Updated: Coup talk and lese majeste

22 01 2012

At The Nation, comments by new Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat have highlighted coup talk emanating from both the People’s Alliance for Democracy and General Boonlert Kaewprasit.

Boonlert is an old soldier with a history of coup talk. Once he talked up a coup as a means to save Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda from criticism. It was a novel idea on coup-making, but went nowhere. But coup maniacs like Boonlert get media attention when the political temperature rises.

That makes it useful to consider the reasons behind his current coup talk.

Boonlert’s comment that there would be a coup were based on his assessment that lese majeste was a measure of the likelihood of a coup. He said “that the chances of it increased as the number of lese majeste offences being committed rose…”.

Asked if he would play a role in the annual military reshuffle, Sukampol said he expected to use reason in performing his duties.

General Boonlert also “spoke out against the move to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code relating to lese-majeste offences, calling on the Thai military to put its foot down.” He is quoted:

Section 112 must not be touched, or amended, as it involves the monarchy. The military must take action and not only speak. The monarchy has been insulted a lot over the past seven to eight years. If it continues too much, the military cannot tolerate it, they will stage a coup definitely.

Boonlert displayed his conservative and authoritarian streak, warning also that “people who are not loyal to the monarchy that their activities will be short-lived.”

He made the claim that a military coup would “not as a power grab, but to protect the monarchy.”

That might be a strategy and rationalization, but PPT reckons that another coup conducted in the name of the monarchy would result in a more rapid decline and end to the monarchy. The only way to avoid such a scenario post-coup would be a regime of terror.

Update: Interestingly, MCOT News reports an ABAC Poll by Assumption University. It included 2,153 people in 17 provinces, including Bangkok.

Fully 81 percent are against any coup attempt to topple the Pheu Thai-led government. Only “51 percent were concerned about the push for revision of the lese majeste law concerning the monarchy.” What will the royalists make of that?


Actions

Information

7 responses

23 01 2012
Statement: Threats of Military Coup in Thailand Are Unacceptable | Robert Amsterdam Thailand

[…] for Democracy (PAD) have called openly for the military to stage a coup. Military generals are quoted in news reports as setting conditions that the government must live by to avoid a coup. The Bangkok media is […]

23 10 2012
Incoherence and double standards « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of a possible coup to prevent “disrespect” being shown to the monarchy. In fact, he has repeatedly talked of a military coup in this context or to protect General Prem Tinsulanonda. Boonlert was once […]

23 10 2012
Incoherence and double standards « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] warned of a possible coup to prevent “disrespect” being shown to the monarchy. In fact, he has repeatedly talked of a military coup in this context or to protect General Prem Tinsulanonda. Boonlert was once […]

24 10 2012
Bring on the coup, again and again and again « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] soldiers to protect the monarchy, save Thailand from the boffins at Nitirat with a coup, warned or talked of a military coup to prevent “disrespect” being shown to the monarchy, of another coup to […]

24 10 2012
Updated: Bring on the coup, again and again and again « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] soldiers to protect the monarchy, save Thailand from the boffins at Nitirat with a coup, warned or talked of a military coup to prevent “disrespect” being shown to the monarchy, of another coup to […]

31 10 2012
Thailand: What we missed in October 2012 | Asia News – Politics, Media, Education | Asian Correspondent

[…] Foundation and Class 1 graduate. He’s also been consistent in demanding coups on a regular basis (and having participated in the failed coup attempt of March 1977), citing the cause of protecting […]

2 11 2012
The month in Thailand: Reshuffles, coup rumblings and the 3G farce « Saiyasombut

[…] Foundation and Class 1 graduate. He’s also been consistent in demanding coups on a regular basis (and having participated in the failed coup attempt of March 1977), citing the cause of protecting […]