DO NOT BE A STAGE FOR TYRANTS
DO NOT BE A STAGE FOR TYRANTS
AN OPEN LETTER
Thai-Americans in Los Angeles, California, and Thais around the world who believe in ethics, rule of law and transparency
Dear World Policy Institute Board Members
Joseph Cari, Partner, Medcap Growth Equity Fund (Chairman)
John Watts, Sequel Energy Solutions (Chairman Emeritus)
Mary Van Evera (Founding Chair)
Rajiv Chaudhri, Sunsara Capital (Vice-Chair)
Rosemary Werrett, Observatory Group (Vice-Chair)
Peter Alderman, Goldentree Asset Management (Secretary)
DO NOT BE A STAGE FOR TYRANTS
We are writing to you to express our disappointment and to seek your consideration to cancel a private discussion event, underwritten by Invescore Ltd., which World Policy Institute (WPI) is going to hold on March 9, 2016, at an unspecified location, inviting a fugitive, the former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as a guest.
We value ethics, rule of law, and transparency and believe that it is what organization like WPI should promote to the world community. The above event you plan to organize allows an outlaw, cold-blooded criminal who came to power by a fake “democratic” system to use WPI as a stage to promote himself. It will be a disgrace to the ethical global efforts and the reputation of WPI.
The Kingdom of Thailand has been excessively abused by Thaksin Shinawatra and his clan like never before in the Thai history. The people were divided by his populist policies, vote-buying schemes, and cunning marketing strategies. The economy, together with the social conscience, has collapsed because of the corruption at all levels. Thaksin had placed ethics in Thailand at lowest point; even a poll stated that Thai people accepted corruptions if they were also a part of the share. Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, the previous Prime Minister, is currently facing one of the largest corruption cases in the history, the rice subsidiary scheme that cost the country 23 Billion US Dollars and many lives of poor Thai farmers who tragically committed suicide due to their loss to Yingluck’s government. Thaksin’s son is also facing a money laundry case in the court.
During his power in 2003, Thaksin ordered a violent anti-drugs campaign, resulted in 2,800 extrajudicial deaths. Convicted for a two-year jail sentence by the Supreme Court after he committed a transaction against the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption Act, he fled the country and purchased passports and citizenships from other countries such as Montenegro and Nicaragua. He hired lobbyists, lawyers, writers, media, some organizations and many others to become his network to support him on international stages. His political parties also bought other small political parties to be nominees and conducted activities against the laws. They were charged and dissolved by the court for two times.
There are many more criminal charges pending for him to come prove himself in the justice system. (See the list of some of his charges below). However, being a coward as well as a tyrant, he refused to do so. Instead, he pushed his sister’s monopoly Cabinet and Parliament to force the blanket amnesty law at 4 A.M. when people were sleeping to white-wash himself from all criminal or corruption charges. That resulted in millions of the Thais heading to Bangkok for an ongoing massive demonstration from November 2013 to May 2014, and, eventually, the military had to step in to stop the government from killing more unarmed protestors, the crimes for which the Shinawatra government caught no killers. Twenty-eight protestors died and 800 were injured by weapons of war. Such government was not only a corrupt, but also a murderer.
If WPI had carefully studied and reviewed the behaviors of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Thai Prime Minister who had corrupted, dictated the cruel actions against people, and refused to abide with the law and the justice system, WPI would not have allowed such crook to use WPI as a stage to promote and continue lying about himself.
WPI states that its mission is “…focuses on complex challenges that demand cooperative policy solutions to achieve: an inclusive and sustainable global market economy, engaged global civic participation and effective governance, and collaborative approaches to national and global security.” Troubles and challenges could be minimized and easier to solve if leaders are ethical and transparent. They must respect and abide with the rule of law. With all due respect, having a fugitive and a corrupt politician speaking on WPI’s stage is absolutely not one of the WPI’s principles.
We would like WPI to honor only moral and ethical people, not being a tool for such a corrupt billionaire politician. Please consider canceling this mentioned event or any other events that Thaksin Shinawatra is to be involved. DO NOT SUPPORT CORRUPT POLITICIANS AND ALLOW THEM TO PROMOTE LIES ON WPI’S NAME. If you decide that WPI should still arrange this event, please read more factual details about Thaksin Shinawatra below.
Thai-Americans in Los Angeles, California, and
Thais around the world who believe in ethics, rule of law and transparency
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
1. Human Rights Abusiveness and Extrajudicial Killing of 2,800 people
More than 2,800 citizens, including innocent children, were murdered because of the heavy handed policies of the war on drugs and anti-Muslim policies of Thaksin regime. The details of all these cases are on file with Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission, as have been reported by Shawn Crispin of Asia Times on October 13, 2006. Some of the examples are the killing of a 9-year-old, Nong Fluke, by the Thai police on February 23, 2003, during the war on drugs campaign; the Tak Bai incident on October 25, 2004 where 78 Thai Muslim civilians died from suffocation after being handcuffed and stacked on top of one another for over three hours.
Thaksin also created a Police State in Thailand where the police only caught people who acted against the Shinawatra government.
2. The Two-Year Prison Conviction
Under Thailand’s Prevention and Suppression of Corruption Act, state officials are prohibited to enter into any type of contracts with any state agency or be a party with any interest in any state agency. Thaksin, then the Prime Minister of Thailand, signed a consent allowing his wife Pojaman to purchase a land offered for sale by a government agency. The government agency initially bought this land for USD 90 million (2,749 million Baht) and later reduced the assessment price in order to place it in an auction. Pojaman won the auction at USD 25 million (772 million Baht). Eight years later, the land was sold at the price USD 60 million (1,815 million Baht). The Supreme Court Criminal Section for Political Posts Holders ordered a two-year sentence for Thaksin since he, as a Prime Minister, had committed a transaction against the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption Act. Thaksin then fled the country, and the court issued arrest warrant to capture him.
3. The USD 2.5 Billion Lawsuit and Seizure of 1.5 Billion
This is one of the biggest court cases in Thailand’s history. While in his power as the Prime Minister, Thaksin and his wife concealed the fact that they had owned 48% of Shin Corporation, a public company that was awarded telecom concession from the state by having other persons including his son, daughters, brother-in-law, secretary and his sister (Yingluck Shinawatra – later the PM of Thailand) as nominees for them. Thai law and the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption Act prohibit the Cabinet members to hold shares in companies and to be a party to do business with state to avoid conflict of interest. Thaksin owned the shares through his nominees and abused his power to favor Shin Corporation in many ways. He later sold these shares to a Singaporean company. The net proceed and the dividends he then received total USD 2.5 Billion (76,000 million Baht). The prosecutor asked the court to seize all the proceeds and dividends. The court ordered to seize his money totaled USD 1.5 Billion (46,000 million Baht).
4. Tax Invasion
In regards to the selling of Thaksin’s shares in Shin Corp to a Singaporean company as mentioned in the above case, Pojaman, Thaksin’s wife, her brother and her secretary were sentenced by the criminal court for a 3-year jail time each, for not paying tax in the amount of USD 25 million (739 million Baht).
Later, the appeal court changed the sentence to dismiss Pojaman and her secretary, and reduced the sentence of her brother to one year with parole.
Then, Thaksin’s political party won an election, became a ruling party, and the District Attorney decided not to bring the case to the Supreme Court.
5. Corruption by Changing Telecom Concession
During his power as Prime Minister, Thaksin issued a law to change the concession contract between the state and telecom companies, one of which owned by him and his family, resulted in the state losing income in the amount of USD 2.1 Billion (66,000 million Baht) and more profit to his telecom companies. The court ordered to pause to case due to the defendant, Thaksin, fleeing from the country.
6. Corruption The Lottery Project
Thaksin, all his cabinet members and affiliates totaling 47 people, including Thailand Lottery Committee Executives, were indicted. The Criminal Court sentenced the then Deputy Minister of Finance, the Permanent Secretary of Finance Ministry, and Head of Thailand Lottery Office for a two-year jail time with parole. Since Thaksin had fled the country, the court issued arrest warrant to capture him.
7. Corruption by Issuing Loan to Myanmar Government to Buy His Telecom Equipment
Thaksin issued a loan in an approximate amount of USD 130 million (4,000 million Baht) through a government bank to Myanmar government, allowing Myanmar government to purchase telecom equipment and satellite from Shin Corporation, a company owned by Thaksin and his family. The court issued an arrest warrant to capture him.
8. Concealed or Wrongly Disclosed Assets and Liabilities Accounts
Further from the Shin Corp shareholding nomination case, Thaksin was indicted for concealing assets or wrongly disclosed assets and liabilities total of six times. The court issued an arrest warrant to capture him.
9. Corruption by Issuing Loan to NPL company
Thaksin approved a government bank’s loan approximately USD 300 million (9,000 million Baht) to a company that was a non-performing loan of the bank which most unlikely to repay the loan. This case was accepted by the court and is in the process.
These are only some of the lawsuits against Thaksin Shinawatra that have already been to the courts. There are some more criminal cases against him still under investigation.
Beyond the Corruption
Apart from the corruption and legal sentences, Thaksin has ruined the Thai culture and how people think about public interests and personal interests by planting and proving that the unethical behaviors and corruption, are acceptable if his people are in the power. Nowadays, many Thais don’t care anymore about what’s right or wrong and what’s good or bad, as long as they too receive the benefits, get promoted, or get money. The politicians and government agencies who are in Thaksin’s camp have turned Thai society into a Shameless Society where Greed and Cheat are seen in everyday political news.
In many countries, like Thailand, an election does not represent a true democracy. It is basically a way to get a ruler, the election winner. It does not matter how he/she wins it or if he/she is capable to perform the duties, or if he/she has ethic or respects the rules of law. Thaksin used the money he had stolen from the country to buy popularity among the poor, making sure that he’d come in to power. None of his parties won in Bangkok where voters are more educated and well-informed. One cannot blame the poor because they don’t think further than the next meal on the table or a better life than yesterday. If one gives them a better life, especially with more money, they are loyal to that person.
Thaksin abused his power to appoint his people, family members, to be the heads in all positions possible, such as district attorneys, police, army commanders, monks and religious personnel, etc. to make sure he could control the country and the people, and was still able to continue stealing the money and resources. He corrupted the money from taxpayers, from the country’s resources, and used these monies to buy people and to hire anyone, including foreign lobbyists and lawyers, to serve him. THIS is the Democracy in Thaksin’s definition, “People voted for me. I’m from the election.”
When he was ousted by the coup, people came out on the streets and gave flowers to the soldiers. It was a coup in which not even a bullet was fired and not a drop of blood spilled; you would see only the smiles on people’s faces.
But the devil with money has tried to come back in different shapes and forms.
The Wish to Return
Thaksin always wants to return to Thailand and come back to power. But he would not want to come back and go to jail like a criminal. He wants to come back cleaned and cleared.
He has funded his Red-Shirt supporters to do anything to bring him back in power. He has signaled them to burn the cities when his followers failed to take over the previous government that was run by the Democrat Party.
Through his sister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government, he attempted to amend the Constitution to indirectly help him return without being punished by the law. Nevertheless, his plan failed because of many massive protests. The case was brought to the Constitutional Court which ruled that the procedures to indirectly change the whole Constitution could not be done without public hearing and voting.
He then ordered his sister’s government to create a so-called Reconciliation Act which had a clause stating clearly that people who were affected by the result of the coup (that ousted him) or by organizations created as a result of the coup were to be considered as not accused or not guilty. Clearly, this law was made to whitewash Thaksin himself. His people finally created an Amnesty Bill and passed it as a new law at 4 AM!!! This evil action agitated the Thais in and out of the country, and the largest protests in the world with millions of demonstrators from all walks of life took place in Bangkok, Thailand, towards the end of 2013.
Corruption by Yingluck’s Government
Within the first year of Yingluck’s government, USD 17 Billion of taxpayers’ money (534,400 Million Baht) was reported to be abused through various projects to give fundings and supplies to all sorts of groups and organizations to buy popularity. One of which includes a non-sense giving away of tablets to the 1st grade students in all schools in Thailand. In some areas, many schools did not even have electricity, not to mention the Internet or WiFi. In addition, there were no educational contents provided on the tablets. The government also issued credit cards to the poor farmers for USD 53 million (1,600 million Baht) where it would only create debts to them that they would unlikely be able to pay off. The worst corruption was the government’s buying-rice scheme which resulted in the highest cost of rice, unable to compete and sell in the world market.
Latest number shows that the country lost in total about 23 billion USD (700 Billion Baht) in the rice scheme where corruption was at every step of the program. The government then had no money to pay back to farmers for the rice they sold to the government. Nine farmers committed suicide as a result of depression over no money to grow the next crops and to pay for their living expenses.
As reporter, Ron Corben, puts it in Voice of America website:
“…Asian Development Bank economists are calling for countries to step back from policies restricting rice exports or that artificially boost prices - such as Thailand’s rice-pledging program that has led to a 43 percent decline in Thai rice exports in the past year… Thailand’s rice-pledging program was an election promise to farmers last year by the governing Pheu Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Thai-pledging prices to farmers are $300 above the world market. The program is facing criticism over allegations of corruption and increasing storage problems, as well as the impact on the budget. But the Thai Cabinet agreed to extend the plan, allocating a further $13 billion to the program, after last year’s budget allocation of nearly $10 billion.”
THAKSIN SHINAWATRA, to the Thais around the world, is a criminal by heart and soul. Thai people do wish that one day his vicious karma would bring him down.
DON’T BE VICTIMIZED BY THAKSIN SHINAWATRA’S DIRTY MONEY, HIS LOBBYISTS, OR HIS PREACH OF FAKE DEMOCRACY.
STOP THE GREEDY, THE CHEATING, AND THE SHAMELESS POLITICIANS.
STOP THE DICTATORSHIP UNDER DEMOCRATIC COVER.
PLEASE HELP MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR PEOPLE, NOT FOR CORRUPT POLITICIANS.
For more information about the Shinawatra Government’s corruptions and why millions of Thais came out to protest, please Google video “Thailand Protest 2013 – Explained” or see https://youtu.be/pQVjUsKSKUE