Sunday, August 14, 2011

The puzzling PM and FM's statements about Thaksin's passport

I am really trying very hard to understand what PM Yingluck Shinawatra and Foreign Minister Surapong Towijakchaidul have said about Thaksin's Thai passport in the past few days. I still don't get it.

Today, the PM insisted that her government "has no policy" to return Thaksin the Thai passport. But then, she also added that she had given the direction to Foreign Ministry officials that any possible action in this regard must be in line with "the rule of law."

Foreign Minister Surapong has said he hasn't even started working physically at the ministry yet. He will commence work there on Aug 17, in accordance with advice from his astrologers.

He was therefore suggesting that if there was any initiative on the issue of Thaksin's Thai passport, it must have come from the officials themselves, and not at his instruction.

But then, he didn't say it was a bad idea. He said he would consider whether Thaksin had been "unfairly treated" by the previous government on this issue -- and whether it was a "political decision" then.

If you are confused like me, you should just assume that if the officials follow the PM's guideline, the "rule of law" will be the main consideration. But if the FM's stand is taken seriously by the officials, they would consider "political motives" -- both then an now -- as the No 1 issue.

If they stand by the "rule of law," they will have to take into account the fact that there are a few pending arrest warrants for Thaksin, not the least being the two-year jail sentence over the criminal verdict that he had violated the law over the purchase of the Rajda land.

How "political considerations" can remove judicial obstacles is very, very interesting indeed.

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