Thursday, December 4, 2008
Thaksin breaks Thai leaders' code of conduct
Someone sent me this very interesting political observation:
Lesson of Thai leaders' code of conduct
The problem now with Thailand is that Thaksin Shinawatra does not concede. This is not Thai-like as judged by the political history.
In the past, all Thai leaders who lost power or the game of power play agreed to live in exile or stayed in Thailand in seclusion for the sake of the whole country rather than fighting till their supporters and their opponents died.
Modern Thai political history is spared the bloodshed compared with other nations.
King Rama VII faced a military coup in 1932 that brought down Absolute Monarchy, which had been around in Thailand for more than 700 years. The King conceded his power because he did not want Thais to kill each other.
When the King realised that he could not be part of managing the country in transition for the interest of the majority Thais, he abdicated in 1935. Then, the coup-makers were more interested in power struggle for their own benefits. The King left for England and died there. This was the King's sacrifice.
Field Marshal Pibul Songkram lost power in the political fight against Gen Sarit Thanarat. He fled to Japan and died in exile there. He conceded the defeat and never plotted to destroy Thailand, although he had a capacity to do so. Given his power, he could easily have marshalled a military faction in support of him for a political comeback.
This was Field Marshal Pibul's sacrifice.
Pridi Panomyong, the statesman, also lived in exile in China and later France after losing the political power. He conceded defeat without blaming any one, at least openly. The stake of the country was higher than his own benefits.
This was Pridi's sacrifice.
Field Marshal Thanom Kittikajorn, after the 1973 bloody incident, stepped down from power. He was the dictator with the most powerful. But he agreed to resign after the bloody incident for the sake of the country. He was even more powerful than Thaksin or any leaders because Thailand in the early 1970s was still very underdeveloped without any institutions. He could easily have eliminated all of his political opponents easily with his guns and tanks.
But Field Marshal Thanom lived in seclusion without trying to reclaim the political power or plan any plot against his country.
This was Field Marshal Thanom's sacrifice.
Gen Suchinda staged a coup and afterward he ran into the political crisis with the May 1992 tragedy. The military then under his regime was most powerful, unchallenged. But he agreed to step down for the sake of the country. He never plotted any ill plan against Thailand.
This was Gen Suchinda's sacrifice.
Thaksin Shinawatra is the first to have violated the Thai leadership's code of conduct. He would not concede defeat even when it was over. He has been plotting ill plans against Thailand all along with his international and local PR machines.
He does not know how to make a sacrifice.