In a report that caught PPT by surprise, the Catholic Church in Thailand has called for an election (see here for an addition to the story).
It is reported that “… people no longer believe in announcements [by the junta], given the continuous postponements of the military junta in power [on elections.”
It goes on to admit that the “Catholic Church, at first, had somehow appreciated social pacification [by the junta].” No longer” “But now it supports democratic elections. They are necessary for our future…. Young people are a driving force today in demanding democracy and freedom. They are brave and have publicly protested. We need a new hope…”. That’s according to Fr. Peter Watchasin, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Thailand.
Explaining the current situation, Fr. Peter said: “Everything in the country is controlled today. We speak of silent dictatorship.” He added: “[T]oday especially young people and students are dissatisfied with the censorship of freedoms and oppression they feel. People today, rather than taking to the streets, write on social media and this is also a cultural change.”
He pointed to the main problem of military dictatorship: “The central problem is that of freedoms: even if one writes for mass media you can be put in jail.”
He noted other critical issues as: “… the country’s economic situation is in decline, partly because of government policies. Another major problem is corruption. A third element of concern is the concentration of wealth in the hands of two or three family clans…”.
Fr Peter declared: “The country is now ready to return to democracy. This desire has matured. But will the military leave power? This is the question.”
Sadly, the answer seems clear: the military has no intention of giving up its stranglehold on the state and power.