Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha believes in black magic and voodoo. He is so paranoid that he believes that he is being cursed. Yes, millions of Thais curse him every day, but not by using black magic.
Prayut’s response to the current flooding in Thailand was to say that “in the old days people built houses on stilts, now they don’t and there is nowhere for the water to flow. It floods every year, but what can you do? If you don’t have floods, you have a water shortage”.
Recently Prayut said that the junta would not interfere in the running of the government. Prayut is the junta head and the self-appointed Prime Minister.
A man who claims he has lineage to “ancient Egyptian sorcerers” and can “communicate with UFOs” has been chosen by the junta to head the team “reforming” the education system.
It would all be laughable if there was not also a very serious side to this military government.
The Thai “Lawyers for Human Rights” group reports that in the first 100 days since the coup there have been 14 reported cases of physical or mental torture of those detained by the junta. Despite the junta announcing that they have ceased to order people to report to the military, arrests have continued. In the first 100 days since the coup 571 people were ordered to report to the military and at least 266 people were charged with so-called offences. The largest number of those arrested or ordered to report to the military, were from the Red Shirt movement (266 people). Academics and activists numbered 142 people and there were 98 people arrested on peaceful anti-coup protests.
There are whispers that some of the anti-democrats who are jumping over themselves to volunteer to “reform” the political system may propose a rule that parliament or at least the Prime Minister should not belong to a political party. This is the “politics without politics” that the ex-king dictator of Nepal used before he was kicked out. Not having political parties means not having policy platforms or manifestos. It would be back to the bad old days of patron-client politics and vote-buying.