General Prayut Chan-o-cha came to power by the barrel of the gun. He maintains his power through the barrel of the gun.
The constitution was written under the military dictatorship. The 250 senators were appointed by the military junta. Palang Pracharat Party was formed by General Prawit Wongsuwan.
Hence, his greatest threat is if soldiers and police officers lay down their guns and say to him:
Therefore, any sign of dissension among the ranks shall be stamped out with extreme prejudice.
Recently, Airforce Pilot Captain Thanyathorn Hinmala posted these words on social media:
“Don’t pull me down into the gutter as you have done to yourself. You damn nothing.”
He was referring to the call for the military to take over crowd control if street violence escalates.
On 18 August, Khaosod Online reported a source in the Royal Thai Airforce who revealed that Captain Thanyathorn faces five levels of punishment for his post:
First, grounded, no flight allowed.
Second, two weeks’ detention.
Third, full disciplinary punishment [whatever that means].
Fourth, full deduction of merit points, and if the investigation proves he’s guilty of violating airforce rules, a permanent flight ban.
Fifth, if there’s a criminal investigation and he’s found guilty, he would be kicked out of service.
But of course, Khaosod’s source also added the airforce is not against the democratic freedom of speech, as long as it doesn’t defame others or cause conflicts.
Meanwhile, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group announced:
“The Thai military has always been anti-[democracy] and an enemy of democracy. We salute the brave soldiers and police officers who stand by the people, stand by democracy, and stand by righteousness.”