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Thai government must engage Thaksin to heal divides ANALYSIS 05/22/2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thai government must engage Thaksin to heal divides



ANALYSIS

05/22/2010
BANGKOK — Thailand’s government must engage former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra in reconciliation efforts after a bloody crackdown on his “Red Shirts” supporters, or risk inflaming the nation’s crisis, analysts said.

The government has accused Thaksin, a billionaire tycoon ousted in a 2006 coup, of bankrolling and masterminding Thailand’s worst political violence in decades which has left 83 dead since Reds rallies erupted in March.

Thaksin lives in exile to avoid a jail sentence for corruption, but the government has exerted pressure on countries he has visited, moved to freeze his finances and sought a warrant for his arrest on terrorism charges.

But political observers said the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, appointed with the army’s backing after Thaksin’s allies were ejected by a 2008 court ruling, must now change tack.

“This government keeps making wrong decisions, including the crackdown. Squeezing Thaksin is another wrong decision,” said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, from the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, in Singapore.

“Thaksin is not the only problem here. For the government to squeeze him, to punish him, it won’t solve the current crisis.”... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100522com3.html


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