In attacking UK Ambassador Mark Kent as “supporting law-breakers,” the military dictatorship is indicating its strict adherence to its standards, which are double standards.
As PPT briefly noted earlier, Kent seemed far more enlightened than his French salesman/ambassador counterpart when he observed the regime’s double standards. This observation was that the military junta allowed anti-US demonstrations in Bangkok but was cracking down on others the junta identified as opponents.
What Kent forgot to mention was that the military junta and the military was organizing and supporting the anti-US demonstrators. In other words, it is not just double standards on a matter of law, where the military supports “law-breakers.” In fact, the military and the regime are developing and unleashing dangerous rightist groups.
As is well known, the military has deep and long connections with ultra-nationalist and ultra-royalist vigilantes. It also has strong connections to anti-democratic groups associated with the movement that brought down the Yingluck Shinawatra government.
Hence, the statement by Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai that “efforts were under way to link the students’ visit to Rajabhakti Park to the gathering at the US embassy” were wrong because “the two incidents were separate,” is not just an exercise in stupidity or double standards. Rather, it is a crude statement of threat to students and, in fact, and opponent of the military junta. At the same time it is a statement of support for rightist gangs. The foreign minister paves the way for rightist violence.
When Don says Kent may be summoned for “talks,” he sounds like the military junta “calling in” opponents for “talks” and threats rather than a senior diplomat suggesting that Kent may be called to the Foreign Ministry.
Deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak complains that Kent should already understand the junta – “[t]his issue has been discussed with every envoy” – and suggests that Kent is somehow supporting those opposing a return to elections.
This is remarkable because it is the military and those demonstrating for it who have undermined elections and prevented them.
Double standards? You bet.
Werachon threatens: “”It is hoped that other ambassadors will be able to understand that as long as the confrontation between the two opposing sides cannot be prevented, then the referendum and general elections could end up in chaos…”.
In fact, the military regime can modulate “confrontation” as it feels fit because it has gangs of thugs under its command.
When Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan insists “that the government had no double standards in enforcing security measures to handle demonstrators” e is making a new claim.
He is suggesting that when there are demonstrations, they need to be “protected.” So his regime protects pro-government demonstrators. It also “protects” opposition demonstrators by arresting them, to keep them away from the regime’s thugs.
This regime is becoming adept – as the military was in 1973-76 – at threat, manipulation and lying and is becoming extreme and very dangerous.