Economics: UK’s The Economist puts loss so far, since Suthep went active, at US$15 billion

For people to come to their senses, is often very difficult.

On the surface, in Thailand, there is a saying, that is getting old, that the establishment, is willing to “Burn Down the House (Thailand) to Catch the Mouse (Shinawatra Family)” and that to many rational people, makes no sense.

For example, in the 2006 coup, and a few years, of setting up for the coup by the Yellow Shirts, the excuse for the coup, was to save the monarchy, stop corruption, and end the evil populous policy. The result is years of costly political turmoil that many argue, have lasted to today. And in just one instant, relating to the coup, in the shutting down of the airport by the Yellow Shirts, the Thai Central Bank estimated the cost to the economy, was US$ 3 to 4 billion.

The humorous fact is, the 2006 coup government, was rated by Transparency International as more corrupt than the Thaksin government and all the so branded, evil populous policy of the Thaksin government remain in tack, un-touched by the coup government.  In fact, many locally and globally, recognized, the military generals of the 2006 coup, got rich over corrupt armament purchases. And Thai Royalism, many argue, was hurt more by the 2006 coup, than any alleged that Thaksin ever did.

And the Shinawatra, still winning elections, and loved by millions of Thais.

So in 2013 and 2014, we have a very similar re-run of the events, before, and leading up to the 2006 coup. The Bangkok establishment is again “Burning Down the House (Thailand) to Catch the Mouse (Shinawatra Family) and so far, the Economist (in the below article) estimate the cost at US$15 billion, and counting.

Of course, if one knows what is really going on in Thailand, there is “No” burning down the house to get rid of the Shinawatra family. To many, what is occurring in Thailand, with Suthep’s movement, is just the latest chapter, in a long struggle between shades of democracy and shades of dictatorship, that has been going on in Thailand, since 1932, when absolute monarchy was lifted. And “Yes” there is also, a great deal of “Personalities Involved” meaning the ambitions of a horde of people, who are trapped, into their way.

However, on the economic and business impact, from these latest political crisis, or even traced back to after 1932, the shocking fact, that is little recognized as a real danger to Thailand’s economic development, is that Thailand’s business and economic community, mostly support the Bangkok establishment. What that means, is a business and economic sector that is willing to put Thailand’s economy, at risk and accept the risk, of massive damage, to achieve a political objective, which is rejected by the majority of Thais.

To put it bluntly, to many, the Thai business and economic community, over all, fundamentally on the macro level, are not very intelligent or rationale.

For example, and here we go again, such as Thaksin, Yingluck is being accused of corruption. Many locally and globally, know it is a “Judicial Coup” and nothing about corruption. But if Yingluck is actually corrupt, or what some press point out, it is actually failing at safe-guarding the country from rice scheme loss, what is the damage? Perhaps 2-3 US$ billions, as the loss from the rice scheme is mostly on the books in terms of un-sold rice stock, which is in the process of being sold. Then there are the other corruption, like with demands for a cut on public projects, those has always been around. So in sum here, the Thai business and economic sector, is investing with the Bangkok establishment, like US$15 billions of loss so far, to go after Yingluck, with an allege bad management, costing Thailand a US$ 2 -3 billion loss.

Of course, to many analyst, the Thai business and economics sector is not stupid, most of them know, what is going on, has nothing to do with what is being said in most of the press, local or global. The Thai economic and business sector, is just out to grab power, so they can control the economy and the business sector, so they can reap most of the benefits, from Thailand long-term development. To the leaders of Thailand’s economic and business sector, for example, the US$ 3 -4 billion loss from the airport closure, or the current US$15 billion loss, from Suthep’s activity, is just an investment, to grab long-term power, for a large cut, of future wealth.

The result? Many talk of a Thai civil war now.

The following is from the Economist (Source)

FIFTY-THREE days after anti-government protesters vowed to “shut down” the world’s most-visited city in a bid to “restart” Thailand, they have been forced to quit their programme. Or perhaps rather to “minimise” its window: from the city streets to a public park in Bangkok.

Suddenly, any relaunch of Thailand’s failed people’s revolution looks unlikely. Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of a series of anti-government protests, now in its fourth month, which has been aimed at ridding Thailand of the influence of the ruling Shinawatra clan, even apologised for the inconvenience that has been caused. Rally sites at key intersections in central Bangkok are to be dismantled, while some others are to be left in place, for now. This development will not, however, end the battle over the government’s legitimacy.

What it does show is that the risk of widespread social and economic failure has begun to register with the main protagonists: the army; the government; and finally Mr Suthep, the de facto leader of Thailand’s opposition. At least 23 people, including children, have been killed and hundreds more injured since the end of October. Earlier this week young men engaged in shoot-outs in central Bangkok. And everywhere incomes have been hit hard. One estimate puts the economic loss caused by the protests at $15 billion and warns that it could quickly double—by which point it would have destroyed income equal to the vast wealth of the royal palace.

The following is from the Economist (Source)

Thailand’s protests: Dismantling the barricades

The action moves to the courts as anti-government protests fizzle

Mar 8th 2014 | BANGKOK | From the print edition

AT LAST it looks as though the street protests designed to oust Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, are running out of steam. After more than four months of relentless sit-ins and government shutdowns, the leader of the insurrection, Suthep Thaugsuban, has dismantled most of his various protest sites around the capital, retreating to a single encampment in central Bangkok. His supporters are dwindling in number, and so is their appetite for further confrontation. Yet Ms Yingluck is by no means home and dry. The courts may yet succeed where Mr Suthep has not.

Lumpini Park is the new headquarters of Thailand’s failing people’s revolution. Self-appointed guards protect the tented city. As in Mr Suthep’s previous makeshift sites there are tea stalls, showers, television-viewing areas, a medical centre and a shortage of lavatories. Well-off Bangkok residents distribute food from luxury cars to the protesters, many of them bused in from southern Thailand. Although the protests no longer occupy the same locations as before—a posh shopping district and the sites of public monuments—the slogans are unchanged. “Evolution before elections” reads one sign affixed to a tent; “This corrupt government must be overthrown”, another.

Rhetorically, at least, Mr Suthep and his People’s Democratic Reform Committee remain as defiant as ever. Many protesters vow that they will pack up and leave only when all traces of Ms Yingluck and her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister ousted in a coup in 2006, are removed from the body politic. But their hopes now look forlorn of using protest power to force on Thailand a “people’s council” to replace the elected government. The government appears to have outsmarted the protesters. By refusing to confront them directly, the government largely averted violence and avoided giving the army a pretext to intervene on Mr Suthep’s behalf to “save” the country, democracy or anything else.

Some have suggested that the two sides may now sit down together to negotiate a way out of the impasse. But that ignores how little Ms Yingluck—along with Mr Thaksin, who pulls the strings from exile in Dubai—has to gain from talks. The prime minister’s position has been buttressed by victory in a recent snap election. Her supporters in the Shinawatra family’s political heartland in the north and north-east have been steadfast. With Mr Suthep’s power on the wane, she may calculate that there is no need to give him the renewed political significance that talks would confer.

Ms Yingluck now has more reason to worry about the courts than about Mr Suthep. The judiciary has brought down Thai governments before. Given the number of legal challenges being mounted by opponents of the prime minister and her government, it would be surprising if one or other of them did not hit home.

Take, for instance, the February 2nd general election, which was boycotted by the main opposition Democrat Party. One legal challenge attempted to have the whole election declared invalid. The government survived that. But protests prevented elections being held in 18 of 77 provinces—and attempts to rerun those votes are going less well. Five provinces managed to hold elections on March 2nd. The remainder are planned for next month, but these are now the subjects of court procedures. Legal scholars and others challenge the right of Ms Yingluck’s current “caretaker” government to carry on ruling much longer without an official quorum convened in parliament.

More pressingly, Ms Yingluck has until March 14th to defend herself before the National Anti-Corruption Commission on criminal charges over alleged dereliction of duty arising from the government’s disastrous scheme to help farmers by subsidising rice. She has sent lawyers to the commission to hear charges, but has yet to offer her account of the facts. If the commission does indict her, she may have to step down. The government has said that in such an eventuality another minister could take over her job. Still, for Mr Suthep and his supporters it would undoubtedly be a welcome fillip.

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