The Dictator may have heartburn over the draft charter’s poor reception, but there are efforts to ensure that the draft has a chance at becoming law.
In a story at Prachatai, the military junta “has ordered academics to cancel a seminar about the draft constitution.” A bunch of yellow-shirted academics were coming together at the National Institute of Development Administration to discuss the latest charter draft. They included Komsarn Pokong, Banjerd Singkaneti, Phichai Rattanadilok Na Phuket and Suriyasai Katasila. Doing this to those who cheered the military’s coup is revealing of fraying.
In another report, it is revealed that the Election Commission “has proposed imposing penalties against people who inappropriately criticize the draft of the new constitution…”. It says that “[d]istorting details about the draft, using rude language to criticise it, or inciting people to go against it are among the activities that might face punishment…”.
A third Prachatai report has Army boss General Theerachai Nakawanich announcing that “military students [ROTC cadets] will be sent to stand at referendum polling stations to inform people about the draft constitution.” By “inform” we assume he means “propagandize for.” These students are to be trained how to propagandize for the charter, joining with the decrepit EC! At the same time, the gorilla general said that “military officers from many divisions will also be sent to communities throughout the country to foster an understanding about positive aspects of the draft constitution, especially its content dealing with anti-corruption mechanisms.” Having the thugs campaigning for the charter is the equivalent of mobsters running the mixer for cement shoes. The Bangkok Post has further details.
These are more examples of how little the military mind in Thailand understands politics, people and polls. The general is guaranteeing that no one will see the referendum as anything other than military manure.