The military dictatorship still seems unable to comprehend – or is internally undecided or even in conflict – over the path of its charter. Most analysts consider that the draft was dead on arrival.
That’s one reason why the military is mobilizing to enforce the junta’s perspective on the draft charter.
In a recent report, the Bangkok Post says that Army chief General Theerachai Nakawanich has dismissed “criticism the military was exploiting around 100,000 Ror Dor territorial defence students as a tool to disseminate propaganda messages about the draft charter and manipulate the upcoming referendum.”
Of course, like others in the military dictatorship, he’s an inveterate liar. His denial is simply ridiculous and no one of sane mind will believe this nonsense.
He made these outrageous lies while attending a “training” session on the draft charter and the referendum.
His lies went even further, when he made the ludicrous claim that the “Ror Dor students would be volunteering only to explain the referendum and the draft charter to the public, without manipulating anyone’s thoughts.”
There are fairies at the end of the garden, trees provide lottery numbers, dolls ward off evil and the army is incorruptible. These claims rank as seriously as the general’s lies.
One fact is that the “Ror Dor students will voluntarily serve as assistants to officials at the polling stations” for the referendum.
We had assumed that the hopelessly politicized Election Commission would say something on this. But as expected, it seems to think it is wonderful to have a bunch of kids in uniform meddling in the vote and its count and hanging about the polling station, “advising” voters. It stated that it is “is seeking the Territorial Defence Command’s permission to appoint the Ror Dor students as official assistants at the referendum.”
We are sure that such election/referendum fixing will be quickly approved. Will it be enough? Probably not. If the military dictatorship decides it wants the charter, then we’d expect it to intervene more extensively to ensure a Yes vote.