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The plot thickens in Thailand: Secret letters and safety threats

Updated On: Jul 14, 2006

Now that news are out that Thaksin had written to ASEAN and US leaders at the height of his domestic political troubles, critics are baying for his blood.

A former Thai ambassador who wishes to remain anonymous has said that the letters showcased domestic troubles and denigrated national sovereignty –an embarrassment to the kingdom. He added, “Thaksin should not have tried to define democracy in the letters and then attacked his political opponents with bias. Poll boycotts and street demonstrations are part of a democratic system.”

The Nation also reported Sangsit Piriyarangsan, director of Chandrakasem Rajabhat University's Good Governance Research Centre, as saying, “[Thaksin] thinks he is the only defender of democracy and he must assume the US president will agree.” He added that Thaksin might have been trying to get international backing “in case he uses force to regain power”. Surat Horachaikul, a Chulalongkorn University political scientist, said, “The letter was an attempt to seek allies for himself. It does not benefit the country as a whole.”

It seems like the opinion of the letters is fixed and nobody buys Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon’s explanation that the letter to Bush was to “maintain the superpower's confidence in Thailand's democratic rule and continual drive toward future economic prosperity”, the Thai News Agency reported.

Perhaps to take away some of the heat that the letters have generated, rumours have arisen with threats to harm Thaksin. Thaksin himself acknowledged that the Thai intelligence agency uncovered a plot to assassinate him.  Although he has professed nonchalance, he is taking no chances by having thirty secret service agents instead of twelve, and having ten bodyguards for his family.

Sources:

Govt plays down threat to PM, beefs up security (The Nation, 13 July 2006)

Notes to leaders seen as embarrassing, self-serving (The Nation, 13 July 2006)

'Uncle Sam, I'm being bullied' (The Nation, 13 July 2006)

That Bush letter: The Kantathi twist (Bangkok Post, Thai News Agency, 13 July 2006)

Military ready to guard Thaksin (Bangkok Post, 13 July 2006)

'We're no US colony, so show us the letter' (The Nation, 12 July 2006)

Powerful have fingers in every pie, says Chuan (The Nation, 12 July 2006)

Thaksin must put Bush letter 'on the record' (Bangkok Post, 12 July 2006)