Monday, May 4, 2009

Wall Street Journal on the Sondhi Lim Drama

Wall Street Journal:

If Mr. Sondhi's claim that the army was behind the assassination attempt is true, political analysts say, it could show that reform-minded Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva isn't fully in control of Thailand. It might also show that some influential members of the armed forces could be jockeying for a greater say in how the nation is governed.

Mr. Sondhi commands a large audience through his television and newspaper network and has largely been supportive of Thailand's armed forces and the coup they staged in 2006. He said at the time it was necessary to uproot Mr. Thaksin's lingering influence in Thai society. Mr. Thaksin now is moving from country to country in the Middle East and Africa to evade extradition and imprisonment on a corruption conviction.

"What we may be seeing now is a realignment of alliances," says Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University. "Some very powerful people supported Mr. Sondhi in the past, but now with Mr. Thaksin out of the picture he may have outlived his usefulness."

On Sunday, Mr. Sondhi said that Mr. Thaksin's supporters, or the "red-shirts," as they are known, and his own yellow-clad allies in the People's Alliance for Democracy are both pushing for political change in Thailand.

Mr. Sondhi and the PAD are demanding greater accountability and the end of corruption and money-based politics, while the red shirts seek fresh parliamentary elections and want the army and Thailand's courts to stop interfering in the country's democracy. Last month, some of Mr. Thaksin's followers rioted in Bangkok and forced the cancellation of a major international summit at a nearby seaside resort, badly embarrassing the government.

"The yellows and the reds are seeking something very similar, which is change. The only difference is that once we have achieved that change is how to go about creating a new politics," or a more effective way to run the country, Mr. Sondhi said Sunday. He also said not everybody is on board with his program for a corruption-free "new politics," though he declined to specify names.

Thinitan gets the quote of the week award. Sondhi Lim's 180 on his attitude towards the Reds is intriguing as well. They have been transformed from paid lackeys of Thaksin to a legitimate social movement.


David Higgs said...

A Swedish woman was shot last night in Bangkok popular tourist street Khao San Road. She is in stable condition and staying in a Hospital in Central Bangkok. The shooting killed 3 people in total two Thai men and one Thai woman. The former husband who was angry the wife left him for another man went to Khao San Road to make her come back. The fight escalated into a gun shooting and the Swedish woman was hit.
According to the authorities the woman was in no way related to the shooting, it was a case of being ‘at the wrong place at the wrong time’.

Anonymous said...


waiting with great anticipation your take on latest Tulsie's classic :

he almost made me believe that he is not Yellow himself:

"As for us Thais, there is not much we can do except to wait for all the "colours" to show their true colours, so to speak. That is a job we are being taxed for."

and BTW - do you know who the f is Andrew Sheng by chance and what he is talking about ?

Anonymous said...

another Tulsie's article :

"Today, if someone pays more attention to how the country's "stars" are doing, we can't blame them."

does he mean ... Thanong ? :)