Military in business

26 06 2020

PPT has had a couple of posts on the military’s business and commercial interests in the eastern region, associated with the EEC. We think it odd that the military is partnering with foreign investors or making squillions on “its” land by leasing it out.

In line with this oddity of military-as-business, it is reported that the Defence Ministry:

plans to invite foreign business people to invest in Thailand’s first defence industrial estate in Kanchanaburi under the public-private partnership model, as the government seeks to reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign weapons imports and position Thailand as a global arms dealer.

The business “model” seems odd and so does the aspiration to become a “global arms dealer.”

This particular business venture is “to be developed on 3,000 rai of military-owned land in Bo Phloi district…”. Anyone checked the land titles?

On that land, the Defense Ministry “plans to build infrastructure and facilities on 1,034 rai during the first phase,” with military-owned arms and battery factories being relocated to the zone. Who knew that there “are 37 arms factories nationwide”? We only knew of one….

Under the junta, the defense was a targeted industry.

While not exactly in the same category, PPT found another story that offers the military another business opportunity. The Bangkok Post reports that a “former base of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) is being developed as a new tourist spot” in Phatthalung. The report identifies:

Ban Khao Kaew was one of the many jungle bases in the South used by the CPT to wage guerilla war against the government from the 1960s until the early 1990s, when the party was disbanded.

We wondered if the military couldn’t show tourists how they murdered possibly hundreds of alleged “communists” in Phatthalung. Initially, “communist suspects arrested by soldiers were normally shot by the roadside.”

Then, military brass came up with the “red drum” technique, which was “introduced to eliminate any possible evidence” of the murders they carried out. In the red drums, the people the Army “disappeared,” were “clubbed to a point of semi-consciousness before being dumped in gasoline-filled, used oil drums and burnt alive…”.

Thai tourists certainly need to know the barbarity of their military.



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