Can Thaksin Lead Southeast Asia?

Thaksin Shinawatra's finest hour on the global stage came when he hosted the 2003 APEC summit in Bangkok. At the time, the world's media hailed him as the natural successor to Malaysia's longtime leader Mahathir Mohamad, then on the verge of retirement, as the voice of Southeast Asia. Yet just over a year later, a sulking Thaksin threatened to walk out of the ASEAN summit being held in Laos if Malaysia or Indonesia pressed him to explain the recent deaths of scores of Muslims who were protesting in the southern Thai town of Tak Bai. Soon afterward, he angered his regional...

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