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Army chief shouldn't be commenting on politics

I refer to Saturday's letter from Robin Grant, which referred to mine of Friday, "Sovereignty is held by His Majesty".

Grant considers me as "that stalwart defender of his own concept of democracy" and "our self-appointed champion of democracy". I must consider that as a compliment but democracy is not a matter of opinion, as stated. It is a matter of fact.

Democracy is a form of gov-ernment controlled by laws. Democracy once established creates political stability, but conversely, where there is polit-ical instability, there is no democracy. This is the situation in Thailand where the vote itself is considered as being democracy regardless of the resulting system of govern-ment.

Grant has clearly not under-stood my comment referring to General Prayuth Chan-Ocha's remark that was, in effect, that to remove his boss, the PM and defence minister, from office would be wrong. That was a political statement and outside his remit as chief of an apoliti-cal institution.

The point is the general should not intervene in politi-cal issues either verbally or actively. The military should protect the interests of the peo-ple if threatened with armed violence from whatever source. That is not political and neither is the current situation, which is a struggle to establish a dem-ocratic basis for governance by eradicating corruption, which is supported with the use of armed violence. That's a moral issue. There is no "outrage" on my part, simply sound reason-ing.

J C Wilcox

Bangkok


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