Reacting to thugs

4 04 2019

Ongoing efforts to work over Future Foward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and to force a particular “election” outcome, there have been some interesting responses.

Surasak Glahan, who is deputy op-ed editor at the Bangkok Post, writes of Army commander Gen Apirat Kongsompong, accusing him of “hate speech.”

He rightly blames Gen Apirat’s “controversial remarks” as exacerbating “political crusades on social media against the two key leaders of the pro-democracy Future Forward Party (FFP) — Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkanokkul.”

Surasak also calls out the campaign – most of it waged by people associated with yellow-shirted anti-democracy movements – that was waged before the election but which has become more frenzied since Future Forward did well in the election.

As has happened hundreds of times since 2006 as the military and political elites have crushed elected governments and red shirts, Piyabutr has been accused of posing an “imminent threat” to “the institution” (the latter is a pecularly rightist term used to refer to the monarchy.

The king’s own interventions have fanned this hatred of mild-mannered middle and upper class reformists.

Hopefully, Surasak doesn’t find his car burnt by unknown assailants or worse.

Thanathorn has responded to the efforts to crush him and his party:

“When the dark power refuses to loosen its grip on the Future Forward [Party], it becomes clear that the old-fashioned political game hasn’t stopped,” he wrote.

“It has instead intensified because they are afraid of our unexpected victory and the voice of the people.”

Thanathorn has also said he wanted “democracy to return, human rights to be respected and for the impartial enforcement of the law.”

Such notions strike fear into the hearts of all men in uniform and their anti-democrat supporters.

Thanathorn correctly pointed out that the monarchy “is being used as a political tool by the regime to breed hatred and drive a wedge between the people.” He went further:

When the people are divided, dictators will use it as a pretext to assume control of the state…. The divisions in our society aren’t caused by the FFP — they are caused by the armed forces trying to cling on to power.

Thanathorn declares:

I and party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul are prepared and know that we will be targeted…. But we will move forward firmly. The party has no prisons, no tanks. The party only has itself as a weapon to fight against the military dictatorship.

And he was pointed and unafraid in being truthful: “the military is the actual threat to the country — not the FFP, himself, or Mr Piyabutr.”

That is pouring fuel on the flames of the military’s hatred. Gen Apirat and The Dictator will be livid. And when they are roused, military thugs are dangerous.



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