(This is the first of two posts regarding an extremely dangerous free trade treaty, known as the Transpacific Partnership, that is being negotiated in total secret – and a new treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that China and some ASEAN nations are promoting)
The latest batch of WikiLeaks embassy cables has a delicious dispatch from the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand. (Via the Guardian).
Two thoughts: first, it's fun to know that the behind-closed-doors dish from the King's privy councillors about the Royal family and its foibles pretty much matches all the "unattributed" speculation that appears in the Thai and overseas press. Read below the fold...
That might explain some of that red shirt/yellow shirt stuff, though, as usual, the politics in Thailand are infinitely complex, compared to the childish variety we practive here.
Hopefully, MsExPat will weigh in with some analysis that's actually informed. Read below the fold...
I guess I was wrong about the Red Shirts cutting a deal for Thaksin's immunity. Or maybe they did, and the government decided to renege. In any case, the arrest warrant's gone out and Thaksin Shinawatra, exiled former PM of Thailand, is now wanted in Thailand on terrorism charges.
[Newcomers to Corrente, check out MsExpat's commentary and reporting on Thailand. --lambert]
1. The Thai media must truly be a disaster area, since during the crisis the Thais relied on our media.
Anyhow, Bangkok Pundit was down for three days, and is now up again. With no explanation. Odd that. Or not. Read below the fold...
A digest of after-the-flames-have-died-down essays from an assortment of Thais who write in English. I'll update periodically as I run across more goodies and feel free to add anything you find in the comments.
Wassana Nanuam, military affairs columnist, Bangkok Post, on the Generals, the Army and the politics of "Operation Rajaprasong":
The role _ and eventual departure from the scene by assassination _ of Seh Daeng in the victory of the government and army over the red shirt movement cannot be overlooked. Hawkish soldiers are in one voice on how the outcome of the army's Ratchaprasong operation could have been so different had Seh Daeng had not been murdered.Read below the fold...
So far, this is my favorite piece among the "post-Battle of Bangkok" essays. It's from Southeast Asia scholar Duncan McCargo. The reason I think the essay is worth reading is because McCargo is not emotionally trying to defend one side or another. He actually understands Thai culture and history, and is looking at what happened in the context of both.
Some excerpts: Read below the fold...
And was this the condition of the UDD leadership's surrender?
Thaksin's arrest warrant delayed
The Criminal Court has taken back the arrest warrant for convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on terrorism charges on Wednesday night, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director-general Tharit Pengdit said.
Mr Tharit said the court had issued arrest warrants for Thaksin and nine other anti-government core members on terrorism charges earlier today but it had decided to recall Thaksin's arrest warrant.
"Further investigation will take place on May 24 at 9.30am," the DSI chief said.Read below the fold...
[What I really want to know: What happened to the elders, women, and children who were moved into the Buddhist temple (Wat Patum Wanaran) inside the encampment? Are they OK? Via MsExPat in comments, check out Globe and Mail correspondent Mark MacKinnon.]