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Being Fair To Thaksin

The order from the Thai Military for Thaksin Shinawatra to return home and face trial is the latest twist in the saga of Thaksin's plans to take over at Manchester City. It is certainly not the first negative comment we have heard about his character and his past, and if as Manchester City fans we are to be fair to him, we need to distinguish between such comment and the facts. For as the great Manchester journalist C.P. Scott once observed: 'Comment is free but facts are sacred.'

Because there isn't the space to examine every accusation and denial, we can only look at the main events which have drawn us into this dilemma about Thaksin's integrity. However, in taking a limited view it becomes important that when we judge Thaksin's political and financial career, we carefully distinguish between the historical facts and the comment of his enemies. For example, it is an historical fact that Thaksin won landslide election victories 2001 and 2005 and that in 2006 a military junta overthrew his elected government. Then the Junta annulled the Thai constitution, and dissolved Parliament and the Courts. They continue,to this day, to censor the media and prohibit political activity and meetings. It is also a fact that the Junta remain the source of most of the negative comment that is being made against Thaksin. They continually taunted Thaksin's government throughout its existence with allegations of corruption, dictatorship, treason, human rights offences the use of legal loopholes and hostility towards the press.

Thaksin began his career as a cadet in the Thai Police, and later became a successful entrepreneur. He made his fortune before he entered politics. First establishing the Shin Corporation and then Advanced Info Services, he became one of the richest people in Thailand.

On entering politics it was Thaksin's progressive economic, health, education policies which upset his enemies, and enabled him to become the first Prime Minister in Thai history to complete his term in office. His progressive policies were particularly effective in relieving rural poverty and providing near universal access to affordable health care for the people of Thailand.

No one ever achieves political success or amasses a vast fortune without leaving some skeletons in the cupboard. But who gives those who wantonly destroyed the Thai courts the right to try people in a court of their own making.

Bob Walsh

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The journalist

Writer: Andy Leggott Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday June 20 2007

Time: 9:05PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Very very interesting read there Andy, i didn't really know the situation until now, so its nice that you have taken the time to explain. It always hard to make decisions on people without knowing the facts and the media dont really help this do they
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 08:59:00

Think you're missing the point big time Bob - okay so there are debates about the ethics and morality of the guy, about his depiction etc... and yes many had reservations about these matters - but ultimately do we want the primary investor in this football club to be a wanted man, do we want this investor to be an inherently unstable liability?
Craig Cain
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 10:39:00

Craig, the problem is political, as I have read it, Dr T was ousted by the military, apparently the poorer people in the country love him and the ruling military governement do not want him to become more popular by the soccer loving people (apparently) This could be good for shirt sales. The question that has been sounded can the Thai governement seize City as an asset?
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 15:57:00

I ask the question again - Ultimately do we want the primary investor in this football club to be a wanted man, do we want this investor to be an inherently unstable liability?
Craig Cain
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 16:17:00

Ever had the feeling someone up there doesn't like you?
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 16:41:00

Chill Craig. We've got the man now. Listened to his SSN interview and he fully intends to fight the charges as I would expect. You going to give up the blues because of this? You know you won't ..... it's what we do.
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 17:52:00

Course not... was at Maine Rd when this **** was doing his feckin paper round - will be around when he's rotting in some rat infested hole in SE asia
Craig Cain
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 18:30:00

Craig: Sorry you still feel the same way about Thaksin, but rest assured there is no possibility of a future Chairman of Manchester City, or any other Premiership club for that matter, being any of the the things you suggest. The Premier League in their 'fit and proper person test' ensures that such things never happen. I watched the Thaksin interview on SSN, and I was delighted with him. After listening to and watching the way he openly answered the tough questions, it would be more disappointing for me than ever if the deal fell through. If you get a chance to see the whole interview don't miss it. BW
Clear Sky
Report Abuse
21/06/2007 21:14:00

CC .... was tongue in cheek and my pointing out that whatever happens as City fans were in it regardless. We may not like the owner or we may think he's the best thing since sliced bread. The main thing is we'll be here till the end ...... may as well enjoy his money and a chance to compete
Report Abuse
23/06/2007 18:07:00

I think you folks should stop kidding yourselves and read this, from this week's Sunday Times:
Report Abuse
26/06/2007 18:16:00

Thanks for the conciliatory intervetion ronin, but I must say that tongue in cheek is ok provided writers are not just bitching or talking through their arse. Saurat, you'll find that the author of the article you suggest we read was once fired by the BBC for being economical with the truth.
Clear Sky
Report Abuse
28/06/2007 00:23:00


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