Don’t hold your breath II

18 02 2016

In case you missed it, the Bangkok Post reports that the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) voted 164 to 6 to approve the bill to grant “reform” power to a new committee over 20 years.

Yes, that’s two decades. It is two decades that embeds military political power and the role of unelected elites in directing politics. The reform committee “will deal with unfinished reform plans,” meaning the military junta’s agenda.

Is this establishing a parallel state in an institution? We think so, if Police Major Yongyut Sarasombat, who led a NRSA committee putting the bill in place, is to be believed.

He says the committee “will only serve as an ‘X-ray scanner’ looking for politicians and authorities who do not comply with the strategy.” Yes, this is very North Korean. Conform on conservative “reform” or you are out or worse. He says that “[i]f politicians go against the strategy and cause subsequent damage, the committee will forward their cases to the Senate…” or the “National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) while state officials will face disciplinary action…”.

The so-called national strategy committee will have “25 people, including the prime minister, the NRSA chairman, and the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) chairman.” The “panel [will]… draft the first strategy, which will last 20 years.”

The junta plans to have its plans in the draft charter. The creation of an institutionalized parallel state involves not just this committee, but elements of the judiciary, “independent” agencies and a bunch of other unelected posts in shady committees.


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