Yesterday we mentioned in a post that former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra had called on The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha to be more accepting of criticism.
We said there was fat chance of that, but did note that Yingluck’s call was likely to be politically explosive. Not least, this was because Yingluck revealed that Prayuth “used to tell her that enforcing laws to dismiss people who fail to comply with policies or force anyone to work for the administration would worsen the political conflict.”
Almost immediately, the military dictatorship sent out its mouthpieces to respond.
The junta mouthpiece declared that it would continue to repress groups with “hidden agendas.” This is ridiculous nonsense. First, the junta is repressing everyone it dislikes and who are critical of the military’s draft charter. Second, the military junta is obsessed with “conspiracies.” Most exist in the tiny minds of its leadership. That said, we acknowledge that the notion of “conspiracy” is high in the military’s mind because it has engaged in conspiratorial politics for decades.
The mouth of the junta then became bizarre, claiming the erratic and curmudgeonly General Prayuth “is always ready to heed opinions.” We know this is errant nonsense.
The mouth went on, saying there are “[s]everal formal channels for hearings have been set out nationwide so the government could gauge people’s opinions in a systematic manner…. [T]he information obtained through these channels is rational and can be adopted for development.”
This is the junta stating that voice matters for nothing. The junta is only interested in deference, hierarchy and bureaucratic control, as it has been for decades. (We might have said that this was technocratic. However, this junta does not display sufficient intelligence or skill to be considered technocratic.)
The mouth did recognize that the junta he speaks for is different from an elected government. While is claim was scrambled and he was dissembling, he essentially stated that military regimes are better able to repress.
The mouth piece then moved to a series of outright lies, for example, claiming that the junta’s massive purges of the bureaucracy had “no political agenda.”
In essence, the junta has officially stated that it is going to continue and deepen repression to (re-)establish a hierarchical Thailand where the lower classes know their place at the bottom of the heap.