Thailand is living up to its billing as "amazing". And the sky is falling fast. Let's consider the events that are turning Amazing Thailand upside down:
_ The outcome of the February 2 poll shows that voters did not want the election in the first place.
_ On the other hand, the US, the EU and the UN want a Thai election more than the Thai people do.
_ The rice price-pledging scheme has seen Pu take the cash while the farmers get a paper document.
_ Thai farmers are the now richest in the world. They are creditors to the tune of Bt1.1 billion, while the government is the debtor.
_ Farmers grow rice so that the government can burn it behind warehouse doors (to destroy evidence of corruption).
_ The government has 18 million tonnes of rice in its stockpiles. It won’t sell the rice, which is going rotten, but is instead scrambling to borrow Bt130 billion to pay the farmers.
_ The rice price pledge is a shining example of Asean cooperation. Farmers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia bring their paddy into Thailand to get the cash, leaving the Thai farmers with bai prathuan (the rice-pledging document).
_ Kittiratt Na Ranong, the deputy prime minister and finance minister, is jeered and booed by farmers over his failure to give them a definite answer as to when the government will pay them the money owed under the scheme. The angry farmers resort to throwing oranges and water bottles at him. Kittiratt has to run away. The whole nation witnesses the spectacular moment when Kittiratt retreats faster than a bank run at the Government Savings Bank.
_ Farmers are killing themselves because they can’t get the money from the government. The government says these victims are “fake farmers”.
_ The Government Savings Bank (GSB) says it has money to help the farmers, but it does not have the money to return to its depositors.
_ The GSB wants to lend money to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) who will pass it on to the farmers. But now the GSB might need to borrow money from the BAAC.
_ SC Park Hotel, owned by the Shinawatra family, pays Luang Pu Buddha Issara, a monk and key protest leader, and his entourage of farmers Bt120,000 in a bid to stop them checking into the hotel. This is the first time in the history of the hospitality industry that a hotel has paid a potential customer to stay away.
_ Thaksin thinks. Pu gives the order. Chalerm screws it up.
An army of farmers is on its way to Bangkok for a face-off with Yingluck Shinawatra. A Black Hawk is standing by to fly her away.