Thaksin shows no remorse for the drug-war dead. Maybe he’ll never need to. The new committee can only forward its findings to the police, who are as unlikely as ever to act, or to the Department of Special Investigation, an FBI-like department under the justice ministry with an abysmal crime-solving record.

Thaksin vows he will return after a general election scheduled for December. Returning before then could spark a “confrontation” that might cause the junta to postpone the election, he says. “I want Thailand to return to democracy.” Then he will fight the corruption charges against him. Can he beat them? “Oh, easy,” he grins.

– Extracted from Andrew Marshall, “Thaksin Shinawatra, shooting to win“, The Sunday Times, December 2007. Marshall’s lengthy article – based on an interview with Thaksin and conversations with victims of the 2003 “War on Drugs” – is certainly worth the attention of New Mandala readers.