Friday, July 31, 2009

Petition highlights hypocrisy

*All Photos Copyright*
One of the many boxes containing signatures petitioning the king to pardon Thaksin. This box, obviously, has 23, 168 signatures. Sanam Luang, July 31, 2009.

The Red Shirt's royal petition to pardon former PM Thaksin certainly seems to have the Establishment running scared.

The government has responded in Orwellian fashion and will host a TV program on NBT to "improve public understanding of the issue of a royal pardon for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra" with the goal of informing people who "already signed in support of the petition could always withdraw their names once they have a better understanding".

While the government's awkward and fumbling efforts are reminiscent of recent moral panic campaigns aimed at karaoke bars and internet cafes or the simply bizarre MOSO campaign by the Internal Security Operations Command, the real problem is that it highlights the hypocrisy so ingrained in this Red vs. Yellow conflict.

Those who disingenuously preach that the king is above politics are the same people who draw power and use the throne to advance their own interests.

Aptly put by the Bangkok Pundit: "Needless to say the same people outraged today are the same ones who petitioned HM the King under Article 7 in 2006 to remove Thaksin. But of course that was a "good" petition unlike this one is "evil""

If some people can create a royal petition while others can not, one might ask; who does the palace really represent?

While it might be best to leave that as a rhetorical question to avoid running afoul of lese majeste laws, the Red's petition certainly does expose the fundamental hypocrisy that is a core problem in this conflict.

* Also, dont miss Nick Nostitz's post at New Mandala...simply great reporting!

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