Still threatening

11 05 2018

As many in Thailand seek to draw “lessons” from the vote in Malaysia that has seemed to overturn 61 years of political dominance, and the royal pardon for Anwar Ibrahim, Thailand’s military dictatorship makes noise about doubling down on repression for the maintenance of the forces of political dominance.

A couple of days ago the Bangkok Post reported that National Security Council (NSC) chief Gen Wanlop Rugsanaoh “warned pro-election campaigners against resorting to violence after they vowed to march on Government House on May 22.”

This is a dangerous warning. As far as anyone can determine, none of the many protests by those involved in the campaign has resulted in any violence whatsoever.

So why does the scary general at the head of a scary organization make such a statement? He even says he doesn’t believe “the demonstration will not spiral out of control.” Does he have information about a “third hand”? As we said less than a week ago, ISOC has made such claims, and they are a scary bunch too, skilled in political manipulation and provocation.

Gen Wanlop added that the activism is a waste of time. He said “the government is following its election roadmap” and that it is “impossible that the NCPO [junta] will step down since the council is a mechanism which supports the government’s administration…”. In fact, it is the mechanism of government.

Another Bangkok Post report has Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan warning “pro-election protesters they will face tough legal action if they march on Government House…”.

He claimed “70 million people understand the government’s election roadmap,” implying the protesters were being stubborn and were out of touch with the vast majority, even deceptive. His men are, he says, “trying to find out who actually pulls the strings in this political movement.” That’s a code for saying that the mostly student-led protesters are Thaksin Shinawatra’s tools and of the groups around him. It is a claim the junta has repeatedly made.

Gen Prawit “warned that the group must revise their plans to hold the rally.” He also referred to “[t]his new political unrest” and implied a plot or conspiracy, saying the “unrest” has “suddenly erupted after a few people came out to say something…”.

Of course, “unrest,” even if manufactured by the junta, can be useful for the regime. It can use “unrest” to delay elections, to attack/charge/quieten the political burrs that get in and under the military bear’s coat and to demonstrate political will and capacity.

More than anything else, though, the military junta wants to show it is still threatening.


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20 05 2018
Beware talk of a “third hand” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] over a week ago PPT posted about several dire warnings made by the likes of National Security Council chief Gen Wanlop Rugsanaoh who publicly worried that […]

20 05 2018
Beware talk of a “third hand” | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] over a week ago PPT posted about several dire warnings made by the likes of National Security Council chief Gen Wanlop Rugsanaoh who publicly worried that […]