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Rempler

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Everything posted by Rempler

  1. He will never be forgotten by those, who met him alive or electronically. A superb and wonderful person.

  2. Rempler

    Almost

    Dear Jerry, may this new year bring all of the very best to you ! (and loads of your good music to us !!) Cheers Joey
  3. Rempler

    "cuz nobody loves you"

    This guy isn't worth your attention any more. Probably he had a bad day and just looked for someone to kick, but from my point of view a behaviour like that disqualifies every guy. Try to not let it get under your skin ! You deserve the best ppl of all around you cause you yourself truly belong to the best this world has to offer !
  4. Rempler

    Cursed!

    ====> '_/o '_/o '_/o '_/o from left to right: Cafe au lait, Cappucino, Black coffee, Coffee with sugar and chocolate powder ... CAREFUL, - they're all hot ...... Liquor ? Sorry, run out of it last night, after Switzerland had lost ....
  5. Given the fact that the semifinals 2 yrs ago were staffed only by European teams this tournament is close might have come close to a real world championship. Being 100% German + having an Italian cousin + my two best friends coming from Sweden and Turkey + adoring Zinedine Zidane ==> it is not so easy to make up my mind, for whom my heart is beating. Okay, my German blood wants Michael Ballack to receive take the trophy after the finals, but, honestly, I do NOT think that the actual German team is competitive at all, - I wouldn't even be surprised if we go home after the group stage. I have played soccer for roughly 3 decades and during all that time ENGLAND was the key benchmark. They have the - by far - highest speed in the game, sensational players and an outstanding sense of fairness. So a tournament without England is a somewhat numb affair to me. The games are starting in a few minutes, - the streets are completely empty over here, while the public viewing places are overcrowded, but I will drink my beer hoping that, as a compensation, England will win the next world championship. Portugal or Turkey might make the "micro-EURO" in the meantime ....
  6. Rempler

    Too Risky!!!

    Please protect yourself at all times ! You are pretty much needed !! I guess I have to have a conference call with your Dad ;-)
  7. Rempler

    Writing Journal !!!

    3 more days for the "small" one - I'm crossing my fingers for you .... you will succeed ! Definitely !!
  8. Good luck for you, Khun Nueng, that we are not living close to you at the moment, othewise we would ask frequently, if we might come along support you with cooking (AND tasting !) :-)
  9. Hi Jimmy ! Great Video and wonderful song, - I can easily imagine (and share) the vibrations you are experiencing when listening to it. Thanx for placing it here !! Dir auch ganz doll schoene Ostern !! J+D
  10. Looks tempting .... and makes me feel hungry .... Thanks a lot ! I guess al the ingredients i can et in the local Thai shop here in Germany and maybe they can even teach me how to mix the dipping - and then I'll try to prepare a "surprise meal" for my sweetwife - she is heavily suffering from 7-days-falang food over here :-) Well, if she will not be seen in TF for a longer period, then prolly I made a mistake ;-)
  11. Most of the time, I agree with Poul but not on this occasion: I think all the GOOD and remarkable facettes of OoO are still there, only some other components vanished ... and this was the best thing that could ever have happended ! ... so now, everybody who loves you, is so glad to see how happy the both of you are .... I wish this will last forever!
  12. Dear Mike, you are still around - and in our heart you will always be alive, - as long as we live ! Noone can ever forget you. We love you and we hope that you are living in a better world now. JK
  13. Southeast Asia Sep 21, 2006 Military coup tumbles Thailand's Thaksin By Shawn W Crispin BANGKOK - Caretaker Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup on Tuesday evening, marking what appears to be a dramatic end to a political stalemate that has pitched the embattled politician against an opposition movement backed by conservative elements close to the Thai palace. Troops loyal to Thai army commander General Sonthi Boonyaratklin, a palace loyalist, led the army-led putsch and surrounded Government House and parliament with tanks and troops. Thaksin, who was traveling in the United States, > attempted to declare “a severe state of emergency” from New York and ordered Sonthi removed from his command. As of midnight Thailand time, there was no indication that army officers loyal to Thaksin intended to enforce the caretaker prime minister’s orders to remove Sonthi. A source close to Sonthi said that they were locked in late-night negotiations with military officials loyal to Thaksin, including from the Bangkok-based 4th Cavalry Division, to avoid bloodshed. A military official, wearing a Western style suit and a royal insignia pin, announced on national television that the army had temporarily suspended the “irresponsible” civilian government and would soon return power to the people. The Thai military used similar justification to overthrow the democratically-elected government led by Chatichai Choonhavan in 1991. All Thai television stations were placed under military control and played continuous footage in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A subsequent military announcement broadcast on all Thai television stations formally dismissed the government, revoked the 1997 constitution, and declared the provisional authority's loyalty to the monarch. The official statement also ordered all military personnel based in Bangkok to remain in their appointed positions. Meanwhile, caretaker government spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said from New York that the coup attempt “cannot succeed”, apparently indicating that Thaksin plans to contest the military’s move Sources close to Sonthi said that two palace loyalists were being considered to take over the provisional military authority. One candidate was Sumet Tantivejkul, Secretary General of the Chai Pattana Foundation, which is under royal patronage. The other was privy councilor Palakorn Suwannarat, who notably was removed by Thaksin from his post in the interior ministry in 2001. Earlier on Tuesday, there were widespread coup rumors when Sonthi gave military officials orders to stand by for an important announcement. A well-placed source with senior army connections told Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity that Thaksin had attempted to pre-empt the coup by ordering the arrest of chief privy councilor Prem Tinsulonda, the king’s chief advisor. For undisclosed reasons, that police-led mission failed. The army also mobilized the heavily armed rapid deployment unit, 9th Infantry Division, in nearby Kanchanaburi province and the Special Warfare Operational forces in central Lopburi province in the event military officials loyal to Thaksin in Bangkok attempted to resist the coup order. The coup significantly comes against the backdrop of a hotly contested scheduled military reshuffle, in which Thaksin had controversially vied to elevate army officials loyal to him from his pre-Cadet Class 10 to the pivotal First Army Division. That reshuffle list reportedly brought Thaksin into conflict with senior members of the top brass and the Privy Council, and his refusal to back down from the proposed personnel changes appears to have been a major factor behind the coup. According to sources familiar with the matter, Thaksin had attempted to elevate Major General Prin Suwanthat to commander of the First Army Division, which crucially is charged with overseeing security in Bangkok. Thaksin also reportedly pushed to promote Prin’s ally, Major General Daopong Ratanasuwan, to take over the First Infantry. With assistant army commander Pornchai Kranlert in place, the reshuffle, if accomplished, would have given Thaksin an unbroken chain of command over crack troops responsible for Bangkok’s security. Thailand was scheduled to hold new general elections in November, which political analysts widely predicted Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party would win with an outright majority. However, deep-seated opposition to Thaksin resuming political leadership signaled that the new polls would not have broken the political deadlock. For better or for worse, a military intervention has. Shawn W Crispin is Asia Times Online’s Southeast Asia Editor (Copyright 2006 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing .) Legal noose tightens on Thailand's Thaksin (Sep 2, '06)
  14. Southeast Asia Sep 21, 2006 Military coup tumbles Thailand's Thaksin By Shawn W Crispin BANGKOK - Caretaker Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup on Tuesday evening, marking what appears to be a dramatic end to a political stalemate that has pitched the embattled politician against an opposition movement backed by conservative elements close to the Thai palace. Troops loyal to Thai army commander General Sonthi Boonyaratklin, a palace loyalist, led the army-led putsch and surrounded Government House and parliament with tanks and troops. Thaksin, who was traveling in the United States, > attempted to declare “a severe state of emergency” from New York and ordered Sonthi removed from his command. As of midnight Thailand time, there was no indication that army officers loyal to Thaksin intended to enforce the caretaker prime minister’s orders to remove Sonthi. A source close to Sonthi said that they were locked in late-night negotiations with military officials loyal to Thaksin, including from the Bangkok-based 4th Cavalry Division, to avoid bloodshed. A military official, wearing a Western style suit and a royal insignia pin, announced on national television that the army had temporarily suspended the “irresponsible” civilian government and would soon return power to the people. The Thai military used similar justification to overthrow the democratically-elected government led by Chatichai Choonhavan in 1991. All Thai television stations were placed under military control and played continuous footage in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A subsequent military announcement broadcast on all Thai television stations formally dismissed the government, revoked the 1997 constitution, and declared the provisional authority's loyalty to the monarch. The official statement also ordered all military personnel based in Bangkok to remain in their appointed positions. Meanwhile, caretaker government spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said from New York that the coup attempt “cannot succeed”, apparently indicating that Thaksin plans to contest the military’s move Sources close to Sonthi said that two palace loyalists were being considered to take over the provisional military authority. One candidate was Sumet Tantivejkul, Secretary General of the Chai Pattana Foundation, which is under royal patronage. The other was privy councilor Palakorn Suwannarat, who notably was removed by Thaksin from his post in the interior ministry in 2001. Earlier on Tuesday, there were widespread coup rumors when Sonthi gave military officials orders to stand by for an important announcement. A well-placed source with senior army connections told Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity that Thaksin had attempted to pre-empt the coup by ordering the arrest of chief privy councilor Prem Tinsulonda, the king’s chief advisor. For undisclosed reasons, that police-led mission failed. The army also mobilized the heavily armed rapid deployment unit, 9th Infantry Division, in nearby Kanchanaburi province and the Special Warfare Operational forces in central Lopburi province in the event military officials loyal to Thaksin in Bangkok attempted to resist the coup order. The coup significantly comes against the backdrop of a hotly contested scheduled military reshuffle, in which Thaksin had controversially vied to elevate army officials loyal to him from his pre-Cadet Class 10 to the pivotal First Army Division. That reshuffle list reportedly brought Thaksin into conflict with senior members of the top brass and the Privy Council, and his refusal to back down from the proposed personnel changes appears to have been a major factor behind the coup. According to sources familiar with the matter, Thaksin had attempted to elevate Major General Prin Suwanthat to commander of the First Army Division, which crucially is charged with overseeing security in Bangkok. Thaksin also reportedly pushed to promote Prin’s ally, Major General Daopong Ratanasuwan, to take over the First Infantry. With assistant army commander Pornchai Kranlert in place, the reshuffle, if accomplished, would have given Thaksin an unbroken chain of command over crack troops responsible for Bangkok’s security. Thailand was scheduled to hold new general elections in November, which political analysts widely predicted Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party would win with an outright majority. However, deep-seated opposition to Thaksin resuming political leadership signaled that the new polls would not have broken the political deadlock. For better or for worse, a military intervention has. Shawn W Crispin is Asia Times Online’s Southeast Asia Editor (Copyright 2006 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing .) Legal noose tightens on Thailand's Thaksin (Sep 2, '06)
  15. Just in case you are interested: thsi is what the Economist was writing in the most reacent print edition from earlier this week: Thailand - A blow to Thai democracy Apr 6th 2006 - From The Economist print edition The mob has beaten the ballot box in South-East Asia ?IT'S a funny old world,? Margaret Thatcher remarked as she was driven from power in 1990, not by the electorate but by her own party. Like Mrs Thatcher, Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister of Thailand since 2001, has won three elections on the trot. But that has not stopped him, like her, from making a tearful early exit from office. Mr Thaksin won his most recent victory on April 2nd (see article). Because all the main opposition parties had boycotted the poll, this was a foregone conclusion. Since the boycott turned this into more of a referendum than an election, the prime minister had vowed to quit if he did not win more than 50% of the vote. Despite a campaign by the boycotters to have their supporters register a ?no vote?, he scored around 57%. However, partly because of a relatively poor turnout, he won 3m fewer votes than he had a year ago?resulting in less than the ringing re-endorsement he had hoped for. And the opposition, despite having in effect scored a third consecutive defeat, vowed to continue its clamorous street rallies against him, disrupting traffic and government business in Bangkok. It all proved too much. After an audience with the king, Mr Thaksin announced on April 4th that he would go. Many people will call this a great day for Asian democracy. Mr Thaksin is an unattractive figure, a billionaire who spent his way to power by setting up his own lavishly funded party, and relentlessly promoting it using the stable of media companies he had conveniently acquired. This route to power echoed that taken by Italy's Silvio Berlusconi (see article), who faces his own difficult encounter with the voters this weekend. And the criticisms of both men are strikingly similar: that their great wealth creates many conflicts of interest; that they have ridden roughshod over their countries' constitutions; that they have attempted to suppress criticism; and that they have both, in different ways, been disappointments in office, despite billing themselves as high-powered business types who know how to get things done. Both men, in short, have been bad for democracy, and both their countries will be better off without them. The shadow of the barracks At this point, nonetheless, the two stories diverge. If Mr Berlusconi wins 57% of the vote in Italy's election, nobody expects to see Romano Prodi and the opposition he leads taking to the streets, camping out at the Quirinale, shutting down the Piazza Navona and vowing not to rest until they have driven the prime minister from power. The world would rightly condemn them in the unlikely event that they did so. In Thailand, while Mr Thaksin is undoubtedly a disease in the body politic, the cure that has just been applied is worse than the illness itself. It is not yet clear exactly why Mr Thaksin resigned, despite his victory. But the fear of mob violence, or the growing possibility of military intervention, or pressure from an extremely powerful royal palace may all have played their part. And none of these is healthy for a country that aspires to be a true democracy. For all his many faults, Mr Thaksin deserves some credit for introducing a bold new concept into politics?that government should pay much more attention to the wishes of those left behind by the economic boom in Thailand's poorest rural provinces (most of which voted, enthusiastically, for him on April 2nd). This principle has borne fruit politically, and economically too. It has helped pump up domestic demand, something a country such as Thailand, which has faced devastating competition from China in the export market, badly needs. The policy has proved so successful that other countries in the region have openly copied it. Beyond this, the political system in Thailand was not as badly broken as Mr Thaksin's opponents have often claimed. If it were, he would not have had to sell almost all of his family's assets in January, including the television station that is supposed to have been so central to his power. That sale made the most recent election at least reasonably free and fair. Newspapers, in particular, were much more critical of Mr Thaksin than in the past. It is a great pity that the mob was in the end allowed to beat the electoral system. The correct way to oust Mr Thaksin should have been at the ballot box. Now fix the damage Much of East Asia has only recently emerged from the shadow of the barracks, and a young democracy is one that cannot be taken for granted. The spectacle of an urban elite overthrowing an elected leader, one who enjoyed great popularity among the rural poor whom he genuinely helped, is not only distasteful but potentially dangerous. The nearest parallel is probably the Philippines, where an urban revolution, backed by the army, drove the populist and utterly useless president, Joseph Estrada, from office in 2002. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who inherited his job, also inherited a country addicted to actual and attempted revolution??people power? as it is sometimes too flatteringly called. If Thailand slips into a similar cycle of instability, one might start to worry about the future of far more fragile Indonesia as well. With luck, it will not come to that. Thailand's ?revolution? was well-behaved and bloodless. Bangkok's middle class may be too sensible to be easily drawn further down the path that can lead to coups. Its own bloody experience of military crackdowns, in 1973 and 1992, is still fresh. With the ?dictator? now off the scene (for the moment, his deputy is to become prime minister), can Thailand once again become a model transitional democracy? This will require maturity from both sides. Mr Thaksin must avoid interfering. And the opposition must now speedily return to democratic methods. The present parliament, with the main opposition parties absent, is an aberration that ought not be allowed to last more than a few weeks. New elections will have to be held and it is essential that all the main parties contest them. If, as seems possible, Mr Thaksin's party, Thai Rak Thai, emerges on top again and is able to form a government, the opposition must accept the result. That's how democracy should work. =========================================== Just transmitted without any comment.
  16. Just in case you are interested: thsi is what the Economist was writing in the most reacent print edition from earlier this week: Thailand - A blow to Thai democracy Apr 6th 2006 - From The Economist print edition The mob has beaten the ballot box in South-East Asia ?IT'S a funny old world,? Margaret Thatcher remarked as she was driven from power in 1990, not by the electorate but by her own party. Like Mrs Thatcher, Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister of Thailand since 2001, has won three elections on the trot. But that has not stopped him, like her, from making a tearful early exit from office. Mr Thaksin won his most recent victory on April 2nd (see article). Because all the main opposition parties had boycotted the poll, this was a foregone conclusion. Since the boycott turned this into more of a referendum than an election, the prime minister had vowed to quit if he did not win more than 50% of the vote. Despite a campaign by the boycotters to have their supporters register a ?no vote?, he scored around 57%. However, partly because of a relatively poor turnout, he won 3m fewer votes than he had a year ago?resulting in less than the ringing re-endorsement he had hoped for. And the opposition, despite having in effect scored a third consecutive defeat, vowed to continue its clamorous street rallies against him, disrupting traffic and government business in Bangkok. It all proved too much. After an audience with the king, Mr Thaksin announced on April 4th that he would go. Many people will call this a great day for Asian democracy. Mr Thaksin is an unattractive figure, a billionaire who spent his way to power by setting up his own lavishly funded party, and relentlessly promoting it using the stable of media companies he had conveniently acquired. This route to power echoed that taken by Italy's Silvio Berlusconi (see article), who faces his own difficult encounter with the voters this weekend. And the criticisms of both men are strikingly similar: that their great wealth creates many conflicts of interest; that they have ridden roughshod over their countries' constitutions; that they have attempted to suppress criticism; and that they have both, in different ways, been disappointments in office, despite billing themselves as high-powered business types who know how to get things done. Both men, in short, have been bad for democracy, and both their countries will be better off without them. The shadow of the barracks At this point, nonetheless, the two stories diverge. If Mr Berlusconi wins 57% of the vote in Italy's election, nobody expects to see Romano Prodi and the opposition he leads taking to the streets, camping out at the Quirinale, shutting down the Piazza Navona and vowing not to rest until they have driven the prime minister from power. The world would rightly condemn them in the unlikely event that they did so. In Thailand, while Mr Thaksin is undoubtedly a disease in the body politic, the cure that has just been applied is worse than the illness itself. It is not yet clear exactly why Mr Thaksin resigned, despite his victory. But the fear of mob violence, or the growing possibility of military intervention, or pressure from an extremely powerful royal palace may all have played their part. And none of these is healthy for a country that aspires to be a true democracy. For all his many faults, Mr Thaksin deserves some credit for introducing a bold new concept into politics?that government should pay much more attention to the wishes of those left behind by the economic boom in Thailand's poorest rural provinces (most of which voted, enthusiastically, for him on April 2nd). This principle has borne fruit politically, and economically too. It has helped pump up domestic demand, something a country such as Thailand, which has faced devastating competition from China in the export market, badly needs. The policy has proved so successful that other countries in the region have openly copied it. Beyond this, the political system in Thailand was not as badly broken as Mr Thaksin's opponents have often claimed. If it were, he would not have had to sell almost all of his family's assets in January, including the television station that is supposed to have been so central to his power. That sale made the most recent election at least reasonably free and fair. Newspapers, in particular, were much more critical of Mr Thaksin than in the past. It is a great pity that the mob was in the end allowed to beat the electoral system. The correct way to oust Mr Thaksin should have been at the ballot box. Now fix the damage Much of East Asia has only recently emerged from the shadow of the barracks, and a young democracy is one that cannot be taken for granted. The spectacle of an urban elite overthrowing an elected leader, one who enjoyed great popularity among the rural poor whom he genuinely helped, is not only distasteful but potentially dangerous. The nearest parallel is probably the Philippines, where an urban revolution, backed by the army, drove the populist and utterly useless president, Joseph Estrada, from office in 2002. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who inherited his job, also inherited a country addicted to actual and attempted revolution??people power? as it is sometimes too flatteringly called. If Thailand slips into a similar cycle of instability, one might start to worry about the future of far more fragile Indonesia as well. With luck, it will not come to that. Thailand's ?revolution? was well-behaved and bloodless. Bangkok's middle class may be too sensible to be easily drawn further down the path that can lead to coups. Its own bloody experience of military crackdowns, in 1973 and 1992, is still fresh. With the ?dictator? now off the scene (for the moment, his deputy is to become prime minister), can Thailand once again become a model transitional democracy? This will require maturity from both sides. Mr Thaksin must avoid interfering. And the opposition must now speedily return to democratic methods. The present parliament, with the main opposition parties absent, is an aberration that ought not be allowed to last more than a few weeks. New elections will have to be held and it is essential that all the main parties contest them. If, as seems possible, Mr Thaksin's party, Thai Rak Thai, emerges on top again and is able to form a government, the opposition must accept the result. That's how democracy should work. =========================================== Just transmitted without any comment.
  17. Dear Mike, thanks a lot for the update. Actually (2 a.m. local time) the German TV starts reporting about the Thai elections - first time ever. I am surprised to learn that our German journalist, who normally tend to be very careful and rarely critizise foreign politicians, actually put Toxin into the samecategory, in which all the real bad guys are in (means George W. and the heads of Belarus, Kongo, North Korea, Angola and such), means leaders, who neither understand nor respect sovereignity and/or democracy ..... Let's hope he steps down before more rage is taken on to the streets.
  18. >> Chris - I am scoping every possible but Thailand obviously does not support things like "online-Follw-up" of the counting. Just several people from my "home village" in the northeast, do report that even in those former "Taxin-areas" many people wore black bands around their wrists, - so that really might give an indication ....
  19. As the poll is closed (as far as I can see from 5575 miles away) I dare to copy some lines, broadcasted by BBC 5 minutes ago, - just as I've learnt by phone that in some regions in the North East of Thailand TV cannot be seen for a few hours due tue heavy thunderstorms having damaged some transmission units: BBC {Correspondents: Alex, Brighton (UK) } ==> Thais await crunch poll outcome <== * Analysts say Mr Thaksin's political troubles could be far from over Votes are being counted in the Thai general election, ==> as early indications suggest abstentions outnumbered votes for the prime minister in some areas. Thaksin Shinawatra was reported to be trailing the "no vote" in parts of the capital Bangkok, although rural support from him is expected to be strong. <== The PM called the election - boycotted by the three main opposition parties - to try to end protests against him. Mr Thaksin says he will step down if his party fails to win 50% of votes. ==> But the boycott means that even if he achieves that, he may not be able to form a government. Because of the boycott, candidates from Mr Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party stood unopposed in many seats. BUT according to the Thai constitution, all 500 parliamentary seats must be filled for the lower house to convene, but in some seats unopposed Thai Rak Thai candidates are unlikely to achieve the 20% of the vote necessary to be accepted as legitimate MPs. <===
  20. As the poll is closed (as far as I can see from 5575 miles away) I dare to copy some lines, broadcasted by BBC 5 minutes ago, - just as I've learnt by phone that in some regions in the North East of Thailand TV cannot be seen for a few hours due tue heavy thunderstorms having damaged some transmission units: BBC {Correspondents: Alex, Brighton (UK) } ==> Thais await crunch poll outcome <== * Analysts say Mr Thaksin's political troubles could be far from over Votes are being counted in the Thai general election, ==> as early indications suggest abstentions outnumbered votes for the prime minister in some areas. Thaksin Shinawatra was reported to be trailing the "no vote" in parts of the capital Bangkok, although rural support from him is expected to be strong. <== The PM called the election - boycotted by the three main opposition parties - to try to end protests against him. Mr Thaksin says he will step down if his party fails to win 50% of votes. ==> But the boycott means that even if he achieves that, he may not be able to form a government. Because of the boycott, candidates from Mr Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party stood unopposed in many seats. BUT according to the Thai constitution, all 500 parliamentary seats must be filled for the lower house to convene, but in some seats unopposed Thai Rak Thai candidates are unlikely to achieve the 20% of the vote necessary to be accepted as legitimate MPs. <===
  21. Rempler

    Bundesliga Results

    And Dortmunds goals in hamburg were all ready for "arts awards" - amazing how these guys have performed :-) (even though my heart beats for Hamburg)
  22. Without addind any comment to the current discussions I just want to share this article from The Economist with you. Nothing really new, just a condense of the sell. It was published one week ago already - sorry for being late, but I lay down with a flu since 2 weeks :-( =================================== Thaksin helps himself Jan 26th 2006 | From The Economist print edition A politically and economically astute asset sale by the prime minister ACCORDING to Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand's prime minister, his relatives' decision to sell their stake in Shin Corporation, the conglomerate he transferred to them on taking office, was an act of patriotic self-sacrifice. They hope their deal with a consortium led by Temasek, an investment arm of the Singaporean government, will put an end to the constant complaints about Mr Thaksin's conflicts of interests, and allow him to concentrate on running the country. But this noble deed also netted the family 73 billion baht ($1.85 billion), and allowed it to dispose of its telecoms empire just as the sector enters a period of regulatory uncertainty. In his explanation of the sale, at any rate, Mr Thaksin seems guilty of what his critics always accuse him of: confusing the national interest with his family's. Mr Thaksin's business empire has caused him plenty of political headaches over the years. He almost lost the top job just after taking it up in 2001, when the constitutional court demanded to know how shares belonging to him had shown up in the hands of his gardener and driver, rather than on the mandatory statement of assets he had made during a prior stint as a minister. After that, every time his government made a decision affecting telecom firms, airlines, television channels, finance companies or any of the other industries in which Shin Corp had invested, critics would cry foul. By removing the Shinawatras from all these businesses, the deal should stem such carping. But the potential for conflicts of interests has only been reduced, not eliminated. Mr Thaksin's cabinet includes several other prominent businessmen, and has no formal procedures to guard against self-serving decisions. The Shinawatras themselves still hold stakes in an advertising agency. The press is already speculating about where they will invest the proceeds from the sale of Shin Corp. But wherever the money ends up, the family's unnerving combination of immense political and economic power will remain. Moreover, Mr Thaksin has endured accusations of impropriety with little apparent discomfort over the past few years. Although the subject has the pundits of Bangkok up in arms, it does not seem to move the voters very much. They returned his party to office last February by the biggest margin in Thai electoral history. Admittedly, city-dwellers have cooled to him dramatically since then. But his populist flair still seems to sway his vast numbers of rural supporters. Just last week, he starred in his own reality TV show, in which cameras accompanied him around an impoverished village, as he dispensed advice, cash and plots of land to grateful peasants. But whatever the political ramifications of the deal, the commercial logic is unimpeachable. The Shinawatras sold out with the share price of Shin Corp at an 11-year high. Tougher times lie ahead for Advanced Info Service (AIS), the mobile-phone offshoot that accounts for around 90% of Shin Corp's value. Growth in Thailand's mobile market has slowed from more than 100% a year in 2002 to 11% last year, with Nomura, a Japanese investment bank, forecasting future expansion of only 5% a year. Other providers are chipping away at AIS's market share. Probably the biggest spur to a sale, however, is the uncertainty inherent in Thailand's strangely structured telecommunications industry. In most countries, telecom firms build networks under licences. In Thailand, the private-sector players?two fixed-line and five mobile ones?have merely been granted operating concessions of between 15 and 27 years by the state-owned telecoms duopoly, Telephone Organisation of Thailand and CAT Telecom. Thailand's constitution, enacted in 1997, mandates an independent regulator to reform this odd set-up. Various procedural problems have held the process up?something that did not appear to worry Mr Thaksin's government very much?but the National Telecommunications Commission is now at last up and running. It should soon rule on vexed issues such as interconnection fees between rival networks, and will eventually decide what becomes of the private concessions. Faced with such an upheaval, the Bencharongkul family, which owned a stake in TAC, the number-two mobile provider, sold out to Norway's Telenor last year. Now the Shinawatras are following suit. It is into this regulatory minefield that Temasek is venturing. To its credit, Singapore's government investment agency has deep pockets and experience of telecoms and technology, which along with transport and financial services is one of its main areas of expansion. Temasek controls Singapore Telecom, the city-state's main telecoms firm, which already owns a separate 21.4% stake in AIS. At just 45%, Thailand's cellular penetration is far below Singapore's 90%-plus, offering prospects for growth. Having said that, Temasek is paying a fairly expensive 15 times prospective 2006 earnings for Shin Corp. Temasek's total annual shareholder return has dropped to only 6% for the past ten years. As a result, the agency is under pressure to diversify its investment portfolio outside its home city. The Shin Corp deal takes the foreign portion to 55% of the total. The Shinawatras' patriotic urges, it seems, coincided neatly with their and Temasek's business interests. ========== end of quote =========
  23. Without addind any comment to the current discussions I just want to share this article from The Economist with you. Nothing really new, just a condense of the sell. It was published one week ago already - sorry for being late, but I lay down with a flu since 2 weeks :-( =================================== Thaksin helps himself Jan 26th 2006 | From The Economist print edition A politically and economically astute asset sale by the prime minister ACCORDING to Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand's prime minister, his relatives' decision to sell their stake in Shin Corporation, the conglomerate he transferred to them on taking office, was an act of patriotic self-sacrifice. They hope their deal with a consortium led by Temasek, an investment arm of the Singaporean government, will put an end to the constant complaints about Mr Thaksin's conflicts of interests, and allow him to concentrate on running the country. But this noble deed also netted the family 73 billion baht ($1.85 billion), and allowed it to dispose of its telecoms empire just as the sector enters a period of regulatory uncertainty. In his explanation of the sale, at any rate, Mr Thaksin seems guilty of what his critics always accuse him of: confusing the national interest with his family's. Mr Thaksin's business empire has caused him plenty of political headaches over the years. He almost lost the top job just after taking it up in 2001, when the constitutional court demanded to know how shares belonging to him had shown up in the hands of his gardener and driver, rather than on the mandatory statement of assets he had made during a prior stint as a minister. After that, every time his government made a decision affecting telecom firms, airlines, television channels, finance companies or any of the other industries in which Shin Corp had invested, critics would cry foul. By removing the Shinawatras from all these businesses, the deal should stem such carping. But the potential for conflicts of interests has only been reduced, not eliminated. Mr Thaksin's cabinet includes several other prominent businessmen, and has no formal procedures to guard against self-serving decisions. The Shinawatras themselves still hold stakes in an advertising agency. The press is already speculating about where they will invest the proceeds from the sale of Shin Corp. But wherever the money ends up, the family's unnerving combination of immense political and economic power will remain. Moreover, Mr Thaksin has endured accusations of impropriety with little apparent discomfort over the past few years. Although the subject has the pundits of Bangkok up in arms, it does not seem to move the voters very much. They returned his party to office last February by the biggest margin in Thai electoral history. Admittedly, city-dwellers have cooled to him dramatically since then. But his populist flair still seems to sway his vast numbers of rural supporters. Just last week, he starred in his own reality TV show, in which cameras accompanied him around an impoverished village, as he dispensed advice, cash and plots of land to grateful peasants. But whatever the political ramifications of the deal, the commercial logic is unimpeachable. The Shinawatras sold out with the share price of Shin Corp at an 11-year high. Tougher times lie ahead for Advanced Info Service (AIS), the mobile-phone offshoot that accounts for around 90% of Shin Corp's value. Growth in Thailand's mobile market has slowed from more than 100% a year in 2002 to 11% last year, with Nomura, a Japanese investment bank, forecasting future expansion of only 5% a year. Other providers are chipping away at AIS's market share. Probably the biggest spur to a sale, however, is the uncertainty inherent in Thailand's strangely structured telecommunications industry. In most countries, telecom firms build networks under licences. In Thailand, the private-sector players?two fixed-line and five mobile ones?have merely been granted operating concessions of between 15 and 27 years by the state-owned telecoms duopoly, Telephone Organisation of Thailand and CAT Telecom. Thailand's constitution, enacted in 1997, mandates an independent regulator to reform this odd set-up. Various procedural problems have held the process up?something that did not appear to worry Mr Thaksin's government very much?but the National Telecommunications Commission is now at last up and running. It should soon rule on vexed issues such as interconnection fees between rival networks, and will eventually decide what becomes of the private concessions. Faced with such an upheaval, the Bencharongkul family, which owned a stake in TAC, the number-two mobile provider, sold out to Norway's Telenor last year. Now the Shinawatras are following suit. It is into this regulatory minefield that Temasek is venturing. To its credit, Singapore's government investment agency has deep pockets and experience of telecoms and technology, which along with transport and financial services is one of its main areas of expansion. Temasek controls Singapore Telecom, the city-state's main telecoms firm, which already owns a separate 21.4% stake in AIS. At just 45%, Thailand's cellular penetration is far below Singapore's 90%-plus, offering prospects for growth. Having said that, Temasek is paying a fairly expensive 15 times prospective 2006 earnings for Shin Corp. Temasek's total annual shareholder return has dropped to only 6% for the past ten years. As a result, the agency is under pressure to diversify its investment portfolio outside its home city. The Shin Corp deal takes the foreign portion to 55% of the total. The Shinawatras' patriotic urges, it seems, coincided neatly with their and Temasek's business interests. ========== end of quote =========
  24. Rempler

    Bush bashing

    just great, - and I bet: not far from reality with this gentleman - he did worse things already ;-)
  25. @ zammo: really interesting and worth 13 minutes listening, - BBC is nearly always a reliable source and shuffles in fair comments. @Jan: What means "cheer cheer" in Supanburi and in Korat ? Same as in Khrung Theb ??? ;-) :-)
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