It gets hot in Thailand at this time of year. In recent years this has tended to be the season when the political temperature also rises. 2012 is set to continue that pattern.

New Mandala readers hoping for an update on recent events can start with this piece in The Economist, followed by this one. Once again, all attention is on deposed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s efforts to return to the kingdom. He is nibbling at the edges: first from Laos (where he made merit) and then this weekend from Cambodia (where he will make a big speech).

As Thaksin told Al Jazeera when they caught up with him in Vientiane, “I feel like coming home, even though I am not in Thailand yet”. He is clearly readying himself for re-entry to the kingdom. But this will not be straight-forward. There is already talk of plots to kill Thaksin (and this at a time when р╣Ар╕Кр╕Др╕кр╣Ар╕Ыр╕╡р╕вр╕гр╣Мр╕Хр╣Йр╕нр╕Зр╕Хр╕▓р╕в is still in the news).

If you watch the Al Jazeera video of Thaksin at the temple in Vientiane you get a pretty clear sense of the comprehensive security effort mobilised by the former Prime Minister’s team, and the Lao government. Thaksin and his people look serious and motivated — in other words, Prime Ministerial.

Which brings us to the question of the moment: when do you think Thaksin will return from exile island?