20 September, 2006

Finally, Thailand has got the coup d’etat it so urgently needed

"Thai a Yellow Ribbon..." The yellow armband worn by
Thai soldiers proclaims their allegiance to the King.

A year or so ago, Thailand’s government bartered their massive stockpiles of ageing dried longans to China in exchange for a number of secondhand Chinese tanks (a longan is a fruit somewhat like a small, dry-ish lychee with a hint of rosewater). Last night, the dried longans got their revenge on Prime Monster Thaksin… it may have been some of those very tanks which helped carry off the politest political "coup-de-grace" in history; finally Thugsin is GONE [cheers]. It's no secret that he's been shipping out his personal effects to London for weeks now (60+ suitcases just for him, let alone his wife who has allegedly fled to Singapore - but have your justified doubts). There's also the matter of the whereabouts of nearly $2 Billion US dollars accumulated mainly while he was in office... Does the name 'Marcos' ring a bell?

Ironies abound in this saga. It was Thailand’s impoverished farmers who grew masses of longans at the government’s behest. Then (surprise surprise) the price of longans fell through the floor, sending farmers into a belt-tightening spin. PM Toxin glibly promised them debt relief – and as predicted, none ever arrived. The farmers never recognized - and still don’t - that Thaksin habitually shoots off the first loose-cannon thought that comes into his mind. You know, ‘it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time’. For instance, his crazy ‘Million Cows’ Scheme… a sort of Community "Cow Bank". It never happened either: farmers never got their loaned cow – just a bum steer.

And Thaksin’s 30-Baht Scheme (30-baht subsidized visits to a GP) actually was a fine idea, but its funding was dreadfully - hopelessly - under-budgeted. As it happens, the amount of capital-gains tax revenue which Thaksin avoided when he sold his Shin Corporation to Singapore would have gone a long way towards funding Thailand’s entire 30-baht Scheme... and still could, if the Thais can get their hands on it. Note that Thailand has a population more than three times that of Australia. Read about the original scam in FunkyPix Volume 1, page 47; "Eradicating Corruption is like trying to “plough the sea".

And did you know that Thaksin holds a
Doctorate in Criminal Justice (lol) from a two-bit university in Texas (of all places!). No wonder he has such good rapport with Georgie the Global Village Idiot.

But I digress... Regards the coup, all is well at the local level here in northern Thailand. Not a tank in sight, not even a tiny rocket-launcher mounted on a tuk-tuk. Many Thai people appear far more relaxed than yesterday… more laughing and joking happening. Despite Chiangmai being Thaksin’s ‘home turf’, his demise is generally recognized as long overdue. Things will recover soon enough. Am I happy with where we live? Yes Siam, there’s nowhere else like it. Now I’m off to tuck into a yumacious Phad Phet Gai. Cheers.
There's a brief article in buzzle.com describing some of Dr. Thaksin's dubious deeds here.

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