Friday, April 19, 2013
Thaksin Shinawatra is going for broke. According to a Pheu Thai MP, the former premier said in a recent Skype session with the party members that if the move to amend the constitution failed, the party should turn the table -- by dissolving Parliament to call a new election so that Pheu Thai could return with an absolute majority to clear the way to amend the charter.
Ubon Ratchathani MP Somkid Chuakong quoted Thaksin as saying that the Constitutional Court had no reason to stop Parliament from voting to change clauses in the charter. That's why if the party's plan could not proceed, the alternative is to go back to the people to ask for a clear-cut mandate to return to Parliament and get the job done.
That, of course, will prove very controversial. Perhaps, it's only a threat to get his way without having to return to the polling booths. But one thing is clear: He is desperate to get the constitution changed the way he wants -- and he isn't sure that the plan will pull through.
Monday, April 15, 2013
A good husband must hold his wife's bag. And that applies to even the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, while walking down his plane in his recent trip to Africa. This picture was reportedly posted by a Chinese reporter onto a Chinese micro-blog but was soon taken off by censors. I don't see anything wrong with an Asian leader showing his "soft side" publicly. After all, China is said to be going all out to make use of its "soft power" to step up her influence around the world. And "soft power," like charity, begins at home.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Chalerm Yoobamrung is deputy premier in charge of security affairs, including the Deep South. But he hasn't visited the area in any serious way since taking office. Instead, he has flown to Kuala Lumpur to hold talks with Malaysian authorities but hasn't really sat down with local officials and residents to show his personal concern for the deteriorating situation down there.
The day after the deputy governor and assistant governor of Yala were killed in a bomb attack earlier this week, reporters asked Premier Yingluck why Chalerm hadn't flown South to show the government's concern.
The premier was obviously caught off-guard. She said something about Chalerm's imminent visit there but also defended his reluctance to be personally meeting local people in the three southern provinces. "Sometimes, our puuyais (senior authorities) from Bangkok don't want to disturb the local officials by visiting since they would have to provide security measures and other conveniences which could distract their normal duties," she said.
That, of course, still doesn't explain why Chalerm hasn't been down there. First, he said he would be in the South after the Bangkok governor election.Then, his excuse was that he would wait until the House session on constitutonal changes was done. But he flew North instead, under the pretext that he was observing the smog situation up there -- an issue not related to his job description.
The deputy premier has always said he is no coward and would be ready to face any seriousl challenge anywhere, anytime.
It's time to show it where he is needed most.