On 24 June, democracy activists organized activities to commemorate the 1932 Revolution that transformed the kingdom from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy.
Meanwhile, the Thai army had a different kind of celebration:
The army celebrated the Boworadet Rebellion.
Between 11 and 25 October 1933, Prince Boworadet and the royalist faction launched a rebellion against the government and was met with defeat within a couple of weeks.
Yesterday, the army organized an event to commemorate the rebellion.
In a statement by its public relations department, the army called Prince Boworadet a “hero” and a “soldier of democracy” who made “sacrifices” for the country in his fight against the “dictatorship.”.
The statement further explained the goals of the rebellion were:
> Preservation of the monarchy.
> Increased parliamentary checks & balances.
> Achieve “true democracy.”
The statement called the 1932 Revolution, “a coup to destroy the monarchy.”
The army is right about one thing.
In June 1933, military leader Praya Phahonphonphayuhasena overthrew the Khana Ratsadon regime that was elected by the parliament. He became a dictator.
Therefore, technically, the rebellion was against a dictatorship.
Otherwise, the army’s statement is a shining example of distorted rhetoric.
Firstly, to state that the 1932 Revolution aimed to “destroy the monarchy” has a certain juicy ring to it. This is because it would rouse up the emotion of half the country against the other half, thereby preserving the power of military rule.
The tactic of divide and conquer wasn’t invented just yesterday.
The 1932 revolution was meant to pave the way for a constitutional monarchy. Hence, “destroying the monarchy” would not have achieved the purpose, and it wasn’t destroyed.
Instead, it’s the political system of absolutism that was destroyed, at least for the time being.
A monarchy is an institution. Absolutism is a political system. They are two different things. For nearly five years, General Prayut had absolute power over Thailand. He was not a monarch.
Secondly, “achieve true democracy” is the same rhetoric used by the Prayut Chan-o-cha regime. It’s false to the core.
“True” is a loaded term, and arguably there isn’t such a thing as “true democracy.” However, there is a basic minimum standard for democracy: one man one vote.
But General Prayut gets the votes of 250 junta-appointed senators.
All Thais are equal, but General Prayut is 250 times more equal than others. This isn’t “true democracy” by any stretch of the delusion.
Rather, it’s a distortion.