Monday, May 24, 2010

After May 2010 Bloodbath, Thai Government Must Dare To Launch a Massive Purge

In the morning of 19 May, several people were surprised to see the soldiers brought out military tanks to destroy the bunker lines, which were erected by the red-shirted mob, in Lumphini, Sala Daeng, Bon Kai areas as well as in other areas.
The ball was in the government's court. It held the upper hand and probably enraged Thaksin Shinawatra even further. No wonder this would trigger another vengeful retaliation from Thaksin.
Game Plan After Incident
However, the government must think hard in proceeding with its game plan after this incident. The government could no longer allow the red-shirted group to call up a protest rally and torch the city every year. In 2009, there were riot in April and this year there is again a riot. If the government fails to deal with this problem definitively, the arson that takes place annually might instead take place every three months.
This issue is Prime Minister Aphisit Vejjajiva's homework. He should continue to reflect on this. However, if he wants only to last his term in office, he could just let the problem end there with the mob dispersal. This is what Aphisit must reflect on carefully. The Democrat Party does not lack the opportunity for election victory. The only hurdle is the north and northeastern voters' undiminished faith in Thaksin. The north and the northeastern zones are the key vote base for election victory. Aphisit must try to find out why the voters in these two zones continue to support Thaksin. Why people refuse to forget Thaksin.
The government holds power in its hands and was able to declare the emergency decree, but failed to exercise its power to the full. This is no good for the country.
Losses and Damage
When the red-shirted mob was dispersed and everyone returned home, the red-shirted leaders were incarcerated pursuant to the prescriptions in the emergency decree. After seven days, the situation has returned to normal. The red-shirted members only wait for a signal from their leaders before coming out in another rally to wreck havoc again. They will later think of how to end the rally when the time comes. If this is the case, Thailand will always suffer losses and damage in a never-ending vicious circle.
Therefore, what the government must do is to solve the problem at the root cause, not at the end as usual. The incidents that took place repeatedly should serve as expensive lessons for the government.
The evidence that shows the wrongdoings of the red-shirted leaders are clear to see -- like Natthawut Saikuea, who delivered speeches to incite the mob to torch the city; Aritsaman Phong-rueang-rong, who announced that the red-shirted mob's opponents should be caught and their blood drawn to wash the red-shirted mob's feet; and particularly Chatuphon Phromphan, Phuea Thai Party list house representative, and apparently the only red-shirted leader who hardly respects the law because he enjoys the immunity as a house representative. Chatuphon previously moved to remove Foreign Minister Kasit Phirom. He accused Kasit of having been one of the People's Alliance for Democracy's leaders. He claimed that Kasit made inappropriate statements to the foreign media and, therefore, was not suitable to be the foreign minister. However, what Chatuphon is doing today is tantamount to swallowing his own words because Kasit, unlike Chatuphon, never led people to torch the country.
Opportunity To Correct Mistake and Misjudgment
The wrongdoings by these red-shirted leaders should serve as clear evidence for the government and relevant agencies to press charges and fully proceed in due process of the law.
This incident is providing the government with another opportunity to correct its mistake and misjudgment as to what it should do to cope with the situation -- will it allow these people to destroy the country or will it teach these thugs a lesson that will make them respect the law?
If the government continues to fear, as usual, the opposition from the common people, the entire country will have no choice but to bear with it and can only count the day when that the red-shirted group will come out the torch down the entire country.
Tough Time Ahead
Thailand should have seen peace had the two-year sentence against Thaksin Shinawatra been carried out। However, the government has been negligent on carrying out the prosecution. If it continues to allow Thaksin to be at large and fails to catch him -- the criminal who fled from justice, the international criminal -- the government can only expect to solve the problem that he will cause. The government will only go around in circles in its works and will soon meet a dead-end. It will find no way out of the problems because this convict will become more vehement and violent in his action with the clear target to destroy his own native country.

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