We know that nothing the Thai military does should cause any surprise, but a report at The Nation was, frankly, quite startling for its throwback quality. It could have been from the anti-communist days when the military was operating counterinsurgency programs across the country.
The commander of the Second Army Area, Lt-Gen. Thawat Sookplang proudly declares that he has met his target and
propagandized provided “correct political understanding … to people in 20 provinces in the Northeast…”.
He declares that he has had “good feedback” on this. Thawat stated that there was “little or no opposition.” What did he expect? “Peasants” complaining? Heck, his guys are the ones with guns and who imprison dissenters.
The Second Army is reported to have completed “the mission through the Centre for Reconciliation and Reform, sending staff to talk with people of different political opinions.”
Interestingly, Thawat trumpeted that he “looked forward to using this approach to explain the upcoming charter draft…”.
We get the picture. The military is going to control, cajole and threaten as it did in 2007, but with more intent and vigor.
Another piece of work by Thawat’s military oppressors seems more up-to-date, and involves plagiarism of Thaksin Shinawatra.
This is the “One Tambon One Million Baht” project, which aims to “ease the impact of drought through the distribution of Bt1 million per affected district.” He says that: “People are content with the measure…”. Some of them may also be happy with recent rains.