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Srettha’s Songkran Homage to Thaksin: Bridging Tradition and Political Titan’s Return

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In a heartwarming display bridging tradition and respect, Srettha recently illuminated the social media universe by sharing captivating snapshots from his visit to the illustrious Chan Song Lar abode of none other than Thaksin, a figure ensconced in the annals of Thai political lore. The images, echoing with the spirit of Songkran, depicted Srettha engaging in the time-honored gestures of garlanding Thaksin with fragrant jasmine and tenderly pouring water over his hands, an act brimming with symbolic respect traditionally reserved for the elders and esteemed members of the family.

The visit, as narrated through the lens of X (formerly known as Twitter), was not just a casual meet-and-greet but a profound venture to draw New Year blessings from the former Premier Thaksin, “a senior person I respect,” as Srettha eloquently put it in his post. Thaksin, upon who the mantle of Pheu Thai Party’s patriarch rests, commands a reverence that spans across the political spectrum of Thailand, embodying an era that continues to shape the currents of Thai politics.

The saga of Thaksin’s return to the Thai soil is nothing short of a political odyssey. After 15 long years in exile, a period marked by an enigmatic absence, Thaksin made a dramatic re-entry into Thailand. This return was swiftly followed by a coalition government formation led by the Pheu Thai in August of the previous year, heralding a new chapter in the country’s governance. The whirlwind of events saw Thaksin arrested but soon transferred to the Police Hospital in Bangkok under the cloak of night, ostensibly due to health concerns. His eight-year sentence for corruption and abuse of power, a shadow lingering from his 2001-2006 term as Prime Minister, was then significantly reduced to a year through a royal pardon, only for him to be released controversially in February after six months in detention amidst whispers of clandestine agreements.

In the eye of this political storm stands Srettha, a figure emboldened by assertions of being Thailand’s sole premier with unbridled authority. Yet, the waters of his leadership are stirred by murmurings of hidden hands guiding the helm. Critics whisper of “shadow prime ministers”, casting Thaksin and his dynamic daughter, Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra, in these enigmatic roles. Despite these swirling rumors, Srettha stands firm, repudiating these claims with the vigor of a leader undaunted.

The interplay of reverence, political sagas, and the undying spirit of Songkran in Srettha’s visit to Thaksin weaves a tale that transcends the mere political. It speaks to the enduring customs that entwine the fabric of Thai society, the tumultuous dance of power and leadership, and the perpetual quest for blessings and guidance from those that walked the path before. In the grand tapestry of Thailand’s political narrative, these moments captured provide a vibrant stitch, a fusion of the old and the new, the respected and the revolutionary, all within the frame of time-honored tradition and respect.


  1. ThaiPatriot101 April 16, 2024

    It’s fascinating to see such traditions still play a significant role in Thai politics. The respect Srettha shows to Thaksin signifies not just personal respect but highlights how tradition and modern political dynamics intertwine in Thailand.

    • BangkokBarry April 16, 2024

      While I respect the tradition aspect, I’m skeptical of the motives. This feels more like a photo op designed to solidify Thaksin’s lingering influence rather than genuine respect. Political theater at its finest.

      • ThaiPatriot101 April 16, 2024

        I see your point, Barry. Still, I think it’s important to consider the cultural context. Such gestures, regardless of the political implications, strengthen the cultural bonds that define Thai society.

      • SiamSkeptic April 16, 2024

        Exactly, Barry! It’s all just a show. These gestures might hold cultural significance, but let’s not ignore the clear political maneuvering at play here. Thaksin’s return and the royal pardon—it’s all too convenient.

    • AncientRoots April 16, 2024

      Traditions like these are what keep our society together. It’s a reminder of our respect for elders and those who have paved the way, regardless of the political backdrop.

  2. GlobalWatcher April 16, 2024

    Thaksin’s return and the subsequent political saga reads like a thriller. Reduced sentences, health concerns, and rumors of shadow prime ministers? Thai politics continues to captivate the world.

    • LocalInsight April 16, 2024

      Captivating for sure, but let’s not forget that these events affect real lives. The hope is that this chapter leads to stability and progress for Thailand, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • OptimistPrime April 16, 2024

        I understand the cynicism but let’s give credit where it’s due. The new coalition could bring about much-needed change. The past is the past; let’s look forward with hope.

    • Cynical_Thinker April 16, 2024

      Stability? With Thaksin still pulling strings from behind? The political theater continues, and the common people are just spectators hoping for a plot twist.

  3. JasmineRice April 16, 2024

    The symbolism in Srettha’s gesture is beautiful but overshadows the bigger picture of Thaksin’s controversial past. Can Thailand truly move forward if we keep looking back?

    • HopefulHeart April 16, 2024

      That’s a poignant question. Maybe gestures like these are a way of healing the past, showing respect and hoping to move forward together. It’s complex, indeed.

      • JasmineRice April 16, 2024

        Healing is important, but so is accountability. Respect and tradition shouldn’t be used to gloss over the past. It’s a fine line between homage and erasure.

    • RealistRaj April 16, 2024

      Moving forward requires us to confront our history, not just pay homage to figures controversially. Thailand needs to look ahead with leaders who represent the future, not the past.

  4. NostalgicNok April 16, 2024

    Seeing Srettha honor Thaksin like this brings back memories of a different era in Thai politics. It’s a testament to how Thailand respects its elders and leaders, a quality that’s rare these days.

  5. ChangeSeeker April 16, 2024

    I’m all for respecting traditions, but when will we see real change? It seems like the same old politics with a traditional mask. Thailand deserves progress, not just symbolic gestures.

    • TraditionHolder April 16, 2024

      Symbolic gestures are a part of our cultural fabric. They represent continuity and respect. It’s possible to honor traditions while also striving for change and progress.

    • FutureForward April 16, 2024

      Agree with ChangeSeeker. Tradition is important, but so is progress. We can’t let reverence for the past paralyze our political development. The youth want actions, not just symbols.

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