Niti Eoseewong: The Democratic solution to the current crisis

Numnual  Yapparat

The academic world is sometimes very out of touch with ordinary people. Some of their views I cannot stand reading. Chaiwat Sata-anun, who claims to be a “Guru of Non-Violence”, but “understood” why the 2006 coup was necessary, suggested that on the ballot paper in the next election, we should have a box for those who disagree with the voting system. He claimed that in doing so, we might avoid any unwanted confrontation. I wonder then, whether we should have a box for those who want a Republic!!

Niti Eoseewong has written a number of books about Thai society, both contemporary and historical. Some of them have been translated into English, such as “Pen and Sail: Literature and History in Early Bangkok.” He is an activist/academic.

Niti has written an article in the mass circulating daily newspaper, Matichon, arguing that there can be no “middle ground” between Sutep’s mob and those who wish to defend the democratic process. Niti says that Sutep and his followers are behaving like “political criminals” and that the government should not be asked to negotiate with such criminals. According to him, the protesters are challenging the rule of law and the entire political norms of Thai society. These norms may be flawed, but what Sutep wants is even worse. Niti urges Yingluk to act decisively, using measured force if necessary, to ensure that the elections take place. “Yingluk should publically order the military to defend the elections and if they refuse, she should denounce them openly. Yingluk should not kid herself that she can deal with the military without support from wider society”, Niti wrote.

Niti fiercely criticised the thee Election Commission members who refuse to do their job and refuse to resign from their positions. Niti said that those who appointed these commissioners in the first place should ask themselves what sort of methods they used to select such sly and poisonous people who pose a great threat to democracy.

Personally, I could not agree more with Niti. Pua Thai should take the lead to fight back against Sutep and his criminal gang. They have complete democratic legitimacy in doing so. On the contrary, if Pau Thai choose to negotiate and tolerate the criminals’ demands, not only is Pau Thai kowtowing to them but also helping them to destroy democracy as well.