Friday, July 18, 2014

2014 Thai Coup

About a month after Songkran, the Thai combined military forces took control of the country in Thailand’s 19th coup d’etat since 1932.

The Wikipedia coverage of the “2014 Thai Coup” appears pretty accurate except that it left out the fact that the latest political developments not only come out of failures of the Yingluck Shinawatra government, but has its roots in the problems incurred in previous governments lead by her brother Taksin Shinawatra.

I believe the coup is generally considered a good thing by most Thai people, no matter their political party, both for the stability it brings and the reforms it has pledged to bring about. Yet, the coup is poorly understood by Western governments. I was actually amazed at the United States’ response decreeing that the coup is a threat to Thai democracy. Here we have a country (the U.S.) that, on paper and in many ways is a democracy, but fundamentally operates as an oligarchy. It’s like that expression: “the pot calling the kettle black.”

Of course, family and friends were concerned about me especially at the very launch of the coup, but, really we have been little affected by it and the military has moved swiftly to try to correct some glaring wrongs, including the infamous Rice Pledging Scheme.

As with all things, time will tell.

(Village Chief  Gamnan’s big strand of bamboo, butt-up against our backyard eastern fence; shot taken from our upstairs south-facing window)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Malcolm,

I agree with your assessment of the coup. We will see what kind of follow thru they have to final clean up some of the glaring problems. I am not confident that much will change. My wife (thai) is also a little miffed at the response of the US government. I tried to explain that we believe that an elected government should not be over-turned because of a minority not getting their way. She pointed out that many of the votes were bought. Good point. I've learned not to get involved in Thai matters. It's a lose-lose proposition.

Dave From WI