Updated: Scholar disparages junta

12 07 2015

[Update: corrected some typos. Sorry.]

Some scholars have been reluctant to criticize Thailand’s military dictatorship. If they do, Thai scholars risk being called in by the junta for a bit of threatening. Foreign scholars risk being turned away from Thailand if they speak against the dictatorship. Others, both Thai and foreign, have been enthusiastic in their support of the prepared to speak out in favor of dictatorship. The whole of the so-called Council of University Presidents had been captured by anti-democrats and royalists. The military has its tame “scholars” in its pay and ideologically committed to anti-democracy.

Of course, there have been outspoken opponents all along, but they are repressed, threatened or silenced. in recent days, there have been cases of Thai scholars and foreign scholars speaking out for the Dao Din students.

When a foreign scholar enters the den of the dictators and criticizes them as anti-democrats, it deserves some attention. Tyrell Haberkorn from Australian National University has been an assiduous translator of important documents at Prachatai. The Nation reports that she has now stated, in an international forum entitled “Democracy Drawbacks in Southeast Asia” organized by the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University, has stated that “[t]he military is the primary cause of the retreat of democracy in Thailand and Southeast Asia…”.

She’s right in everything reported from her speech, snips of which appear below:Tyrell

[T]he extensive power obtained by coup-makers encourages more putsches in the future.

[G]ranting amnesty to those launching military coups and passing laws like Article 44 of the provisional charter granting the junta leader absolute power could lead to more coups.

Each time the military forgives themselves for seizing power, detaining people, and torturing people, it makes it easier to do it [the coup] the next time….

[The junta passing orders that were treated as law and adjudicating civilian cases within the military judicial system] could never be a path towards democracy, no matter what the generals in charge may say. These are actions that are both individually and in sum detrimental to the exercise and promotion of human rights.

[T]he junta granting themselves amnesty] is dangerous because this institutionalises and gives a legal clause to otherwise illegal actions that are explicitly damaging the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Even when … holding conversations and [where] there was no arrest, it was still a form of intimidation, which shrinks the space of freedom of expression and political freedom….


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