Thailand is in a mess today because of a carefully laid plan seven years ago: agitate society into a frenzy, destroy the rule of law, let anarchy reign, then welcome General Prayut Chan-o-cha in as the savior.
In the sinister world of realpolitik, it was well played: destroying democracy through a standing ovation. How many countries in this world can get away with this? We are truly unique.
On 22 May, we had the 2014 military coup anniversary.
Chulalongkorn University’s student association issued a public apology for supporting the actions of Suthep Thuagsuban’s PDRC protest that led to the coup and seven years of the Prayut Regime. Thailand today faces at least six more years of the Prayut Regime because of the constitution written by the Prayut Regime and the 250 senators hand-picked by the Prayut Regime.
While pro-democracy supporters criticized the actions of 2014’s protestors, PDRC members fought back. For example, former deputy leader of the Democrat Party Nipit Intarasombat wrote on his Facebook Page that the student association should not use present reason to judge past action.
He argued the protest was legitimate in the fight against the abuse of power. The Yingluck Shinawatra Government attempted to grant amnesty to Thaksin Shinawatra by sneaking an amnesty bill at 3am.
The PDRC, the UDD, the PAD, and the rest have the democratic right to protest against government actions, just as the present Ratsadon Movement. But a protest movement becomes illegitimate when the aim is to destroy democracy.
In response to the PDRC, the Yingluck Government pulled back the amnesty bill. As such, the PDRC had won. But the PDRC wanted to kick the government out over charges of corruption and incompetence. In this, the PDRC also had the right. The Yingluck Government submitted, called off parliament, and held a general election. Again, the PDRC had won.
When all else fails in a democracy, let the people decide.
But the PDRC obstructed the election. The police stood by, powerless. Violence spread. Rule of law broken. Anarchy reigned.
The only thing left was for the army to step in to save democracy: disperse the protest and arrest the ring leaders. However, that’s not what happened.
The fact that PDRC leaders threw a party and applauded the coup revealed their true intention. The fact that General Prayut, instead of saving democracy and restoring the rule of law, destroyed democracy and placed himself in power revealed his true intention.
In the sinister world of realpolitik, it was well played by Suthep and General Prayut. They were the winners. But seven years since, one thing is for certain, the entire Kingdom of Thailand loses.