Rather than being in the grip of terrorism, at the moment it feels like we are in the grip of confusionism. I’m certainly confused. The Council for National Security (CNS) has created a whirlwind of publicity for the deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The CNS is terrified of Thaksin and they have so little faith in their own abilities to use their power-base to discredit the former-PM’s actions. That’s what is worrying: that the people in charge of Thailand have no faith in themselves.
Thaksin’s actions and words are not without their own misgivings, so it would not be too hard for the CNS to just let Thaksin do what he does and use that against him, rather than pushing him into this victimised position where cube-head is winning more and more support. The corruption that formed the basis of the CNS’s justification for the coup never materialised into an actual court case. The CNS has failed to prove once and for all that Thaksin is the villain that he has been made out to be. This is not to say that he is not a villain, but when you stage a military coup and implicate someone as responsible for terrorist attacks, you should be able to back up what you say.
Thaksin’s government was very good at putting the squeeze on the media. The CNS, while apparently being all for press freedom, is playing into Thaksin’s hands by confusing people. Nobody has been arrested for the New Year’s Eve bombings, but so far Prime Minister Surayud has accused “Those who lost power” and then retracted his own accusation.
The best piece of news I’ve read for awhile came from the Bangkok Post this week:
Assistant national police chief Pol Lt-Gen Jongrak Chuthanont claimed to know perpetrators behind Bangkok bombings that took place on New Year's Eve. "We know the bombers," said Pol Lt-Gen Jongrak Tuesday, after chairing a police meeting on the deadly blasts. "They belong to the group that people suspected" – apparently meaning members of the former Thaksin regime. Pol Lt-Gen Jongrak said, however, that police have not arrested anyone yet because they still lacked evidence, especially eye witnesses, to ask the court to issue arrest warrants.
"We need more evidence," he said.
"Probing officers have tried their best," said Pol Lt-Gen Jongrak. "But it's not easy to find evidence to convict wrongdoers."
I’ve never heard anything quite like this before. It’s not easy to find evidence? Well, at least the police “know” who did it and they are trying their best, bless them. The CNS should start making a point to censor stupid comments made to the press.
Another piece of news that came in today was that Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont may be investigated for a suspicious asset-movement. From The Nation:
The National Counter Corruption Commission will Thursday rule whether to open a graft investigation into the possession of a vacation home by Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont. Thursday's ruling will be based on four factors – unusual increase in wealth, suspicious asset accumulation, sudden drop in assets and suspected illgotten gains while holding office, he said.
The plot thickens.