Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nattakorn Devakula: Resentful Reds

Bangkok Post

The unshakeable perception, which underlies the argument that there is unfairness from the armed forces possibly due to influences of those close to the conservative establishment, is that preferential treatment has always been given to those wearing the royalists' colour while a less accommodating welcome is handed to those who wear the "communist" colour.

It is not just that there is such an apparent incongruity in the armed forces' treatment of the reds, in comparison to the yellow, both of which having run wild during periods of emergency decree rule.

The allegedly overarching roles of the Constitution Court and the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders have exacerbated the perception that there is indeed a double standard applied to Thaksin-linked and non-Thaksin-linked politicians. There has been no prosecution of a single public office holder of the Democrat party in the last four years. That applies to both the Constitutional Court, the politicians' court, as well as cases under the purview of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Furthermore, the Constitution Court has dissolved the Thai Rak Thai party, the People Power party, the Chart Thai party, the Matchimathipataya party, while the only real major party left standing - not counting Puea Pandin and Ruamjaithai Pattana which are both disintegrating anyway as we speak - is the Democrat party that is currently in power.

Even if the Court's decisions were arrived at fairly and squarely, on the surface the impression of a double standard is more than enough to compel those who may believe otherwise to join the pro-Thaksin camp.

The road ahead for the conservative establishment is clear as well as unavoidable. In this context, the conservative establishment comprises the Constitution Court, the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders, the NACC, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Privy Council, the conservative media and role-playing academics who frequent television studios to serve the royalist fervour.

Just look at the recent mainstream coverage of the Sondhi Limthongkul shootings. Stories involving the newspaper owner are given more air-time than even the Prime Minister, while groundless accusations immediately flew off the pages against those who dared stand against this political media influential.


Is the threatened life of a yellow-shirt leader valued more by the mainstream media than possibly the hidden dead bodies of those who wore red?

Conservatives are ubiquitous; they are trusted by newspaper reporters and respected by television producers. The radio airwaves featuring anti-establishment causes have either been brought down or screened out.

With all the blogging I have done recently, there seems to be two camps of conventional wisdom.

The Nation, the PAD, the royalists and reactionary camp:

Thaksin is the root of all evil in the world, the Reds have no legitimate reason to be resentful, and they will wither away as a political entity once they are legally disenfranchised through political reform, the patronage money dries up and they will finally see the light of truth after they are properly re-educated by the propaganda apparatus of the military, the great minds at ASTV and the Nation Group media empires.

Foreign and serious Thai academics, progressives, and everybody who has more than one brain cell firing in their skull.

There seems to be agreement that there is too much power concentrated in the hands of the military, the monarchy or those close to the monarchy meddle too much in politics without democratic accountability, the lese majeste law is abused or used to cover up political dissent, there are double standards when it comes to justice for those connected to the military and palace and those without any privileged class connections at all, the judiciary has too much political power and takes orders from above rather than adjudicating the law, the political decisions of the majority of people should be respected even if the outcomes are undesirable, that poor people should be equal under the law and not treated like serfs who need to be protected and patronized.

In other words, it is a battle of resisting and overturning the ancient Sakdina feudal regime.

The Yellows and their allies want to sustain their feudal privileges and keep the poor under their feet.

The Reds no longer want to be slaves and serfs and want their political rights to be respected.

1 comment:

antipadshist said...


I've noticed that Pleum doesn't mention army at all - although I think they are actually major player in all affairs and have a big part in the Establishment.