Saturday, October 25, 2008

Is a Coup on the Horizon?

A Matter of Time

Wassana Nanuam

Bangkok Post

Coup fears are rife and some believe it is just a matter of time before the tanks are again on Bangkok streets.

Despite widespread rumours of another military coup, Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has left the country on a trip to Beijing, apparently confident that that it is only idle speculation.

The rumours have been intensifying since army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda went on national television last week to urge Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to resign over the violent suppression of People's Alliance for Democracy protesters by police on Oct 7. He was accompanied by the chiefs of the navy, air force and police force.

Mr Somchai refuses to resign.

"Right now, people fear there may be another coup," said Chulalongkorn University political analyst Panitan Wattanayagorn on Thursday.

"Relations between the military leaders and Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat have soured. I think that under such circumstances everything seems to point to a coup.

"It is only a matter of time."

If the military took over it would lead to the formation of a national government of unity which would bring all parties together, he said. But it must be done quickly to avoid possible political chaos.


Gen Anupong on Tuesday signed an order changing the assignments of 141 colonels in three powerful regiments based in Bangkok. Although it was a seasonal reshuffle, the officers control the forces that are the key to a coup.

"The military does not want to stage a coup. In this situation, there is no knowing how to solve the problem. Everyone is now speaking of a coup as a solution," said the commander of an infantry regiment in Bangkok, who asked not to be named.

Since Dr. Panitan was an adviser to the Surayud Government and is a policy adviser to the military this really caught my attention. He is the consummate military insider.

What will a post-coup government look like? I reckon the English-language Thai media, namely The Nation(a thousand columns on how foreigners don't understand democracy are already in the works) and Bangkok Post, will be ecstatic and defend the coup, the shameless Democrat Party will be installed as the illegal puppet government, the PAD will continue to do whatever it wants whenever it pleases, the PPP leaders will be arrested or interned, the DAAD leaders will arrested and interned, and the rural masses will be put back in their rightful place(sarcasm), and they will be disenfranchised and "re-educated" by the royalist elites on what their rightful place in Thai society should be, which is to farm, cook, clean, serve, drive, krub at their master's feet, and clean up the shit. In other words, more sufficiency economy and sufficiency democracy propaganda.

Of course, there will be universal condemnation in the international community, except from China of course, and the military, the Democrat Party, the Thai media and the PAD will insist that the international community be "educated" and demand that their crimes against the constitution be absolved in the name of getting Thaksin or purging the last remnants of the Thaksinistas from Thai politics for good. And some unproven charges of lese majeste will be thrown in for good measure. You can't have a successful coup without that.


Ad said...

Amazing Thailand!

How did the Thai political situation deteriorate so precipitously that the Thai people now really believe only another coup will save the Thai people from tearing each other apart?

Thailand is today a country without a leader, without a government, without even a government house, and without any direction nor purpose.

Unknown said...


Good question. To which there is a good answer.

Thais are like unto children. Playing. In a sandpit.