We at PPT have feeling that the military dictatorship has entered a period of decline. It is a “feeling” so we may well be wrong. After all, decrepit regimes can hold on for years,
In the present, we discern a regime that may have engineered a referendum victory, but which is now lost in its own machinations, repression and lack of intellectual capacity for arranging its political future other than by further repression.
Such blunt instruments can work, but a regime that intends to convert itself into an “elected” regime needs to display a little intelligence, some strategic thinking and an ability for a different kind of politics.
This regime displays none of these characteristics. In fact it is probably the dullest and least intelligent regime we at PPT can recall.
Evidence for this is seen in tow recent reports.
The first is associated with bombings, or so we thought. The 15 or 17 suspects in the recent bombings are suddenly not bombers but plotters in the overthrow of the military-royal regime.
Deputy Prime Minister, General Prawit Wongsuwon has, as if there had been no earlier reports, denied that the “17 detained southern bombing suspects” were involved in any of that, He now says they were “involved in other activities against his National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) [the bumbling junta].”
As if Thailand has entered a time warp, police say the 17 are “communists.” Yes, seriously, that is what this bunch of dolts have invented,
The most elderly group of “13 men and four women” included leaders of an “anti-coup movement: no one had ever heard of before.
The “Revolutionary Front for Democracy Party” are claimed to be “hardcore reds” who have been “active in Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani provinces and allegedly coordinated by masterminds who were influential politicians in southern border provinces.” The inventive authorities say this is a “nationwide network, except in the lower South.” At the same time, they are not red shirts.
No sensible person can believe such inventive, throwback nonsense. The inventiveness of the regime is so ridiculous that we wonder if they are taking mind altering drugs. Of course, they have invented several conspiracies in the past and jailed people but have seldom brought anyone to trial. It is all the junta’s 1960s style counterinsurgency reborn in 2016.
The second story has to do with student activist Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa. His story has to rank in the pantheon of junta duplicity and legal invention and manipulation as one of its most scurrilous pieces of work.
Not that long ago, the junta was declaring that the hunger striking student activist should take the bail offer the puppet courts had offered, stop his hunger strike and go home.
He had been “detained for 13 days since the police arrested him on 6 August when he handed out anti-draft charter flyers at a market in Phu Khiao [in Chaiyaphum].” Following the arrest, he “started a hunger strike because he asserted that his activity is lawful. The police indicted him under Article 61(2) of the the controversial Referendum Act for allegedly distributing materials that distorted the draft’s content.”
On Friday, 19 August 2016, the anti-junta activist from the pro-democracy Dao Din group accepted the bail offer. However, junta thugs immediately re-arrested him on new charges.
We can hardly think of a nuttier move. After all, the junta had been keen to end his hunger strike. Now he’s back in jail.
This kind of buffoonery suggests the junta is in a spin and that may easily be a downward spiral. It can’t be soon enough as the regime is a disastrous and nasty joke inflicted on a people who deserve better.