Thailand’s self-appointed prime minister is either delusional or a poor liar. In several reports on his trip to the U.S. and appearance at the U.N., some extraordinary claims are made.
The Voice of America interviewed General Prayuth Chan-ocha and report that The Dictator “insists he supports democracy and urges patience as a new constitution is being developed…”. He is quoted: “Thai democracy still needs some fine-tuning, whether it is for the constitution … election process and especially governance and how politicians get into politics…”.
Prayuth seems to think that establishing democracy is a bit like old-fashioned dog obedience. He seems to think that with a bit of stick (repression) and some rewards (populist economics) he can train “politicians” and “people” to obey him, which he misconstrues as “democracy.”
His aim is order and enforced stability, not political democracy. That requires hierarchy, and that is where the monarchy becomes ideologically important.
Prayuth explains that U.S. businesses don’t care about democracy: “I have met with dozens of U.S. companies in Thailand, and they are happy to continue their investment…. They are not talking to me about democracy.” Nothing new there. U.S. businesses have long invested in authoritarian Thailand.
Prayuth “denied he has further clamped down on freedom of expression in Thailand.” He says his repression is “minimal.”
The delusional/falsehoods of The Dictator are revealed for foreign readers at the eureporter, where the headline is:
Thailand junta: ‘Prayuth displays flagrant disrespect for human rights, democratic norms, and Thailand’s international legal obligations’