This is in essence the message of The Nation‘s editorial on Friday. Key excerpts:
Resident foreigners in Thailand understand the political situation well; the same cannot be said of all foreign governments and media.
/>The international community is showing varying degrees of understanding concerning the political situation in Thailand. There are two groups – those who reside outside the Kingdom and are looking in through a somewhat distorted lens, and the Bangkok-based foreign community, who have to suffer through this turmoil on a daily basis like the Thai people.
/>The first group, including some media outlets, has only a superficial comprehension of the crisis. Comments are mostly narrowly focused; they see the turmoil simply as a righteous struggle between the haves and have-nots. Moreover, they see it solely as a cry for democracy. These two key messages dominate their discourses.
/>But one thing is missing here. The role of fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as the main culprit is seldom being mentioned by the international community and international media. Obviously, it is beyond their imagination to conceive that one person could be responsible for such massive civil disobedience. But this is exactly the point. Thaksin has channelled his money, via his divorced wife and crony associates, to finance the demonstration.
/>The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has explained to the international community that Thaksin is acting like a terrorist – and should thus be treated as such. Through video links and phone-ins, he has incited disorder. He has called upon the protesters to arm themselves and topple the government [BP: He called for protesters to arm themselves??]. If similar political agitation and instigation – on the part of a convicted felon – occurred in other countries, would it be tolerated?
The message from the Foreign Ministry has been repeated time and time again in meetings between Thai diplomats overseas and their hosts. But it has fallen on deaf ears in some countries, especially those who have benefited from Thaksin’s past populist policies and huge investment projects. There is no need to mention names here.
BP: No need to mention names! Singapore? Cambodia? Or does he mean Sweden or the UAE? This editorial just sounds like Thanong, but then just before that he was arguing the red shirts had moved beyond Thaksin and that other businesses were funding the red shirt rallies, so surely he couldn’t have done a complete flip-flop in a day? But again we have this The Nation obsession with Thaksin. It is he solely responsible for everything.