Over the last couple of weeks there has been a deluge of opeds in the English language Thai media and blogosphere on Thaksin Shinawatra. The Bangkok Post, the Nation and even Asian Correspondent’s very own Bangkok Pundit have repeatedly poured over every varied aspect of Thaksin's possible return in what only could be described, in a nod to film theory, as the “New Wave of Thaksin Fever”.
But, more importantly, is another oped about Thaksin imminent?
Here at AP (Asia Provocateur) we think it is. In fact it is a cast iron certainty.
Of course opeds regarding Abhisit lying to the Thai parliament about which nationality he used to enroll at Oxford University are not imminent. AP can also guarantee that there will be no opeds about the continued failure to hold the Abhisit government to account for the brutal massacre they unleashed on the Thai people in 2010. You will find no mention of this in the Thai English language media anywhere. The deaths of 90+ Thai civilians protesters is, quite frankly, an irrelevance.
Nor will there be any opeds about the recent release of an autopsy report which proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that a hand-thrown fragmentation grenade that could have only been thrown by people close to them was used to kill the soldiers who stood next to Colonel Romklao on April 10th 2010 and not an M79 fired by the Red Shirts as is the lie put out by the previous “graceful” Abhisit government and their friends in the English-language Thai media/blogosphere/NGOs.
Of course there will be no mention or oped at all, anywhere, in English, about Romklao’s own body being immediately cremated after he was killed, before any autopsy could be carried out. That Romklao's death was then used as a pretext to slaughter 90+ civilians is just a moot point.
We can also forget any opeds at all on the subject of Human Rights Watch's lead researcher in Thailand, Sunai Phasuk, secretly supporting the 2006 illegal coup or that much of Thailand's human rights community is riddled with extreme rightwing PAD-supporters and is deeply politicised as a result.
The New Wave of Thaksin Fever provides a great distraction for the chattering classes but the obsession with him prevents any deeper analysis or more investigative journalism to emerge. It’s just a constant regurgitation of the same old theories, cut and pasted from the same old sources, inflected with the same old distortions.
Will Thaksin return? Maybe. Does it need discussing? Sure. But there is much more discussion to be had than just that.