Bangkok Post Cartoon, July 31, 2008.
Isn't one of PAD's ultranationalist goals to reclaim the Preah Vihear temple?!
From the Bangkok Post titled: "Kasit defends his support for PAD protests"
Kasit Piromya, former Thai ambassador to Washington DC who is poised to be foreign minister in the Democrat-led government, yesterday defended his participation in People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) street protests, saying his actions were based on his democratic convictions.
Mr Kasit said joining the PAD protests was a democratic expression of opinion as provided in the constitution and that the PAD was not a criminal organisation.
"Joining PAD was not a sin because millions of people had also joined it to help uproot corruption," Mr Kasit said. "When I retired, I still fought in order to help society to have good governance. That's just it."
He said his first job as foreign minister, after being endorsed by His Majesty the King, would be to restore Thailand's image. He said he was confident that other countries had faith in the new government's capability to run the country.
He said he would visit Cambodia soon to build more trust in order to resolve major problems including the borderline conflict, drugs, illegal goods and human trafficking."
This is utter non-sense. Its not just that PAD committed countless crimes - including acts of terrorism and murder - while running amok in Bangkok but its simply non-sense that a PAD member could be foreign minister.
PAD is an ultra nationalist organization that has been saber rattling over Preah Vihear and has pushed Thailand and Cambodia to the brink of war.
Mr Kasit might claim to be working to improve Thailand's reputation and ease relations with its neighbors but this is hard to believe.
Thailand's international reputation was dragged through the mud because of PAD's violent and anit-democratic antics and now the new foreign minister is a PAD member? How could any foreign government trust someone who's organization seized international airports and promotes military action against Cambodia?
Even more worrying are the rumors that Pasit's primary goal is actually to pursue PAD's goal of reclaiming Preah Vihear rather that ease strained relationships and Thailand's international image.
From PAD's recent demands and 13 point warning to the new government:
7. Announce the cancellation of the Joint Communique between Thai and Cambodia which give away the Prea Vihear temple and the surrounding lands to Cambodia.
Although the above statement is much more moderate than PAD's acerbic propaganda on ASTV, the Manager newspaper, and on the their protest stages it should be a serious concern that PAD, through Kasit, will be in a position to further push Thailand towards conflict with Cambodia.
I am still a little optimistic PM Abhisit but, with PAD influencing foreign affairs, such optimism will not last long.