The Nation



Whose side is the Army on?

Re: "A partisan police force?", Letters, December 29.

CM Phillips claims the police force is merely an arm of the Pheu Thai-led government. A counter-argument would be that the Army belongs to the yellow-shirt opposition. Historically, the Army appears to have consistently opposed the forces of social change, and to have defended the interests of the urban middle-class elite against poor, rural citizens. There is also its use of live ammunition against red-shirt protesters to consider.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha's public refusal to rule out a coup if the violence continues is an open invitation for the protesters to go "all the way" so that a coup in fact should be staged.

In democratic countries, the army is there to protect the civilian population from foreign aggression, not to ensure that a minority political party is kept in power against the will of the majority.

George Redelinghuys


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