Worrying foreigners

31 01 2015

As readers will know, the military dictatorship and its ultra-royalist and ultra-nationalist allies have been particularly agitated by the Americans. The military’s former chief funding agency seems to have caused uproar with its rather mild suggestions and limited criticisms of the military junta.

Now that some of the U.S. Embassy staff have tripped off to the northeast and met some red shirts, The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha has directed his minions to keep tabs on the Americans. He appears to think that talking with anyone but those he approves of is interfering in Thailand’s domestic affairs.

Keeping an eye on what foreign diplomats do is not unusual. Indeed, it is not unusual for embassies advise the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if any senior diplomat is traveling in-country. However, to announce that a government is watching what foreign diplomats do is creating an incident.

Trying to cool things down a little, another general, the minister for the Interior, Anupong Paojinda, has said that while he and the dictatorship “hopes they [the Americans] will not meddle in Thailand’s internal affairs,” he acknowledges that they are “free to meet Thai red-shirt leaders…”.

But we wondered if Anupong was pulling everyone’s collective leg when he stated:

Discussing relations with foreign countries, Gen Anupong that that those with different views should offer constructive comments. Thailand has no intention of intervening in the internal affairs of foreign countries, and they should behave similarly…

He must have been, for not has the military dictatorship been intervening in the affairs of New Zealand, but has been happy to denounce the UNHCR as well. Anupong is either joking with everyone or is himself a joke when it comes to foreign affairs.