This headline, from an article in The Nation in Thailand, was recently brought to my attention.
The article, which ran on page 1, refers to my blog posting with Thaksin last month. Irony was running strong in the newsroom with the editor who wrote the headline.
The story got numerous pick-ups and the video was broadcast on TV around the world, including here in Hong Kong. My favorite, however, was having my name printed once again in the International Herald Tribune, this time not as a journalist, but as a “blogger”.
Ex-Thai PM Thaksin warns coup will bring bloodshed: report
Thaksin also said in a video interview posted on a reporter’s blog that the army had a duty to enforce law and order as protesters force the closure of Bangkok’s two airports.
“If the coup were to happen there will be bloodshed — it will not be an easy coup like in the past because the people in Thailand, now they are in hardship,” he said in the interview with US blogger Thomas Crampton.
Speaking from Hong Kong on Friday, the entrepreneur-turned-premier accused “some government officials” of not respecting elections last December that brought his allies in the People Power Party to office.
“They (the army) are government officials, their salary paid by taxpayers, so they have to do whatever (is the) wish of the whole citizens of Thailand, not just minority groups,” he said, speaking in English.
“They must respect democracy, they must play by rules, they must do their work … being neutral means you have to observe the law, do what benefits the whole country.”
Thaksin‘s comments come as his old foes in the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) upped their campaign to topple his brother-in-law Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, who they accuse of being Thaksin‘s puppet.
Powerful army chief General Anupong Paojinda has said he does not want to disperse thousands of PAD supporters who shut down Bangkok’s two airports this week, because of fears of violent clashes.
But Anupong also called on Somchai to dissolve parliament and hold new elections — suggestions Somchai swiftly rejected.
“The airport must be reopened and those protesters must respect not just the law but the whole citizens of Thailand,’ Thaksin said.
“(This is) dangerous for Thailand, for stability of the country, for the confidence (in) the country,” he added.
Thaksin, a telecoms tycoon and former policeman, is currently living in exile abroad to escape corruption charges mounting against him.
He was last month sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for helping his ex-wife buy state land when he was premier.
PAD protests in early 2006 helped lead to the coup that ousted Thaksin later that year, and the PAD resuscitated their campaign in May this year after Thaksin‘s allies won elections, infuriating his many enemies.