We hope Gen Joseph F Dunford, Jr, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the US Department of Defense, reads this. General, this is how the military regime you said displayed a “commitment … to democracy.” Here’s what democracy looks like in the junta’s Thailand.
Yesterday we had brief reference to arrests in the north:
In Phayao, police arrested 14 activists of the People Go Network and involved in the “We Walk” anti-government campaign. As has been the case in previous movements that have displaced military regimes, several of those arrested were farmers and students. The junta fears such alliances.
The Nation has further details about this political repression, which reports that it is the military that is taking action. It has accused the 14 of “organising an activity that might affect national security.”
Thailand’s national security must be balancing on a knife’s edge as the 14 farmers and students, including a 16 year-old, “a minor with intellectual-development problems…”, undertook “a 500-metre march in Phayao’s Phu Sang district.” That would be a walk of about two minutes, at a leisurely pace on a dusty village road.
The 14 now stand accused of “violating the ban by the National Council for Peace and Order [that’s the military junta] on political rallies…”. The report explains that “[i]f convicted, they face a jail term of up to six months, a maximum fine of Bt10,000 or both.”
Under orders from the junta’s military thugs, cops arrested 11 of the “marchers” on the evening of the “march” and kept them in jail overnight and they finally got bail the next day.
Recall that the Administrative Court issued “an injunction to protect the We Walk activities…”. Little things like court rulings don’t bother a lawless regime.
How’s democracy in Thailand looking to you Gen Dunford?