The repressive military dictatorship continues to behave badly. It says it behaves badly because the people cannot be trusted. Well, that’s our interpretation of what they are saying, but that’s the message.
And when they say these things, they also lie.
Recall that the use of Article 44 has been carried over into the 2017 constitution. “Liberal” critics complain about this, but they miss the point: this is an “illiberal” constitution that seeks to limit popular sovereignty.
The junta and The Dictator have said that the use of Article 44 would be limited and only for really important stuff. Then The Dictator promptly used it for a special interest group of schools.
The Bangkok Post reports on the junta’s statements on its need for Article 44, noting the Army chief’s defense of the draconian power that resorts to knee-jerk monarchism:
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha needs to retain his wide-reaching Section 44 powers for the sake of security and for maintaining peace for the late King’s royal cremation as well as the coronation of [the new] … King….
Junta member General Chalermchai Sitthisart declared that Article 44 “remains an essential instrument for maintaining security.”
He maintained that after three years of junta control and repression, the military and the junta has failed, at least in its own terms. Again, they are our words, but that’s what he’s saying when he opines that “the security situation has been fairly stable although anti-government elements were staging movements ‘to stir up trouble’.”
Article 44 is also essential to the junta’s control of politics as it manages any “election” it decides to hold and win.
Gen Chalermchai then went strange, declaring “the army would never again seize power – because it would not have to.” He’s either lost his marbles, been drinking or really means that the military won’t act against the junta? But this is strange indeed.
By saying: “I can confirm that there won’t be a coup,” he’s really saying that there is coup talk about.
On his ridiculous royalism, why does the junta need Article 44 to “ensure a smooth arrangement for the royal funeral, expected towards the end of October, and of the coronation…”?
Is this simply using the monarchy for the junta’s gain? Or is it another admission of the junta’s failure? Or is it a fear that if anything goes wrong, then the junta’s future is at stake. If the latter, then they can blame themselves for manufacturing monarchism as a justification for military rule.
Meanwhile, The Dictator warned people that if “the exercise of people’s rights and freedom can go unchecked, [then] this could lead to conflicts…”. In other words, the repression continues. Just to emphasize this, he warned the media that it should not encourage people to exercise their rights.