup against the Prime Minister of Thailand. (Bangkok-based independent news site.) While it’s a shame that it’s happened, it’s an over-reaction to mourn the death of democracy in Thailand.

Thailand was never really democratic. When I lived there (1996 -2000), elections were rigged; bribery and intimidation commonplace. “Influential figures” (whose names everyone knew) were totally above the law, controlling the drugs trade, illegal teak logging and trade with Burma. The millitary controlled the state-run TV, censorship was common and government corruption and patronage not just ignored, but regarded as legitimate behaviour.

It is also no loss to Thailand that Thaksin Shinawatra has been removed as Prime Minister. He approved a campaign of extra-judicial murder of 2,500 alleged drug dealers. His stupidly crass comments when 78 Southern Thai muslims died in police custody of asphyixiation (“they were weakened because of Ramadam fasting”) fuelled disquiet in the muslim southern states. He attempted to intimidate the press, expelling journalists from The Economist, and earned the rebuke of the much-revered King for elevating himself too high. He was becoming more and more authoritarian, and dangerous.

It is to be hoped that democracy will be restored (instituted?) soon. But I can’t help feeling that it’s good that Thaksin has gone.

Any Thais or Thai-residents around to comment?

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12 Responses to “ Thailand coup: bye bye Thaksin ”

Comment by John D

From what I read, the King at least did not condemn it.

Interesting too they waited until Thaksin was out of country to do it, and interesting still that despite the problems Thaksin exacerbated in that country, the people didn’t protest like they did until he sold his electronics company to non-Thai investors.

Still, this has a pretty big negative for folks who care about SE Asia; Thailand (pre-coup) was about the only nation that could put pressure on Burma/Myanmar to implement human rights reforms. Now that the head of state in Thailand is also an Army General, it remains to be seen whether or not military courtesy will interfere with that important role.

Comment by Shez

It’s a shame the due processes of law couldn’t have prevailed and removed him instead of a military coup, no matter how ‘nice’ it was. Now the military say they’ll reinstitute a democratic government in a year’s time. Didn’t Musharraf say something very similar in Pakistan…?

Comment by Dr CKK

For myself, a person who’s been to Thailand before and after Thaksin dynasty. I personally feel he’s developed the country a lot. The military has never been able to keep their promises.

Comment by Poppy

I so wondering that the writer though so negative about Taksin. OK I agree there were some people die during he kicked the drug trader but if you know the number of people die from drug and understand how the social folk was. You will change your mind.

Thai’s democacy is so free, everyone can speak and comment. All media such as newspaper, radio was so free to criticize but never response which news is right or wrong. Some people can not filter bad news but they already trust it.

Have a good luck my country


Comment by chiangraiplus

I am Thaiman
45 years old
I am very poor in English

I don’t know good or bad about TAKSIN
but if I slow think about his action for Thai people I feel I am very happy about that

I can see many poor people in our country can smile …because of his action

I are not Thai ..your lifestlye… your way of thinking always different . when you say …oh no good…that may be only you can feel like that . You never see something from ourheart You never understand our feeling… In our life we also want to have something like you …Thai people allway waiting this kind of thing. When TANSIN come …only him can give us…..that why we love him we don’t want to know right or wrong…we don’t want to know good or bad..but when we see our son …he can go to the hospital …when he sick…and at that time we no need to go to borrow somemoney from another people….. we feel very happy and we want to say very thank you to TAKSIN…..this is Thaistlye

And the last I want to say very sorry aout my English
Thank you

Comment by chiangraiplus

7 Comment by chiangraiplus

I are not Thai ..your lifestlye…

^^^^ I am sorry I make mistake
I mean…. You are not Thai…your lifestlye…

Comment by KhonThai

Yesterday sure, i can say that i love someone very much. U will konw who i love. I love the guy that make i think do everything for Thai people. I don’t love hime, coz his position. I love, coz I think that he do the right thing.

But now, I change my mind. Today, i don’t think like that again. Yes, I love Thaksin, just only 6 years everything can change. I can see the future of Thai people and my land. When the politic case occured (Thaksin case), I tried to think that someone will help him coz, to save him, it also save Thai future. But nothing at all, on the other hand, anyone near him still fighted and fight to Thaksin all day all time (24×7). Then hm hm… the coup took our country. Ok i get it, who is behind …. Sorry Thailand, Sorry myself …. sorry… 🙁 🙁 . Yes fact is fact. Fake is not fact and it can not be a fact at all. Some fact take a long time to proof it and some fake also take a long time to know is a fake. (Fake is not fact at all).

Comment by one of Thais

I understand how much Thaksin has done to Thailand.
He tried to develop Thailand, make it a developed country by selling the electric company that ought to belong to government, to the majority of Thais, not the minority of rich people.

The way he helped the country is only a short term process by giving the money to the poor people saying this will help them stabilize their economic. However, only money from the tax every Thais need to pay cannot help those poor to have a better life in a long term. It’s the education that they really need.
A lot of poor people support him cus he gave them the money, does it sound good to you when someone offering you the money without any conditions to follow or energy for you to put in?

I don’t want to say anything more, cus it’s so much details to talk about this. I’m not gullable just to listen to anyone and belive it, and i don’t want you to believe me too. One thing we as a Thai should do is to really think about the cause and the reason why these things happen. No one, except your freinds and family, would offer you free gifts without any expectancy.

Anyway, the other politicians did not do a good job on governing the country as well. I’m not in the place to support anyone here, but i have to admit that i feel releive that Thaksin was finally got rid of.

Comment by Robert

I feel great shame that taksin ws corrupt, but then again what leader is not ?

I do believe it’s a case of better the devi you know in this case.

Thailand would have been better without a coup, it really made Thailand look like a low country in the world.

The airport protest was another ow point for Thailand, it made Thailand look stupid to westerners looking at it.

I’m from England and all I can say is I hope Thailand can prosper now and try and put corruption behind them. The best thing Thai people can do is work tgether farmers,bankers,doctors poor people should all work together to modernise Thailand it’s the only way. No more bowing and being fake, look the man in the eye and tell the truth.

Comment by Robert

PS: I’m from london and i’ve been to Thailand a few times.

These are the things that make Thailand great

1.Friendly People
2.Disciplined Children
3.Low Crime Rate, Did’nt Feel Nervous
4.Great Food
5.Great Woman

Not So good

1. King on TV all the time
2. King on TV all the time
3. Lack of interesting TV
4. No Thai Sports on TV
5. National Anthem on TV all the Time, made me feel like I was in the Victorian times.

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