Enforced historical amnesia I

20 09 2014

There is something of a theme emerging from recent posts as the military dictatorship seeks to expunge the past and “create” a future that is retrogressive and authoritarian. The Dictator thinks that Thais have gotten off track by embracing civilian politicians and electoral politics, and he is railroading them back on the repressive, oppressive path of authoritarianism. We gather that he believes “real Thais” are naturally obsequious, hierarchical and brainless.

PPT posted recently on General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s underlings rewriting history to excise that nasty politician who seems to always have the electoral support of the masses. We also posted on The Dictator’s distaste of discussions about any kind of dictatorship, which seems his preferred mode of governance. Banning academics and students from discussing dictatorship is rather like burning books.

Snail Trail

Thammasat royalist administrators

More recently, Khaosod has reported that royalist Thammasat University administrators “have preemptively banned any political events commemorating the massacre that took place inside the university on 6 October 1976, presumably to comply with the military junta’s ban on all political activities.” Of course, these slithering administrators know what The Dictator wants, and they leave snail trails all the way to his highly buffed rear end.

The 6 October Massacre is but one particularly brutal action by the military and ultra-royalists that resulted in the murder of perhaps hundreds of students at Thammasat University.

Rather than honor the dead, Thammasat administrators prefer to honor the dictator and the system that is responsible for thousands of dead Thais, all fallen before the guns of the murderous military.

They dishonor their university.

Thai Rath Newspaper

6 October 1976: Thai Rath Newspaper

Usually, the deaths of the 6 October martyrs is “commemorated by activists and survivors of the incident at Thammasat’s Tha Prachan campus. In previous years the event has featured religious ceremonies dedicated to the dead, political exhibitions, and academic seminars about the massacre.”

But not this year. The military hates the event and considers that it “saved the nation and monarchy” in 1976 – there’s a theme to their coups, justified as saving the ruling establishment.

Spineless academics join in. Yellow-shirted Nakarin Mektrairat, a deputy rector of the university, justified the unjustifiable, saying that “the ban on political activities is necessary” because “in previous years there have been [activities] that caused problems and division.” This is buffalo manure. Here is a historian, who ought to know better, simply making stuff up in order to ingratiate himself to the military.

The only light in all this royalist claptrap and authoritarian murk is that some students have ignored the political ban and are demonstrating against the military and its coups.

They hung “two banners denouncing the 2006 coup in Bangkok today, on the 8th anniversary of the military takeover.”  One banner was in front of Chulalongkorn University. It read: “8 Years, 19 September, the slain democracy is still dead.” Another was hung “right in front of the headquarters of Thai Rath newspaper.” It stated: “Mr. Thai Democracy, Born 24 June 1932. Died 19 September 2006…”. The bridge is “where taxi driver Nuamthong Praiwan hanged himself to death in protest of the 2006 coup.”

Police officers hurriedly removed the banners.

The “Thai Student Centre for Democracy (TSCD) took responsibility for the banner on Viphavadee Road, and said the banner in central Bangkok was hung by an affiliate student group, the Chulalongkorn Community for the People (CCP).” THe students stated:

“Today is the 8th anniversary of the coup, the day that led to the first loss of Thai life because of the coup, Nuamthong Praiwan,” the statement says. “And it is not the only life that was lost. So many other lives were sacrificed in the violence that escalated after the coup.”

It continues, “The TSCD is hereby using the opportunity of the 8th anniversary of the 19 September coup to remind all Thais of the vile and undeniable consequences of military coups.”

These students are brave and defiant. All power to them as they battle enforced historical amnesia!

 


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13 09 2015
Old men and old ideas | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] pattern is also seen in a recent appointment to the Constitutional Court of yellow-shirted historian, 2014 coup supporter and constitution drafter and supporter of the lese majeste law, Nakarin […]

13 09 2015
Old men and old ideas | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] pattern is also seen in a recent appointment to the Constitutional Court of yellow-shirted historian, 2014 coup supporter and constitution drafter and supporter of the lese majeste law, Nakarin […]