After Yingluck court appearance & election delay, foreign media unloads on junta

Thailand’s Shame – Time, May 21, 2015
By throttling democracy, the military hurts not just the nation but all of Southeast Asia…

Opinion: Thai citizens must challenge dictatorship – DW, May 20, 2015
… A dictatorship, once established, has only one goal: to maintain and consolidate power for the ruling class. Thailand is no exception. The Thai military keeps saying that it will give back the power to the people, but there are doubts about their claims.
…So far, the resistance against the military regime has been restrained. Yingluck’s supporters have been tamed and are not protesting. A forceful resistance will only materialize if the Thai people realize that the military cannot resolve the conflict…

Happiness Eludes Divided Thailand as Farmers Struggle –, May 21, 2015
…“We’re waiting for the election next year,” said Sakhon, 66, a retired agriculture ministry official. Like many people in the region, he still supports the political movement known as the Red Shirts, who backed Thaksin and his sister. “If nothing happens we are ready to fight to have an election. We have more Red Shirts than the military has soldiers…”

Thailand’s Prime Minister: I’m not meddling with election timetable – CNN, May 21, 2015
…The government pushed back the election date again this week, from early 2016 to August-September 2016 “at the earliest” because a referendum would first need to be held on a new constitution…

Why We Don’t Have Any Thailand Holdings –, May 20, 2015
…Most military interventions occur after a weak democratic government has made a real mess of the economy. But that’s not Thailand’s situation. The ousted government of Yingluck Shinawatra, successor to several governments dominated by her exiled tycoon brother Thaksin Shinawatra, was pretty economically capable.
It had a policy of spreading development beyond the capital Bangkok to rural areas in the north and east, which has been quite successful – growth has averaged about 3% since 2007, in spite of unrest, and is expected to average 3.8% in 2015-16, according to the IMF. Since Thailand suffered a massive debt collapse in 1997-98 because of the overdevelopment of Bangkok real estate, the Shinawatra policy has made sense…

Thailand’s economy tests the junta’s steering skills –, May 21, 2015
It is a harrowing time to be in Thailand’s farming business. Just ask Taweewong Ieamsri, 74, a farm equipment wholesaler in a Bangkok suburb.
His income dropped more than 20% on the year in 2014, and the worst may be yet to come. So far this year, sales are down 10% compared with the same period last year…

One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule – VOA, May 21, 2015
…“There has been a political awakening in the North and Northeast. They want in, but the elites do not include them,” former national security advisor Sean Boonpracong told VOA. “I see trouble down the road”
…”The downfall of the dictatorship is not a matter of doubt but a matter of time,” declared Pravit Rojanaphruk on his Twitter account on Wednesday. The columnist for the English-language daily newspaper The Nation was summoned by the military shortly after last year’s coup and is one of the few Thai media figures still expressing such overt opposition to military rule…

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