PPT has determined that spines can be strengthened and made upright. At last, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has dared to speak on things controversial! Twice!
First, at the Bangkok Post Yingluck not only “downplayed a red shirt protest outside the Constitution Court,” but noted that “those involved had the right to demonstrate as long as they did so within the law.”
The report notes that her support for the protesters saw her thumbing her nose “Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva for her to instruct the red shirts to stop their protest against the court.” Abhisit has a preference for sending Army snipers to end protests, at least when the protesters aren’t yellow-shirted ultra-royalists.
Abhisit’s position was supported by palace and military flunkey Meechai Ruchupan, who “urged all MPs and senators to respect the charter court’s authority.” Meechai charged that “the country would be in total chaos if agencies did not recognise the authority one another’s authority.”
We had to cite that because even Chicken Little could tell a tale that made sense to some. Meechai is in a singular space characterized by delusional absurdity. What else can it be when he asks: “What if the court refuses to make a ruling based on a law? … What will be left of the country?” All we can suggest is that Meechai open his eyes and look around at the world of judicial double standards that defines the amart.
So when Yingluck says: “Any protest activity that is in line with the law can proceed,” she is taking on the amart. That backbone has been missing since her election.
As it turns out, Yingluck made her brief comments before leaving for a three day official visit to Mongolia. There she made a second statement demonstrating the development of some political spine.
Khao Sod reproduces Yingluck’s speech on “Thailand’s stance in the sustainable promotion of democracy alongside the development of people at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia…”.
Her speech begins with her affirmation that “democracy is so important to me, and more importantly, to the people of my beloved home, Thailand.” She refers to democracy having been formed in processes where “… many people have sacrificed their blood and lives in order to protect and build a democracy.”
She acknowledges that those who oppose democracy “grab power and wealth through suppression of freedom” and that significance of “the changes in my own country where the people power in Thailand has brought me here today.”
In Thailand, “[a]n elected government which won two elections with a majority was overthrown in 2006. Thailand lost track and the people spent almost a decade to regain their democratic freedom.” Well, five years….
On April and May 2010,she notes that:
Many innocent people were shot dead by snipers, and the movement crushed with the leaders jailed or fled abroad. Even today, many political victims remain in jail.
This latter statement is remarkable, indicating the obstacles that her elected government faces in bailing red shirts. She explains:
It is clear that elements of anti-democratic regime still exist. The new constitution, drafted under the coup leaders led government, put in mechanisms to restrict democracy.
A good example of this is that half of the Thai Senate is elected, but the other half is appointed by a small group of people. In addition, the so called independent agencies have abused the power that should belong to the people, for the benefit of the few rather than to the Thai society at large.
… Also important is closing gaps between rich and poor.
… I hope that the sufferings of my family, the families of the political victims, and the families of the 91 people, who lost their lives in defending democracy during the bloodshed in May 2010, will be the last.
These statements may seem like a statement of the obvious but they are sure to sound like a declaration of political war to the anti-democrats, yellow shirts and other royalists.
PPT hopes that this demonstration of political courage is more than a flash in the pan.
Update: As we noted in the next to last paragraph, the anti-democrats were sure to hate this speech. The hissing began almost immediately, with the Bangkok Post reporting that the racist royalist flunkey Vasit Dejkunjorn “accused the prime minister of ‘telling a lie’ and of uttering ‘disgusting’ comments that tried to blame others for the misconduct of her brother.” Vasit, of course, favors military coups and undemocratic politics. Joining him in this criticism was loudmouth Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut who also “accused the prime minister of intentionally distorting facts. Those included the reasons behind the coup after Thaksin abused his power and interfered in independent agencies, and the death of soldiers and protesters in the May bloodshed three years ago.” Chavanond also favors military coups and undemocratic politics.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post’s op-ed scribe Veera Prateepchaikul managed to conceive Yingluck’s speech abhorring military coups as an expression of bitterness. Perhaps Veera’s claims would be taken more seriously if he too were bitter about the military’s 2006 coup rather than seeking to justify it.
Yingluck has finally acknowledged the reasons she was elected and why the electorate rejected the coup and the military’s puppetry in hoisting Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Democrat Party to power. Her opponents see this as a throwing down of the gauntlet and immediately adopt undemocratic, chauvinist and royalist armor for their fight. As we have long said, Yingluck’s election was never accepted by this lot, and they are forever spoiling for an opportunity to bring down yet another elected government.