Kasit tells foreign media and diplomats to shut up

21 12 2013

Free District describes itself: “Free District is an independent online news magazine and independent publisher based in Bangkok, Thailand with a dedicated group of knowledgeable expatriates and young passionate writers bringing you the latest in Asia-Pacific news, culture and issues.” PPT came across it via a weblink to a story citing former Democrat Party Foreign Minister and People’s Alliance for Democracy supporter Kasit Piromya.

The story is not particularly well written, but it makes some interesting points. Like many stories in the media these days, it is misleading by not providing the background on Kasit. It simply says he is an “Ex-Thai foreign minister” and some way through the article mentions his Democrat Party affiliation. That is neither professional nor  helpful. Readers need to know that Kasit has a long history of yellow-shirted partisanship and that he is an anti-democratic activist and that the Democrat Party is at the core of the anti-democratic movement.

Only with that knowledge can a reader unfamiliar with Thailand’s politics contextualize Kasit’s statements. The story led us back to the source at the Bangkok Post and to an earlier article by Kasit at Al Jazeera, where he propounds his views on the anti-democratic movement. We are not sure we have the right story at the Bangkok Post, but the details are correct.Kasit in uniform

Free District has Kasit saying “the current anti-government protests are not ‘anti-democracy’ as portrayed by some foreign diplomats and media…”. As a supporter of the anti-democracy movement, as a member of the Democrat Party and as a former PAD activist, he’d be expected to claim this in the face of all the contrary evidence.

What is more interesting, and reflective of the turn against foreign reporting and to the rants of extremists, Kasit “challenged foreign diplomats to keep quiet and accommodate the Thai people’s desire for deeper reforms that might not fit some foreigners’ conventional take on democracy.”

Kasit is quoted as saying that “anti-government protesters had been trying to find a solution for chronic conflicts within Thai society with the aim of maintaining the constitutional monarchy…”. No democracy there, but he can go on:

“They [foreign commentators and diplomats] have had 200 years to become a fully fledged democratic polity,” he said of countries such as the United States. “Thailand is struggling in its democratisation process which just began with the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.”

He goes on to mention “Japan, Taiwan, and Latvia,” each of which have lesser periods of democratic experience than Thailand. Kasit seems ignorant of history and facts.

His view is that there should be no elections until his anti-democracy group can control things – in his words:

“Thailand just needed to suspend, but not abolish, the election to allow greater reform for more power to the communities and the region to take shape over six to 12 months.”

And he adds:

In the meantime, he said, “the foreign entities should just shut up their comments.”

Then in the worst fascist tradition he says:

“For us, we are just weeding out these illiberal elements of democracy from the Thai society.”

He seems ignorant of his own illiberal politics and the fascist statements. We say “ignorant” because Kasit seems too dull to be branded a scheming propagandist for dictators.


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1 03 2016
Warning the conservative elite II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] foreign minister, defender of human rights abuses and lese majeste, PADster, coup supporter, anti-foreign media, etc. Kasit Piromya. He’s often sounded lazy, bizarre and loopy. So what can we make of an […]

1 03 2016
Warning the conservative elite II | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] foreign minister, defender of human rights abuses and lese majeste, PADster, coup supporter, anti-foreign media, etc. Kasit Piromya. He’s often sounded lazy, bizarre and loopy. So what can we make of an […]