Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Why can't YIngluck meet her brother in Phnom Penh?
Premier Yingluck Shinawatra will be Phnom Penh on Sept 15. Her brother Thaksin will be there from Sept 16 until Sept 24.
Why can't they arrange to meet under the auspices of Cambodian Premier Hun Sen?
It's a locally sensitive issue, of course, If Yingluck, as PM, meets Thaksin, the fugitive wanted by the law-enforcement officials back home, she would have to have him arrested and sent home. Thaksin is ready to come home, but not as a convict. He wants to return home as a free man, either amnestied or a hero without any legal cases awaiting him.
If the premier meets the former premier with no legal action being taken, she could be accused of violating the famous Article 157 of the Criminal Act which punishes officials who "fail to perform their duties."
That's why Premier Yingluck told reporters yesterday that she knew nothing about Thaksin's visit to Cambodia at all. She isn't supposed to know anything about her brother's whereabouts. Legally, for now at least, she can't know and not do anything.
So, Thaksin will be Hun Sen's guest and will be speaking about Asean's economic future. Hun Sen told reporters that he won't be discussing with Thaksin the question of Thai-Cambodian joint exploration of gas and oil in the overlapping areas in the Gulf of Thailand because he will only raise the issue with the Thai government, and not Thaksin.
So, Hun Sen also knows where to draw the line between Yingluck and Thaksin, at least publicly anyway.
Then, there is the football match between Thailand's red shirts and Hun Sen's team on Sept 24.
Will Thaksin be there? In fact,it would be quite a scene to have Thaksin and Hun Sen in their full soccer gear kicking it up in Phnom Penh.
What a pity, PM Yingluck can't be there to cheer up her brother to beat Hun Sen's team. But there is nothing wrong for her to be there in spirit, anyway.