The degree of military control of this flawed “reconciliation” soap opera has been seen in a military press conference on the contrived process. This picture, snipped from the Bangkok Post, tells much.
The report states: “The military will start discussions on national reconciliation with politicians on Valentine’s Day and plans to produce a reconciliation pact in three months.”
We can surmise that the “pact” is already crafted. Claims that the document will come after the talks are unbelievable as this junta is had more than two years to prepare its agenda.
“The Defence Ministry will arrange roundtable discussions where military officers talk with 10 representatives from each political party on weekdays…. At the roundtable, 10 soldiers would discuss 10 reconciliation-related topics with the 10 political representatives from each party.”
Ten isn’t usually a lucky number, but it is the 10th reign…. Only 10 issues need discussing? And reconciliation is being steered by the soldiers and the parties are being kept separate.
Why only political parties? We gather that this is because the purpose is to ensure that an “election” produces the result desired by the military dictatorship. “Reconciliation” means the existing political parties will acknowledge and accept the domination of the military junta.
When the military’s document is “approved,” it
is will be by a “committee headed by army chief Chalermchai Sittisat…. The panel would include Somkid Lertpaitoon, president of Thammasat University and member of the National Legislative Assembly.”
Somkid is a notorious royalist and handmaiden to the military junta. We guess he’s already in on the military’s “agreement” that will be put before the political parties.
Then, following tactics used in the constitutional “referendum,” the “draft” will “go to public hearings that the military would organise in all regions.” That means no real discussion and certainly no debate is expected.
The military adds that “[r]epresentatives of farmers would also be invited to comment on the draft,” presumably chosen by the military.
The junta expects that its “reconciliation pact” would be “accepted” as “a consensus from political parties and general people.”
Like the junta’s “constitution,” the “reconciliation pact” is a military plan for junta political longevity and for military political domination into the future.