Junta hard at work

14 06 2019

Still working to get a government together, the junta remains very active. There’s no such thing as a caretaker government when the “new” government to be is also the junta’s.

The Dictator yesterday “exercised the all-powerful Section 44 to bring more than 20,000 illegal hotels and accommodation services nationwide under better state control and boost safety for guests.” That order is said to be “aimed at making accommodation services which have violated laws related to land use, city planning, building control and hotel businesses legal.” At about the same time, a military task force, led by the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4, and supported by police, “raided a cluster of 23 luxury hilltop villas on Koh Samui found to be illegally operating as a high-end hotel.”

Here’s the rub of dictatorship: The Dictator wields dictatorial powers and the military is running raids for which they are unaccountable. That the two acts contract each other is neither here nor there because Gen Prayuth Chan-och can do whatever he wants and it’s “legal.” We can’t help wondering what he will do after he’s got a government in place. We guess he’ll resort to threats and violence.

On the high-end resort, could we guess that this is a kind of mafia action. After all, the place has been high-profile and operating for eight years. Something’s happened to suggest that the usual pay-offs may be being re-routed.

Meanwhile, the same military boss has used Article 44 to “suspend the process of selecting new members of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)…”.

The order comes as the “three mobile operators — Advanced Info Service, True Move H Universal Communication and Total Access Communication — are due to submit proposals to buy 700MHz spectrum licences, meant for the 5G network, on June 19.”

We are only guessing, but assume that deals have been done, kickbacks arranged, and so there is a need to maintain the existing “partnerships.”