Puppet assembly

1 08 2014

As expected, the military dictatorship has appointed a puppet National Legislative Assembly packed with military and police and anti-democrats. (In fact, only anti-democrats could agree to serve as military puppets in this way).

The king apparently received the list on Thursday and almost immediatley approved it. This action suggests considerable coordination between the palace and military junta. The list of those appointed was immediately published in the Royal Gazette (the link is fixed and clicking downloads a PDF in Thai).

Puppets and clowns

Puppets and clowns

There are 10 senior police and “105 military officers, 67 are from the army, 19 each from the navy and the air force.” The Leader, General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s brother was even appointed, just to keep some of the puppetry in the family.

The military/police bloc is a majority of the 200 appointed and will remain so even when 20 more are appointed and if none are military. But the notion of majority hardly matters for this puppet assembly.

This is because everyone in the assembly is going to dance to the military’s tune and to the strings it tugs.

The unelected senators group, composed of anti-democrats from the appointed part of the last senate got their reward for their longstanding opposition to elected governments, and can now join the puppetry as junior cast members.

Likewise the anti-democrat presidents of nine universities that also did their job in bringing down the last elected government, following the orders from higher up.

So too the business flunkies, including the military accolyte Narongchai Akrasanee, chairman of MFC Asset Management, Boonchai Chokwatana, chairman of Saha Pathanapibul Plc who is close to Anand Punyarachun and was once said to be funding the anti-democrats and a bunch of other royalists.

Colgate-Palmolive appears to have its hands being dirtied by one of its well-paid executives “serving” in the military’s puppet parliament, which is probably not a good look for an international company that advertises its dedication to “good governance.”

Other puppets include many with links to the anti-democrat, anti-election, anti-Thaksin and anti-Yingluck campaigns. They include Klanarong Chanthik, the notorious anti-foreign campaigner and wealthy scion of a corrupt military family, Songsuda Yodmani, and Kittisak Rattanvaraha, the “deputy chairman of the Thai Farmers’ Network who led protesters to pressure the Yingluck government to repay farmers under the rice-pledging programme.” In other words, the anti-democrat stooges are now puppets for the junta.

Finally, General “Ood Buangbon, former defence permanent secretary and close aide to Privy Council president Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, was also appointed.” Who was suggesting the palace wasn’t involved in this coup? Oh, yes, it was Prayuth….

Now we will will be treated to a show as the puppets dance for their masters.

Military-palace propaganda

30 07 2014

Sek Wannamethee is Director-General, Department of Information in the royalist-dominated Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has written to the Financial Times, presumably directed to do so by the military dictatorship.

His letter is an example of the kind of propaganda peddled most vociferously during the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime.

Sek states he wants “to set the record straight…”. Straight like a nest of vipers:

The monarchy has been the core spiritual pillar of Thai society for over 700 years, a unifying force binding all Thais together, no matter their political beliefs.

700 years? Palace propaganda, perhaps, but it is also false to anyone with even a passing interest in Thailand’s history. Even the current dynasty came to the throne via a military coup. Nothing like a pedigree!

As such, the institution does not and cannot take sides in any political conflict. In a constitutional monarchy, the monarch has pro forma powers and responsibilities as prescribed by the constitution.

We imagine that Sek was just being silly here. After all, the military junta had only just secretly developed an interim constitution, and for long periods, the king has not been under a constitution. And Sek knows that the king and palace have long taken political sides. The 2006 coup was one example where the political involvement was clearest, but this cabal of elite men that is “the palace” is a nest of political vipers (and less straight).

In exercising this function, His Majesty the King is ever conscious of his non-political role. The monarchy is, therefore, non-partisan and above politics. Any suggestion otherwise is entirely unfounded and completely unacceptable.

Horse manure.

Sek continues with his propaganda: “The incident of May 22″ – he means the military coup – “must be viewed within the context of the previous eight months.”

Indeed it must. The mutinous military protected anti-democrats, armed them, and supported them in order to bring down the elected government.

So Sek is right that “Thailand was then a dysfunctional democracy plagued by political paralysis.” That paralysis was the work of anti-democrats in the pay of the royalist elite and supported by the palace’s military.

He then bleats the military mantra: “the only sustainable way for democracy to thrive in Thailand is for it to take roots from within by the hands of the Thai people and not imposed upon by the international community.”

The international community does not impose democracy on Thailand. It is the military and palace that does not allow the “Thai people” to establish democracy. It is not “sustainable” because of the domestic forces of anti-democracy.

Prayuth and “truth”

29 07 2014

It was just a few days ago that The Leader was emphatic that his fascist junta “sought to maintain a balance between the powers of the interim government and those of the NCPO [the junta].” He added that the junta “has no desire for power or personal interest…”.

It turns out that General Prayuth Chan-ocha was simply lying.

We know that no one should ever believe anything an illegal military dictatorship says. Less so Prayuth, for he has a history of baldfaced lies. Apparently it is easy to lie to the whole nation because “polling” agencies can produce equally flawed and manufactured results that show mammoth support for the military dictatorship.

We are, of course, referring to a report in the Bangkok Post that states Prayuth is “expected to take up the roles of both prime minister and NCPO chief in the new cabinet line-up.”Prayuth

So there will be no/zero/none/zilch balance, unless it is on the head of a pin. No balance; just a monopoly of power for the military brass.

In addition, “former army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda is tipped to become a deputy prime minister and defence minister.”

That’s the Queen’s Guard and the Burapha Phayak task force link. It is also the palace link.

Other military brass, current and recent monopolize other positions: deputy defence minister, deputy prime minister, transport minister, foreign minister, permanent secretary for defense, interior minister, permanent secretary for defense, justice minister. In addition, some of these post will be held concurrently.

No balance. No truth.

And just in case you wondered, it is tipped that fully 110 of the 200 members of the dictatorship’s National Legislative Assembly will be wearing military green. A further 20 will be added later.

No truth.

Prayuth “has submitted a list of 200 NLA members for royal endorsement. The list is expected to get the seal of approval this week.” Of course it will. The king just loves the military when it monopolizes power.

That’s the real truth.

Others who aren’t military are anti-democrats who called for a coup for years, including bright yellow dolts like Surachai Liangboonlertchai and Khamnoon Sitthisamarn. Other royalists include “academics” Thammasat University rector Somkit Lertpaitoon.

Lies, royalists, palace, military. No surprises in any of this. Why does Prayuth even bother with the lies? No one with even an ounce of IQ expects anything other than dictatorship from the military.


Updated: The Leader explains

27 07 2014

The interim constitution – in fact, a document that grants the military dictatorship sweeping power – is available in English translation. Given that the junta had already grabbed sweeping powers, this is hardly a shock.

Surprisingly, the grumpy military dictator General Prayuth Chan-ocha decided that, despite having his minions “explain” the need for a dictatorship, he needed to “explain” it again. The Bangkok Post has a story where The Leader states that the junta “sought to maintain a balance between the powers of the interim government and those of the NCPO [the junta].” He adds that the junta “has no desire for power or personal interest…”.

Perhaps The Leader hasn’t read his interim charter. If he had, then he’d realize that his statement to the nation is nonsensical. The interim constitution makes it clear that the military dictatorship and, more specifically, The Leader himself, have remarkable power that override those of any interim government.Prayuth planking

That government will be a bunch of junta flunkies, and under the interim constitution the junta is still acting illegally except for the fact that that basic law absolves the junta of all illegalities (section 41), including the illegal seizure of power itself (section 48). The junta continues to hold power and can even call a joint meeting with the junta-appointed Council of Ministers (section 46).

Prayuth defended the junta’s cancellation of local elections, saying that “the selection method was not transparent in some [local] areas while some of the people holding office were not effective.” In fact, the junta is transparent in its intentions. It wants no elections where its political opponents may win until it can fix the rules in a way that only permits its allies to be victorious.

Prayuth also “urged the media to correctly understand the NCPO’s intentions.” The problem is that the media – what little of it that remains supportive of democratization – knows the intentions of the junta only too well. Accurate reporting of this would lead to bans, censorship and “invitations” for re-education.

As The Leader “explained,” there would only be “problems” for the media “if you over-criticise or don’t have an honest intent.” Of course, it is The Leader and the junta that determines “intent.” More alarmingly, The Leader promised “media reform”: “In the second phase, there will be reform in all branches of the media and all media members must help and cooperate…”.

PPT can only assume that this is going to be a major state-military-junta effort to enforce “fascism with the king as head of state.” After all, The Leader “criticised the people who claimed to be ‘calling for democracy’ in the country.” He’s clear that His “democracy” is not the democracy of elections, voting and representation.

Update: To follow up on that statement by the Big Boss (-1) where he earnestly stated: the junta “has no desire for power or personal interest…”. The Nation reports that he must have been fibbing for “an informed NCPO source,” which means one of the military dictatorship’s junta, has contradicted the sill Prayuth claim with a statement of reality: “At least 100 senior military officers are tipped to be selected as members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA)…”.

The Leader and liar, General Prayuth even personally “screened the list of people proposed to be members of the NLA presented by his assistant General Paiboon Koom-chaya, who is in charge of justice and legal matters for the military leaders.” The list includes some other flunkies who masquerade as academics, claim to head “non-government groups,” steal the slaves’ labor as “business people,” and who have done the palace’s dirty work as unelected “senators,” but the biggest group will be the men in green.

The powers backing Prayuth and the key links to the palace will also be there: General Prawit Wongsuwan, the mutinous former Army chief General Anupong Paochinda and former deputy Army chief General Dapong Ratanasuwan.

“Liberals” do the junta’s work I

20 07 2014

The old “liberal” warhorse for palace and military, former unelected premier Anand Panyarachun, has been wheeled out again. How many times this fake “liberal” can be put in front of audiences after he has been gung ho on anti-democrats, hot for royalism and a faithful servant of the military is anyone’s guess, but the junta must still see some value in the old fake.

Wikileaks tells us that Anand supported the 2006 coup and the ousting of Samak Sundaravej. In 2014 he (repeatedly) supported anti-democrats, including boosting Suthep Thaugsuban. This was in a context where he also rejected Yingluck Shinawatra and here earlier attempts at reconciliation and repeatedly attacked her government. We have little doubt that, based on his record, Anand had a role in encouraging the most recent coup.

It is in this context of anti-liberalism and anti-democrat support that it is not just bizarre, but sickening that Anand should be making a speech to remember Nelson Mandela.Anand

Anand, who understands nothing about the values of the great man, chooses to bleat about “freedom, equality, justice and dignity, and the path to democratic governance.” Anand and his royalist cronies trample on such values. Based on their track record, if transported to South Africa in the 1960s, they’d have cheered Mandela’s jailing, would have damned him as a terrorist and supported white elite supremacy.

Of course, Anand the royalist stresses Mandela having been “born of royal lineage.” If royalty is about tribes and chiefs, then this is accurate, but Anand is simply claiming Mandela as one of those Anand serves.

There’s nothing of Mandela the socialist or revolutionary in Anand’s telling. There’s nothing of the ANC as a national liberation movement. There’s no mention of the military wing of the ANC, which under Mandela’s leadership launched “a campaign of sabotage against government and economic installations.” It is a tepid Mandela that Anand sees.

Anand declares that Mandela “shunned aggressive and divisive policies, revenge and punishment.” He’s speaking of Thailand when he says this. What he neglects is that it is his royalists who are divisive and who punish. It is they who refuse reconciliation and who reject democratic politics if they can’t control it.

Mandela is said to have chosen “justice, while offering a hand to former foes for the sake of peace and unity.” In Thailand, it is the royalists who are partisan and prejudiced. It is they who have destroyed the rule of law and practiced double standards.

Anand then blathers an anti-democrat line: “We know there is no single, absolute model of democracy…. Its progression may not necessarily be linear in progression.” That’s exactly what the military dictatorship says. His anti-democratic history of democracy seems to suggest that Thailand requires many centuries “to gestate”something like “full-fledged democracy.”

Anand’s anti-democracy is explicit:

The mere act of holding an election, by no means, guarantees democracy, particularly in the absence of a multiparty political system or where there is a tendency towards monopoly of power. Proper mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that elections are free and fair, and conducted in an open and transparent environment….

An election does not give a mandate to oppress or sideline those who voted against the winning party. If we prescribed to the notion of “winner-takes-all”, we would seriously impede the development of a democratic society.

Therefore, majoritarian rule has to be respectful of the rights and interests of both the majority and the minority. What the winner earns is an ongoing duty to strike a balanced consensus in society.

Of course, Anand is reaching to the military junta and to the anti-democrats, re-telling their ridiculous claims. There was no “majoritarianism” by the Yingluck government. Indeed, many commentators, PPT included, pointed out the compromises Yingluck was prepared to make in accommodating the monarchy, military, royalists, including an acceptance of ridiculously biased judicial rulings.

One point we agree with in Anand’s manipulative anti-democrat speech is this:

Democracy starts with the wisdom of the voting public, however that wisdom is acquired. The voting public must understand its responsibilities in a democracy and have access to the means to exercise choice in the democratic process.

Much depends on an educational setting to open the mind and avoid dogma and prejudice….

Naturally enough for the patrician Anand, he is criticizing those who voted again and again for pro-Thaksin parties. But how wrong he is. It is his class that has not learned a thing about electoral democracy. Where is the wisdom in supporting a military coup when your class can’t get its (electoral) way? Where is the recognition of the responsibility to accept an electoral loss and to respect the voice of the people? Of course, the “education” of the elite is about how to reject the “unwashed,” exploit and use the lower, darker classes, and about being “born to rule.” There is only (royalist) dogma, closed minds and deep prejudice.

Anand is right to quote Mandela: “Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division amongst us: Between those who cherish democracy and those who do not! “

Anand is no democrat and he is no liberal. He is on the side of those who hate democracy. It is the side that has opposed democracy since the first attempt to bring it to Thailand in 1932.

The Democrat Party affirms its opposition to democracy

17 07 2014

The Democrat Party is widely known to have doubts about democracy, to have trashed parliament, to have supported anti-democratic movements and to be loyal to the Army and palace. How it came up with its name is anyone’s guess. Why it keeps it is an even bigger mystery.

When its deputy leader Pinit Intarasombat – we think this is Nipit (นายนิพิฏฐ์ อินทรสมบัติ) – is quoted at Khaosod as havingthrown his support behind a military-dominated National Legislative Assembly…”, it is easier to understand just how anti-democratic the Democrat Party is. Why is Nipit so keen on the military dictatorship? He tells us:Nipit

“There has to be a guarantee that they can control the majority in the Assembly,” said , referring to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which seized power in a coup d’état on 22 May.

“The government has to be confident that it has a majority [in the Parliament],” he said. “If the NCPO cannot control the majority, the methods of reforms will not be achieved.”

He was commenting on “reports that at least half of the National Assembly seats in the interim government will be filled by military officers loyal to the NCPO.” He said he couldn’t give a shit about democracy, didn’t worry about “the persons [in the upcoming appointed National Assembly]…. I am concerned with how they will reform the country. I will evaluate them based on the interim charter and their policies in terms of reform.”

What he means is that he, as a card-carrying supporter of the anti-democratic People’s Alliance for Democracy, is happy for the military to be returning power to the royalist establishment. “Reform” is a term to describe the rolling back of democracy in favor of fascist institutions and control.

Bringing Prem back in

13 07 2014

Practised posterior polisher Foreign Ministry permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow is perhaps the appropriate person to bring Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanond back into open politics.

Of course, after the palace’s terrible political miscalculation of the 2006 military-palace coup, where Prem and his co-conspirators in the military and Privy Council were shown to have been directly involved in planning and implementing the coup. This mistake was compounded for the monarchy when the king and queen met the junta almost immediately and in person.

Everyone who watched knew that this was a coup the palace wanted and helped bring about. When politics became more complicated and divided, these mistakes and miscalculations became the grist of the political mill, severely damaging the monarchy and requiring the massive use of lese majeste and related laws to repress anti-monarchy sentiment.

So when the planning was underway for the 2014 coup – for years, according to one source who should know – the military and palace decided that the latter had to be quiet and operate behind the scenes. Quiet, seemingly disconnected, and saving a ton of face and a little remaining political capital.

Now that the coup is done and the military dictatorship firmly repressing dissent, rigging the future of politics and smashing red shirt organization, the palace is being brought back in.

The Bangkok Post reports that the leader of the royalist faction is being wheeled out to support dictatorship. Prem “has been invited to visit China to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries…”. What better way to mark a return of the boss than to have him make the links to other authoritarian regimes.

Bottom buffer Sihasak “said he was informed by the Chinese government about the invitation, which he claimed reflected the close and long-standing relationship between the countries.”

The dictatorship wants to make this event a big deal as it will be portrayed as a big deal for a regime that is pretty much isolated except from other authoritarians and dictators.

There will be “another exchange of high-level visits, including a royal visit.” Both Chulabhorn and  Sirindhorn have long links with the authoritarian regime in China, so one or both of them will continue that link. Sirindhorn has been the favored propagandist for China in Thailand.

Sihasak threatened the recalcitrant West, stating: “Thailand is ready to work with any country that wants to cooperate, but a true friend is a friend in tough times.” The palace seems ever ready to support authoritarianism at home and abroad.


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