General Prayth Chan-ocha, known widely as The Dictator of Thailand, is livid that he was both snubbed and criticized by a visiting U.S. official. PPT earlier posted on the comments by Daniel Russel, the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
At Khaosod it is reported that Prayuth ordered his ministers to denounce Russel’s speech (full text here). PPT heard that he was furious about Russel’s speech at Chulalongkorn University. But he is then reported to have “repeated his remarks in a meeting with Gen. Thanasak Patimaprakorn, a member of the Thai junta and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
Indicating his limited knowledge of international affairs and the United States, Thanasak, referring to the maintenance of martial law, “asked Mr. Daniel [Russel], if your country is like ours, with all the factors and restrictions, what would you do without martial law?” Junta spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd claimed the envoy “… could not answer that question, because his country never faced such a situation before.”
A venomous Prayuth also dismissed the US diplomat’s call for lifting of martial law, asking: “If we don’t have martial law, won’t it lead to chaos?… I am not bothering anyone. I only want to make this country peaceful.”
He went on to claim: “There are only few nations that are still stuck on the word democracy. But these countries still trade with us as usual. No one pressures us at all. Some countries even say, Thailand is in better shape than ever. It’s just that they cannot say they agree with us.”
We recall that Thaksin Shinwatra was once was criticized for comments that seemed to make democracy a means to an end. Prayuth, as The Dictator, can’t be criticized for having a view of democracy as nothing but a word.
Khaosod reports that exiled political dissident Somsak Jeamteerasakul “offered an answer to the question Gen. Thanasak reportedly posed to Russel during their meeting.” He says the U.S., faced with the situation Yingluck Shinawatra was in, would have seen the President “would relieve the army chief of his command and court-martial him on a charge of high treason.”
Never in Thailand, where the king is commander in chief and the military brass owe their position and personal wealth to the palace and military corruption.