Thailand and democracy

It is somewhat refreshing when the oligarchs explicitly say they’re against democracy, such as in Thailand:

The protesters are led by former lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, who has vowed to overthrow Yingluck’s government, accusing it of widespread corruption, incompetence, and of effectively buying the votes of millions of people through a series of government assistance programs.

Suthep represents the traditional Thai elite, a loose confederation of royalists, top bureaucrats, businesspeople and high-ranking military officers. He is demanding the creation of a non-elected “People’s Council” that would replace Yingluck’s administration, which swept into power in a landslide election two years ago.

Suthep has said that the prime minister’s resignation would not be enough to end the crisis. He has also rejected any new election because he knows the opposition would likely be soundly defeated. Various incarnations of Yingluck’s party, which has massive support among poor and rural voters, have won every election the country has held since 2001.

That really puts comments such as this into context:

“Everybody in Thailand has to take a side. If you want to be a free man, you must come out. If you decide to be Thaksin’s slave for the rest of your life, stay at home.”

He asked civil servants to go on strike and join the people’s massive demonstrations despite a reported attempt by the government to block them.

“We will organise a countrywide uprising to take back our sovereignty. Provincial people should move to the city halls in their respective provinces to block civil servants from entering their offices. Students should also rise up in unison to reject the Thaksin regime.”

“We’ll be slaves if we don’t win. There is no other alternative. The nine of us are willing to accept the insurrection charges. Let us wait until December 9 to see who will be defeated. That is the end. There should be no more damages and casualties in the country.”

As an aside, it seems that it’s really a bad time to be in the area if you’re Muslim:

As thousands of Rohingya flee Myanmar to escape religious persecution, a Reuters investigation in three countries has uncovered a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

The Rohingya are then transported across southern Thailand and held hostage in a series of camps hidden near the border with Malaysia until relatives pay thousands of dollars to release them. Reporters located three such camps – two based on the testimony of Rohingya held there, and a third by trekking to the site, heavily guarded, near a village called Baan Klong Tor.

Thousands of Rohingya have passed through this tropical gulag. An untold number have died there. Some have been murdered by camp guards or have perished from dehydration or disease, survivors said in interviews.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Thailand is now explicitly a dictatorship | Petunias

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