Thaksinphobia, royalist politics and the end of democracy

28 09 2011

In an earlier post, PPT referred to the yellow reaction of the Democrat Party to the proposals made by legal reform group Nitirat.We noted that the Democrat Party was suffering Thaksinphobia to the extent that excluded any path forward for the party.

Usefully, Bangkok Pundit has summarized the groups proposals. This is important, for as the Bangkok Post explains, royalists have gone bonkers on the proposal. The Post states:

The proposal by the Nitirat group of law academics for the nullification of all court decisions and other legal action which were a consequence of the Sept 19, 2006 coup as well as the amendment of Section 112 of the Criminal Code on lese majeste is drawing fierce opposition – and a warning.

And who should emerge as a fierce critic? None other that Squadron Leader Prasong Soonsiri, who is said to have “sent a stern warning to the Nitirat group of law academics that what they are doing may lead to another military coup.”


Prasong should know a bit about coups. He has been involved in a range of political campaigns over many years. Prasong has a short entry at Wikipedia that mentions his role as head of the National Security Council. The entry finishes by noting that “Prasong was a central figure in the 19 September 2006 Thai military coup that overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra’s elected government. Prasong had developed plans for a military coup as early as July 2006. A palace insider and favorite of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Prasong was later appointed by the junta to the National Legislative Assembly.” Prasong has also been a strong supporter of the People’s Alliance for Democracy and a strong opponent of Thaksin Shinawatra.

PPT has pointed out previously that when this staunch royalist, anti-Thaksin activist, constitution drafter, behind-the-scenes PAD adviser, former security master and appointed minister is widely reported, he is usually saying something that needs to be considered.

He has now accused the Nitirat scholars of “trying to help whitewash former prime minister Thaksin…”.

Prasong, who acted as a palace and junta lackey in being “chairman of the committee which drafted the current constitution, promulgated in 2007, said some of the academics had long served Thaksin and their intentions matched those of the present government, which wanted to whitewash Thaksin.”

Prasong asks: “How can subsequent judicial decisions made after the coup be nullified?” Prasong blaims all the illegal actions of the coup junta and its subsequent appointed and tame government and lackeys like Prasong on Thaksin. It is as if Thaksin’s actions that had the palace and military miffed are the justification for all the illegal actions of these people.

Prasong warned that Nitirat’s actions “could lead to many people becoming dissatisfied and coming out in a show of force.” He’s promising PAD-like demonstrations, which he previously helped arrange, or worse. As he says, “[t]his might also lead to a recurrence of the Sept 19, 2006 coup…”.

And who should come out to support this old man who has been up to his ears in undemocratic actions for years? None other than Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha who “voiced a similar opinion, particularly on the proposed amendment of the Criminal Code’s Section 112, which relates to lese majeste.”

Prayuth is simply banal on lese majeste and the monarchy:

He said it is not necessary to amend Section 112 because the monarchy has never done any harm to anybody, but has constributed considerably to the country.

He added:

I don’t see it necessary to touch on this matter (Section 112). We have to watch and see what they are doing this for…. Whatever is already good should not be touched….

Prayuth specifically warned that there should be no meddling with “the justice process and the judicial system…”. We assume he means meddling by anone else other than the military, royalists and palace.

Threateningly, Prayuth “called on the people to closely watch the moves being taken by this group of academics.” That is the kind of threat that harks back to earlier periods of authoritarianism and the more recent period of repression under the Democrat Party-led government.

The next group to oppose Nitirat was the yellow-tinged Lawyers Council of Thailand. In recent years they too have been royalist lackeys. They sounded PAD-like circa 2005-06 when it stated that it

opposes the overthrow of any government by a coup. At the same time the council disagrees with the absolute control of state power that results in a parliamentary dictatorship.

The LCT should be ashamed of its claim that “the 2007 constitution was intended to correct many past mistakes and shortcomings. If it were abolished it would be a waste of lessons learned from the past.” That is patently false propaganda for a military-backed government and the illegality of the 2006 coup.

It seems that the royalists are spoiling for a fight following their inability to convince a majority of Thais that unconstitutional and extra-constitutional powers should be supported.

These people like Praong and Prayuth are not ignorant or stupid. However, our use of terms like banal, lackeys, propaganda, and so on are simply not strong enough to express the outrage that should be felt for these contemptible people who know loyalty only to the worst traditions of political intrigue and elite control. They care nothing for democracy and simply want to bring it down because they see a challenge to outdated institutions.



3 responses

3 10 2011
Nitirat and opposing arbitary rule and the “virtuous” elite | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] many will know from news and PPT posts, as part of the anti-coup meetings of a couple of weeks ago, academics who make up the Nitirat […]

3 10 2011
Nitirat and opposing arbitrary rule and the “virtuous” elite | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] many will know from news and PPT posts, as part of the anti-coup meetings of a couple of weeks ago, academics who make up the Nitirat […]

10 10 2011
Wikileaks: King, Thaksin and “democracy” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] That is an adequate summary and Thaksin’s “comeback” has been seen and stalled once already. Another is on the cards, and the royalists are fuming. […]

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