QUOTE(LaniKai @ Nov 30 2006, 01:22 AM) [snapback]2526004[/snapback]
A Point Of View :
The Military Coup d’Etat by the Thai generals under the leadership of General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin on 19 September 2006, to overthrow the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and to suspend the Thai democratic constitution, gave the leadership of Communist Vietnam a rare opportunity to patronizingly wish the Thai people a speedy return to political stability, as a fellow member of the APEC community.
Nothing repels me more than the subsequent image of the saber rattling top brass of the Thai Military elite, in white uniform, assembled in military formation, before the Thai monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, pledging loyalty to him personally, and apparently receiving his royal blessing.
The process of evolution of the democratic ideal, in human history has taught us that there are three scourges to be avoided if true democracy is to be given the chance to flower. These are:
a. Communist dictatorship of the proletariat
b. Theocratic fundamentalist religious rules
c. Military junta rules
Nations of the former Soviet Union, Its Eastern European satellites, Communist China, Communist North Korea, Communist Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea were or are the victims of the Communist scourge.
Iran, former Afghanistan under the Taliban and to some extent most Moslem nations are under the influence of fundamentalist Islam.
Most South American nations, many current nations in Africa, Former South Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea, and Burma are or were afflicted with the rules of the generals or colonels until quite recently.
The Thai people ought to be congratulated for their heroic effort to rid themselves of military dictatorship and move forward both in the democratization process, as well as in economic development.
Despite the fact that certain section of the Thai population appears to be supportive of the military coup, in my opinion, such an event is immensely harmful to the Thai nation.
The three propositions upon which the military coup built its case to justify the coup are:
1. There is an urgent need to prevent social unrest created by the unjust policies of the Thaksin regime
2. Corruption under the Thaksin regime is so rampant that nothing short of a Military coup d’Etat and the creation of a new socio-political order is needed to stamp out corruption.
3. The much revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej allegedly supported the coup
These propositions are obviously untenable.
The first one is untenable because PM Thaksin has been democratically elected. He played the democratic cards ruthlessly but skillfully. He might have angered influential groups within the civil or military establishment, including the royalists. But he played his cards within the rules of the Thai constitution. There would be no dispute if he was ousted by democratic rules, either through the Thai judicial system or through a legitimate election. But to topple his government by military means is anti-constitutional and therefore criminal. Leaders of such Coup d’Etat should be tried in the highest court of the land, and if convicted should be sentenced to the harshest terms, as enemies of the people of the worst type. Their selfish and irresponsible conduct has brought untold harm to the democratic ideal, and thus the self esteem of the entire Thai people in the long term.
The second proposition is untenable because after 15 years of democratic reforms, Thailand has evolved a strong and independent judicial system able to cope with judicial demands of the time. If there is evidence of corruption, it should be referred to the appropriate authorities and dealt with in accordance with law. The Thai junta was by far and is still the most corrupt institution in Thai society, not the Thaksin government. The Current Thai constitution is by any standard a democratic constitution. The Thai military should attempt to live up to these standards instead of destroying them and set the democratic clock back for another decade. The fact that a Retired military officer, General Surayud Chulanont has been sworn in as a military-appointed prime minister, and one whole year is needed for a new constitution and democratic governance to return to this nation, is a significant set-back for democracy.
Finally the third proposition is also untenable. There is a possibility of course that the Thai monarch had no option but to remain silent on the Coup d’Etat as a fait accompli. There is nothing he can do now that the harm by the foolish military officers has been done. However, if there is any truth in allegations that the Thai monarch is any way supportive of his generals, then, in my opinion, it augurs ill for the monarchy as a pillar of the Thai nation in the long term. For indeed, by its nature, any monarchy as an institution is a relics of ill gotten past. Even the remaining most revered monarchies of the world such as the Japanese Chrysanthemum throne, the Nepalese throne, the Thai throne, are by and large the products of dynastic rivalries and often violent internal and internecine wars. Very few dynasties were put on their thrones purely through the virtues of their founders or the force of an individual’s moral rectitude. The fact that they still exist in the era of democracy is indicative of the tolerance of the people for the sake of socio-cohesion and stability. Such tolerance of course is not without conditions: They must be constitutional monarchs. They may reign but must not govern. In other words, in the case of the Thai people, his generals might very well be loyal to him figuratively, but in practice, they must be loyal to the democratic Thai constitution. For the Thai King to accept loyalty of the Thai generals to him personally, he is himself in breach of a covenant with his own people that he should respect the constitution, even from his royal throne.
In writing this point of view, the writer is aware of the fact that King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the subject of extreme respect and reverence by the Thai people. But by the same token each Thai citizen, in his struggle toward the democratic ideal deserves as much reverence and respect from the monarch. In the long term, Thai history will reveal that each Thai citizen is human with all his worth and failings, so is the Thai King. In the pursuit of the democratic ideal, respect and reverence must be mutual. It is this element of mutuality that will ensure the long term existence of the Thai monarchy as a stabilizing institution for Thai society, not the King’s anxiety to consolidate his power at the expense of Thaksin as a perceived threat to his popularity and reign.
The return of the Thai military buffoons either with or without the support of the Thai King surely does not augur well for Thai democracy. Nor does it assist the Vietnamese people in their struggle towards the democratic ideal. Another type of buffoons, Communist buffoons, has been running Vietnam single-handedly for more than half a century. They have wrought immensely more harm on Vietnam than what their military counterparts have done to Thailand. The irony is that the Thai coup d’etat has given the Vietnamese communist buffoons the rarest opportunity to teach Thailand a lesson on the concept of “political stability”.
Of course, if such political stability merely means eternal dictatorship of the proletariat, then the Thai people would not have any bar of it. The Vietnamese communist buffoons know this well and have thus refrained from making any further comments on the Thai political turmoil so far.
What is so democratic when the prime minister won an election by
1. paying money to the people who vote for him,
2. bribing the election committee to turn the voting area outward, so that people may see who you vote for from behind,
3. having millions (approximately one sixth) of the voting card decleared bad; in some districts the number of bad card would out weigh that of good card; half a million of cards that were decleared bad were written with blasphemy, and curses.
If the judicial system was so effective as you say, why then we have more than 10,000 complaints regarding the corruption of Thaksin government under ongoing investigation right now and not at the time of Thaksin administration? The truth therefore must be, in so far as the situation implies, that the judicial system was not clean, and it is either slave to or mutually benefit from Thaksin government.
It seems you have forgotten that democracy is basically voice of the mass, pal. If the public feels ok about the king suppressing the political turmoil in Thailand, then who are you to say this is not democracy.