All too well

30 01 2009

I was asked by a few friends why I have distant myself from Thai politics lately. Easy and quick answer: it has been all too well planned. It seems like things are so predictable and you know exactly what will happen next. It is like watching movie and knowing the ending of it. What is the fun?

I remember I gave an interview to one of the radio programme in Singapore just before the New Year. That was when the Prime Minisster has to change the venue to Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver his policy speech. I said that the protesters would not succeed. They could not fight the government. Why? This was becuase the protest was different in character and support. UDD has been sponsored by Thaksin who has been far and away from home. His power and popularity has dropped since he left Thailand. Fighitng from afar will only work when support can be gained strongly externally and internally. Lacking the external support couple with a weak internal support, UDD is becoming less popular and is forced to readjust its position to continue it fight against the government.

DTV – UDD’s new initiative – is claimed to serve as a platform to educate Thai citizens regarding real democracy. However, many are thinking DTV is a proxy of PTV to act as a mouthpiece for Thaksin Shinawatra. It was founded by core leaders of the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship such as Veera Musikapong, Jakkapob Penkae, Jatuporn Prompan, Nattawut Saikue, and Korkeaw Pikuntong in mid-2007, in the name of “Pue Pong Nong Pi” Company.   Rumors has it that Thaksin Shinawatra gave more than 50 million baht to the core leaders of the red-shirt group to establish a new satellite television channel to act as his mouthpiece as PTV did, with former executives of the disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party such as Pongthep Thepkanchana, Adisorn Piangket, and Sansanee Nakpong offering guidance.

DTV will be allowed to broadcast for the time being. I am sure the govenrment like to avoid being looked upon as having a double standard when dealing with DTV. If ASTV was allowed to operate during the PAD protest, DTV should also be allowed to operate during the UDD protest. Yet, question remains whether DTV will be as popular as ASTV to gain support from the rural since internet access is not so widespread in the rural area. If Thaksin and the team want to adjust their strategy by turning into the e-media, I doubt if it will work well as they would have wished it to be. While all is too well for the government, all are not well with Thaksin and his team.


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