Military coup overthrew a corrupt kleptocracy, not a democracy

your say June 13, 2018 01:00

Re: “Coup nothing to do with Thaksin” and “Thailand is wrestling with the problem of democratic tyrants”, Have Your Say, June 9.

The former letter compounds the lack of understanding of politics in Thailand displayed in the latter letter by “Nick” to which it refers.

Thaksin Shinawatra had absolutely everything to do with the coup in May 2014. He had escaped prosecution in Thailand for corruption. He sought refuge in Dubai and the United Kingdom, where he and his sister have total freedom to this day.

His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, became his proxy in Thailand after Thaksin’s self-exile. It was said at the time that “Thaksin thinks while Yingluck acts”. Thaksin was in constant touch with his followers in the Pheu Thai Party headed by Yingluck and the allied United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship. In reality they supported Thaksin, not democracy.

The coup occurred because the police did not enforce the law. They supported Thaksin and his proven corruption, including the massively fraudulent rice-pledging scheme. Law and order had broken down due to the inaction of the partisan police. The military were therefore forced to protect the country from a “failed state” situation.

In the past 86 years there have been 20 coups and a corresponding number of constitution re-writes proving democracy does not exist, and never has existed, as the form of government in Thailand.

Suthep Thaugsuban did not “overthrow democracy”, he campaigned for democratic reform and respect for the monarchy. He overthrew an anti-monarchy, corrupt kleptocracy supported by violent armed followers and a partisan police force. 

The military did its job by saving the country from a lawless failed-state situation. It is not the military preventing democracy, but Thai people. When it is understood that democracy is a form of government of laws, not people, and suffrage does not constitute democracy. There is far more to democracy than the right to vote.

It makes me angry to read such grossly incorrect nonsense.

JC Wilcox