The Thai junta and its friends

The Thai junta and its friends

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

The Thai junta has proudly announced that friendly neighbouring nations have approved of the coup and the subsequent destruction of human rights and democracy. The junta’s closest friends are (yes, you guessed it!) China, Burma and Vietnam….. all models of democracy and freedom. This comes on the 25th anniversary of the bloody suppression of the democracy movement at Tiananmen Square. The Burmese generals are still firmly in the driving seat while window-dressing their fake democracy. The Vietnamese dictatorship sends plain clothed security thugs to beat up and jail bloggers and pro-democracy activists. What a nice little authoritarian club.

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Meanwhile, Indonesia, one of the two south-east Asian nations that does have a political system which corresponds roughly to democracy, has shown concern about the coup and its “undemocratic nature” and this comes from the elected president of Indonesia who is an ex-general!

Back in Thailand, the (independent) Counter Corruption Commission has announced that ex- Prime Minister Yingluk has not filed her report of her income on “leaving office”. But they also state that there are no laws stipulating that the self-appointed junta members need to declare their earnings on taking office!!

The Thai university “Vice Chancellor’s Committee For Dictatorship” has announced that the coup is a great opportunity to “reform” the education system to instil morals into students, perhaps army discipline too. The education permanent secretary agrees, saying that for too long universities have been under “political” influence. What is needed, according to this self-important clown, is reform to bring universities up to “international standards”! …. Just don’t discuss politics or have any freedom of expression and these “high standards” will be reached.

Finally, just to let readers know that I have been summoned to “report” to the military in Bangkok on 9th June. Given that I already have a warrant for my arrest, out since 2009, for writing a book against the 2006 coup, it sounds like a game of Monopoly: “Go straight to jail and do not pass Go”.

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