Thaksin's Moment: To Be or Not To Be?
First it was just rumours, then a few hours afterwards it was proven to be true - atypical of theatrical Thaksin, the scorned but once beloved ex-Prime Minister of Thailand to lead the local and the international media as well as his oppositions in a wild goose chase.
So where's Wally?
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Speculation about a possible return to exile by ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra reached fever pitch in Thailand on Monday as he and his wife failed to return from an overseas trip for a court hearing. "As of now, nobody in the lawyer team knows where he is," lawyer Kamnuan Chalopatham told Reuters.
A pro-Thaksin MP also told reportes at the airport on Sunday night that Thaksin, facing a slew of corruption cases lodged since his removal in a 2006 coup, was not coming home, and suggested he had flown to London.
"We should have some progress before noon."
(Reuters, morning report)
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra skipped bail on Monday and went into exile, accusing political enemies who removed him in a 2006 coup of meddling in the courts to "finish off" him and his family.
(Reuter, afternoon report)
Thaksin..Thaksin what can we say about thee..
Compared to PM Samak, he may have better press skills.
But comparing again to Samak, Thaksin made the big mistake of putting his wife on the national pedestal in making her the "defacto" ruler of Thailand. And oh yes, he also has the baggage full of corruption charges he accumulated over the years.
Now after just a few days following Thailand's Supreme court judgment of "guilty" and a sentence of 3 years jail time for his wife Potjaman Shinawatra (for tax evasion and tax fraud), as well as the impeding corruption charges against himself, those events may have played the crucifying role in Thaksin's decision to pack his bag and leave for a permanent excursion trip to Britain.
Less than 6 months since Thaksin's grand return from his famous post-coup exile to Thailand where he kissed the ground of his homeland and vowed never to leave his beloved country again -- Thaksin seems to be singing another tune today, where the mounting pressure from the courts and the constant hounding of his political rivals; forced him to once again flip the coin.
Heads; to stay and fight. Face his adversaries and the consequences like a man.
Or tails; to simply flee.
And dissapointingly for many of us who love a good bar brawl or the battle of Goliath, he has chosen tails. Tucked firmly between his legs.
The Malaysian newspaper, "The Star" reported that the decision to go into exile;
..."tentamounts to blowing up the only bridge leading back home"
Thaksin accused his political enemies (who removed him in 2006 coup) as to "finish him off and his family".
In a handwritten statement faxed to news outlets from his refuge in London, the 50-year-old telecommunications billionaire apologised to the Supreme Court for failing to appear in a corruption case involving him and his wife, Potjaman.
"I must apologise again for deciding to come to live in England. If I am fortunate enough, I will return and die on Thai soil, just like other Thais," he said.
A wish that is unforeseeable in the near future as Thaksin's past ghosts are finally catching up on him. The question now is not whether Thaksin will choose to be or not to be, but perhaps it is to flee or not to flee; and the answer?
"Its elementary, my dear Watson".