The throwback

17 04 2015

Reuters tells us that “[w]hen the army took over last May, most observers expected something similar to previous coups: a brief interregnum, and then a transfer to civilian government. That hasn’t happened.”

We’d point out that PPT was not one of the “most observers.” This military dictatorship has always seen the need to “avoid the mistakes” of 2006-7.

The Reuters story is correct to observe, as PPT has several times, that this regime “is a throwback to the kind of sustained military dictatorship last experienced by Thailand in the depths of the Cold War…”. These are reported as the words of commentator and scholar Chris Baker. He adds:

Prayuth has got this opinion of himself and his power which has become more and more evident in the last couple of months, really, that he thinks he can do anything….

There’s much in this. A Bangkok Post of Prayuth’s “report” to the nation indicates that Prayuth’s opinion of himself is high indeed.

As if we didn’t know, he considers that his hard work – repressing political opponents, arresting hundreds, “fixing” politics for the royalist elite, using the draconian lese majeste law and more – is under-appreciated. Clearly, he reckons he’s a star.

He’s apparently convinced that his orders are just the thing for Thailand:

I just ordered the production of electric train cars. It’s easy. We came up with several prototypes but few have been put into use. I’ll see to that. From now on, research projects must be done only in pre-determined fields and they will be financed until they’re successful….

Megalomania is always a problem for the people when a dictator is in control.

He also warned  – that was at all necessary – that: “[t]he more you criticise me, the more I do and the stricter I am with laws. I’ve been well rested after the long holiday and I’m ready for anything…”. He threatened increased use of Article 44.

A throwback indeed.


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