Updated: Prayuth still whining about foreigners

1 02 2015

The Dictator, self-appointed premier, self-appointed television personality, self-promoted ideologue and more, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has become even angrier than usual.

At Khaosod it is reported that Prayuth’s weekly televised rant at the nation, he made a very kingly call for national unity. Prayuth’s unity is with “his mission to ‘reform’ the country…”.

He added that this unity was better than “complaining to foreign nations.” On this point, he went further:

They like to accuse this person, that person. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? You like to whine about your problems to all the foreign nations. Stop doing that….

… I have never denied the fact of how this government came into power, but everyone must understand that we did it to take care of the country…. If we cannot take care of each other and solve our problems, should we let other nations do it for us? Thailand is an independent country. We were never colonized by anyone. Today, why are we letting some people air their problems to this person or that person to solve problems for us? It’s shameful.

He probably means the Americans, ignoring the fact that he is giving contracts to the Chinese for infrastructure like a drunken sailor buying drinks for strangers in bars.

We at PPT are not sure who Prayuth identifies as complaining to foreigners. A couple of people have pretty quietly applied for political asylum. Like us, some write blogs and use social media, but we see no organized effort to engage foreign governments.

In fact, the interest of governments like that of the U.S. are driven by self-interest and by the neanderthal actions of the military dictatorship itself. The opposition to the junta is a result of its blunt and politically-stupid repression.

A resort to anti-foreign xenophobia is a tactic used by fascist regimes, and it would be no surprise to see Prayuth using it more extensively.

Update: At the Bangkok Post, Chulalongkorn University political science professor Surachart Bumrungsuk is cited as saying “he was worried that the naivety of the current Thai leadership on diplomatic affairs would drag down our global clout, which has already been diminishing.” He added that “[t]hroughout history, elites in Thai society have realised we could not ignore Thai-US relations, as it has been the cornerstone of our foreign and security policies…”, yet the military dictatorship was being “pouting and childish” about the US representative’s comments. Strikingly, he noted that “[t]he post-coup attitude of leaning towards no-rebuke China … might be a bit off-side…. We should learn the lesson of our neighbour Myanmar that after years of walking in the Chinese shadow, they now have to walk back into the arms of the West.”

Reflections on the media and the Songkhran uprising

29 04 2009

Pravit Rojanaphruk (Prachatai, 29 April 2009: “Mass media accused of middle-class anti-reds bias”) has an article that includes analysis of the mainstream media in Thailand and its claimed bias. Pravit concludes:

“The middle class’ daily dealings with the lower class is marked by hierarchical and patronage relationships such as one of manager-to-worker, passenger-to-taxi-driver, master-to-maid, diner-to-waiter, sex-buyer-to-sex-worker and more.

The middle class and elite are not used to truly listening to the lower class and rather wish they remain docile as cab drivers, waiters or prostitutes instead of being active as fellow Thai citizens, capable of independent and equal political thoughts and aspirations.

If lower-class people are in the news, many of the middle class rather wish they were on the news as a “good cabbie” who returns a forgotten wad of bank notes left behind by a forgetful middle class or rich passenger. Or, as an award-winning bartender, or perhaps a maid who was a rape victim of a cruel house master. To them, the poor reds can’t possibly have an independent mind and are more likely to have been duped or bribed by Thaksin and his cohorts…”.

Also at Prachatai (29 April 2009: “Red shirts’ uprising” ) Chulalongkorn University political science lecturer Surachart Bamrungsuk is translated on his analysis of the Songkhran uprising. He suggests that the use of the military in crushing the red shirt uprising was “due to the fact that the red shirts politically and socially pose a threat to the middle-class and the elite.” Surachart claims that the poor, so long “disregarded,” have noe “become a strong political force.”

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