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Thaksin to ditch scheme: Chamlong

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ͺͺ: Fri Jun 04, 2004 16:34    ͧ: Thaksin to ditch scheme: Chamlong ͺҧͤ

Thaksin to ditch scheme: Chamlong

Jun 03, 2004

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will scrap plans to initiate a special lottery to finance the purchase of a 30percent stake in Liverpool Football Club, former Bangkok governor Chamlong Srimuang said yesterday.

In a radio interview, Chamlong said Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan contacted him to say that Thaksin was looking for ways to discourage gambling after receiving a letter of disapproval from Chamlong.

He said he sent the letter to Thaksin as a friend and adviser on human resources development.

In the letter, Chamlong said the lottery was inappropriate and would lead to a rise in gambling in Thai society.

He dismissed suggestions that his verbal attack on Thaksin was an attempt get himself back in the limelight.

Chamlong said the government seemed to place an emphasis on the economy and materialism in its first three years in office.

Now in its fourth year, it is trying to get back to society with provincial tours to meet the people and drug campaigns in villages.

The premier seems to be interested in two things; awards for drugfree villages and the special lottery to buy stocks, he said.


Casino cabinet leading us into abyss of vice

The Thaksin administration is leading the country towards an abyss of vice with its attempt to promote gambling such as lotteries, stock speculation and football betting, a symposium was told yesterday.

Rotsana Tositrakul, a leading consumer and health activist, said the government was trying to promote a getrichquick mentality through all sorts of legal gambling.

That includes the current attempt by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to set up a public fund to buy a 30percent stake in Liverpool Football Club.

This, said Rotsana, was leading the country into an abyss of social degradation.

Rotsana, speaking at the symposium Vision of Thai Leaders and the Problem of Vices in the Country organised by Rangsit Universitys Social Innovation College said the present administration should be christened The Casino Cabinet as it had been trying to promote all sort of vices.

She said the government was indirectly encouraging people not to work but dream of becoming rich through gambling.

I wonder whether were on the verge of tripping into the abyss of vices, or that we have already fallen into it, she told participants at the 14 October Memorial.

Rotsana, chairperson of the Thai Foundation for Health, said the controversial attempt by Thaksin to use public money to buy a part of Liverpool reflected a deepseated inferiority complex.

She said the premier felt the need to associate himself and the country with the worldfamous club. That was no different to people who wore and were surrounded by brandname goods in order to feel confident and gain acceptance from others.

The government had become the chief bad influence on the public when it came to vice.

Kawin Chutima, a veteran development worker, said the public should stop blindly following the government and think for themselves. Im not sure if the governments and the peoples vision are one and the same, he added.

Kawin described the Liverpool bid as misguided, saying that if the government was truly interested in supporting sport, the billions could be used to build facilities nationwide and hire qualified instructors.

Kawin said it was ironic that the countrys leaders were becoming more and more removed from Buddhist morality while foreigners were seeking to learn about Buddhism from Thailand.

He also said the getrichquick mentality was the result of poverty, which was in turn the result of a lack of equal opportunity.

Thicha Na Nakorn, coordinator of the Women and Constitution Network, said that while adults tended to express grave concerns over the young being literally consumed by gambling, entertainment and computer games, they should instead reflect on their role in the situation and not just condemn children.

Dont blame them [youths] too much because they may not be the real culprits it may be us, Thicha said.

Phra Kittisak, a leader of the Sekhiyadhamma Engaged Buddhist Group, said the Liverpool bid had taught people that society should think hard as to what kind of leader they wanted after Thaksin was gone.

Pravit Rojanaphruk The Nation


ͺͺ: Wed Jun 09, 2004 09:25    ͧ: More opposition to LFC plan ͺҧͤ

More opposition to LFC plan

Published on Jun 2, 2004

Opposition to the governments plan to purchase a stake in Liverpool Football Club gained further momentum yesterday with more senior monks and academics accusing Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of leading the country to destruction.

At a seminar, Phra Kittisak Kitiso said Thaksins plan to raise money through a form of gambling showed his lack of moral sense.

He will be the lord of capitalism and consumerism. Other world leaders might consider [raising funds through gambling) but they do not go ahead with it because they have moral integrity, the monk said.

On Monday, Thaksins plan was slammed by Chamlong Srimuang, the former Bangkok governor who led him into politics, and mentor Bodhirak of the Santi Asoke Buddhist centre.

Phra Kittisak dismissed Thaksins claim that the purchase would boost the countrys sporting potential. He said the prime minister was abusing his power just to satisfy his own desires.

Paiboon Wattanasiritham, member of the National Economic Social Advisory Council, admitted that Thaksin was a competent leader but he was not sure in which direction the PM was leading the country.

He mocked Thaksins claim that the purchase would promote Thai products on the world stage.

It is an impossible goal and not worth the money. The whole idea is against good governance and sound business management, he said.

Owning a worldfamous football club at the expense of cultural and moral integrity is not constructive in leading the country, Paiboon said.

Dr Nirand Pitakwatchara, a senator from Ubon Ratchathani, said the premiers plan to buy into Liverpool by intoxicating the public with gambling would undermine society.

Thaksin is preaching money as God. When there is not enough money, he siphons it from vice, he said.

Prof Dr Khian Theerawit, a 1997 Constitution drafter, said Thaksin had made him forget whether Thailand was rich or poor.

Its as if he is insensitive to hot and cold and has nothing better to do but stir trouble for the country, he said.

Khian added that Thaksin might only have wanted to divert public and media attention from the recent noconfidence debate and all the negative press haunting his administration. He might also have wanted to boost his popularity by arousing the public with the Big Purchase.

Supaporn Phokaew, of Chulalongkorn Universitys Faculty of Communication Arts, blamed the media for allowing Thaksin to dictate the direction of the Liverpool news.

He knows how to use the media to create confusion. The media did not ask why the country needed to buy the club or what impact the purchase would have, she said.

Sucheera Pinijparakarn

The Nation

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