Harvard International Law Journal: The Democratic Coup d’Etat

Harvard International Law Journal: The Democratic Coup d’Etat
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out. Thailand is not mentioned, but there are interesting case studies including the Egyptian coup of 2011.]

…To date, the academic legal literature has analyzed all military coups under an anti-democratic framework. That conventional framework considers military coups to be entirely anti-democratic and assumes that all coups are perpetrated by power-hungry military officers seeking to depose existing regimes in order to rule their nations indefinitely. Under the prevailing view, therefore, all military coups constitute an affront to stability, legitimacy, and democracy. This Article, which draws on fieldwork that I conducted in Egypt and Turkey in 2011, challenges that conventional view and its underlying assumptions. The Article argues that, although all military coups have anti-democratic features, some coups are distinctly more democracy-promoting than others because they respond to popular opposition against authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, overthrow those regimes, and facilitate free and fair elections.
…A democratic military coup typically features the following seven attributes: (1) the coup is staged against an authoritarian or totalitarian regime; (2) the military responds to persistent popular opposition against that regime; (3) the authoritarian or totalitarian regime refuses to step down in response to the popular uprising; (4) the coup is staged by a military that is highly respected within the nation, ordinarily because of mandatory conscription; (5) the military stages the coup to overthrow the authoritarian or totalitarian regime; (6) the military facilitates free and fair elections within a short span of time; and (7) the coup ends with a transfer of power to democratically elected leaders…

Posted in 2014 Coup | Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal comes on strong in editorial: “Generalissimo Prayuth” risks “civil war”

Thailand Unravels – Gen. Prayuth takes Bangkok down a strange dead end – Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2014
…Among the methods under discussion is a permanent ban on Thaksin-affiliated politicians from holding office. Another is a Senate appointed by the royalist elite. These would make a mockery of democracy and provoke violent protests by the pro-Thaksin majority of the population.
That might be part of the military’s plan. Since the Thaksin forces have won the last five elections, unrest that makes a return to democracy impossible could be a convenient excuse for Gen. Prayuth to hang on to power. Already members of his government have suggested the next election won’t be held until 2016.
Many of Thailand’s beleaguered royalists would like to turn the clock back to the days when military strongmen ruled in alliance with the palace. It may seem obvious to outside observers that such pipe dreams risk a civil war.
…Lately the junta has also taken aim at foreigners. Police harass foreign tourists on the streets. Tourist arrivals are down 9% this year and the economy is projected to grow at 1%. The Japanese and British Embassies have warned that antiforeign business policies risk an exodus of capital…

Posted in 2014 Coup | 3 Comments

Six Years Ago: Airport Seized

Six Years Ago: High tension in Thailand – November 2008

Six Years Ago: Airport Seized – Thai-language Newspapers, November 27-28, 2008

Six Years Ago: “D-Day” newspaper front pages – November 26-27, 2008

Posted in Today in History | Leave a comment

Thai police to be totally reorganised and stripped of ability to decide promotions internally

Major police restructuring proposed – Bangkok Post, December 2, 2014
…Mr Wanchai said the committee agreed at a meeting today that the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO) should be totally reorganised.
Under the proposal, the Office of the Police Commission, which is responsible for transfers and appointments, would be abolished.
It would be replaced by a Police Affairs Council whose members would comprise heads of security-related government offices, heads of units in the justice process, representatives of the National Human Rights Commission and other resourceful people selected by MPs and senators…

Also: National Reform Council member proposes dissolution of national police of Thailand

Also: Thai Police Handed Arrested Rohingya Back to Traffickers, Say Media Reports

Posted in 2014 Coup, Thai Police | Leave a comment

Six Years Ago: How did Thai protesters manage to march to the airport unopposed?

How did Thai protesters manage it? – BBC, December 3, 2008
…One of the many retired generals supporting its occupation at the airport observed that it should be seen as a military, not a civilian organisation.
Behind the “aunties with clappers” and well-groomed young women clutching lap-dogs that are the public face of the movement are squads of hoodlums, armed with batons, metal spikes and hand-guns who man the barricades and hunt down intruders…

Posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008, Today in History | 1 Comment

Washington Post in 2003: Thaksin is an undemocratic leader tolerated only because he follows US orders

Washington Post in 2003: Thaksin is an undemocratic leader tolerated only because he follows US orders

Posted in Today in History | Leave a comment

Prayuth bios


Above: Title: 203 days to shutdown ‘Yingluck’ and turn to the year of the NCPO
Yingluck took 49 days to become PM. However, only one wrong strategy she took caused her to be overthrown from power.
Written by: Matichon Editorial
[This is a new book from Matichon documenting the story of the transformation of power from Yingluck’s government to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) led by Gen. Prayuth. Yingluck was plucked from obscurity by Thaksin and in 49 days became PM. However, after having nearly total freedom in passing legislation, it was the bold moves to pardon Thaksin that caused the government to be overthrown.]


Title: The path of Prayuth Chan o-cha: From the Eastern Tiger Military Faction to be a person riding on the tiger.
Thai history has to be written. A military from the Queen’s Royal Guards has become Thailand’s 29th PM under the power of the Eastern Tiger Military Faction.
Written by Wassana Nanuam
Disclosing the coup plan which was super secret, tricky and camouflaged.
[This is the latest book written by military specialist journalist Wassana Nanuam from the Bangkok Post. Her book explains information behind the latest coup led by Gen. Prayuth who has been known as one of the Second Infantry Division’s Queen’s Royal Guards, known as the Eastern Tiger Military faction. This group is playing an important role in Thai military. To ride on the tiger is a Thai idiom meaning being in the position that you cannot withdraw from (the same as in English).
Wassana was also in the news recently as the reporter who had to withdraw a fake interview with former PM Yingluck.]

Posted in 2014 Coup | Leave a comment

Change.org petition to relocate Human Rights Watch to the Thai deep south


change.org petition to relocate NGO protesting death sentence for gunmen to the Thai deep south

[This refers to the death sentences for gunman who were caught on video attacking the Thai military in the Thai deep south. The attack left four soldiers dead and two wounded.
In the Thai world the death sentences are seen as a common-sense move that is wholly appropriate for the crimes committed. Besides the brazenness of the attacks, which nearly everyone has seen on video, the crimes touch on a nationalistic nerve because of the continuing problem of southern separatism.
Foreign NGOs like Human Rights Watch predictably condemned, not the attackers, but the death sentence itself as well as the Thai authorities. While Westerners do have an understanding of how one could oppose the death sentence on principle, regardless of the crimes the accused committed, there is very little awareness of this sort of thinking in the Thai world.
Thus, the condemnation of the death sentences is not seen as an attempt at insisting on progressive and humane conduct by the state. Instead, Thai social media is buzzing with the Thai perception–that the NGOs are obviously part of a conspiracy to weaken Thai control in the south for a variety of conspiratorial reasons. The thinking being, why else would anyone oppose the death penalty in such a case when it is so obviously the just thing to do?]

Posted in Analysis, The Thai Deep South | Leave a comment

Angry Confrontation at Phuket Beach as Authorities Seize Tourists’ Umbrellas

Angry Confrontation at Phuket Beach as Authorities Seize Tourists’ Umbrellas – phuketwan, November 28, 2014
…Tourists had their personal beach umbrellas seized at Surin beach today – despite even the Royal Thai Navy Commander on Phuket acknowledging that it’s legal and there’s no problem with them.
At least three couples had brollies confiscated. One woman objected, and stormed off when told she had to surrender her umbrella, saying: ”I’m never coming back here again.”
The seizure of personal umbrellas is the final farcical step to Phuket’s shambolic approach to clearing the beaches – and now proposing at Patong and Kamala to restore all the clutter and chaos as soon as possible…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

China rebukes Turkey for offer to shelter Uygur refugees from Thailand

China rebukes Turkey for offer to shelter Uygur refugees – todayszaman.com, November 28, 2014
…Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on Wednesday reported a request by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for Thailand to send the Uygurs there, a move that angered China, which views their move to Thailand as “illegal immigration.”
Asked for a response on Turkey’s offer, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the case was a matter for China and Thailand and “the relevant country” should stop interfering…

Posted in Refugees and Migrants | Leave a comment

Reports of Thailand’s Revival Are Greatly Exaggerated


Reports of Thailand’s Revival Are Greatly Exaggerated – Bloomberg, November 27, 2014
Thailand may still be the best place in the world to get a nose job, even after its military coup last spring. But tentative signs of an economic rebound hardly resolve the deep structural problems that continue to afflict its politics, economy and society…

Posted in 2014 Coup | 1 Comment

How many of Angkor’s temples were rebuilt in the 20th century


Angkor: an interactive map of Cambodia’s must-see temples – Telegraph, November 28, 2014
…Far from being left to nature, most temples were painstakingly rebuilt over the past century. To what extent they have been reconstructed only becomes clear when looking at astonishing black-and-white photographs from the École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), showing excavation work amid mounds of earth and rubble in the early 20th century.
“What visitors see now are temples that have been worked on for many years,” said Andrew Booth, the author of The Angkor Guidebook, a new book that was three years in the making.
“I never understood how much work had been done on them,” said Booth, who trawled for 10 days through 25,000 images kept by the EFEO. “Baphuon was not very well designed and started to fall down as soon as it was built. A picture from 1948 shows just a pile of rubble and early attempts to underpin it with concrete. What are now the temples were put together piece by piece by diligent academics so we can appreciate them. Hats off to them…”

Posted in Cambodia | Leave a comment

The Facebook page PM Prayuth says is pathetic


The Facebook page PM Prayuth says is pathetic: “Change the background for the Dear Leader”

Netizens give PM a new look – Bangkok Post, November 28, 2014
…Asked whether he had seen the new “backgrounds” suggested for his TV programme (one featured a Hunger Games motif), he said he had and that all of them were pathetic.

Posted in 2014 Coup | 2 Comments

Uber illegal in Thailand, drivers will face fines


Uber declared illegal in Thailand – Bangkok Post, November 28, 2014
…The department on Friday launched a crackdown on Uber drivers, saying those stopped by police could be fined 2,000 baht for using the wrong vehicle, 1,000 baht for not charging approved fares and 1,000 baht for not having a public-vehicle driver’s license…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

East-west highway plan revived


Bangkok’s east-west expressway plan revived – Bangkok Post, November 28, 2014
…The highway project is divided into three sections: Transport authorities will proceed next year with the so-called N2 and N3 sections: 20.5 kilometres from the Kaset intersection adjacent to Kasetsart University via Nawamin and Seri Thai roads to Srinakarin Road. The N1 section stretches about 19 kilometres from the Bang Yai intersection to the Kaset intersection…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

Foreign Lessons for Thailand: Disband the Police & the President Who Ate His Country


Lesson for Thailand: Mexico president seeks to dissolve local police forces – AFP, November 28, 2014
…”Society has raised its voice to say enough is enough,” Pena Nieto said, echoing the anger of Mexicans who have joined a wave of protests over a case that has highlighted the country’s struggle with police corruption.
…He said the measures also include the dissolution of the country’s 1,800 municipal police forces, “which can easily be corrupted by criminals.”
Police duties would be taken over by state agencies in the country’s 32 regions. Mexican governments have previously toyed with the idea of dissolving local police…


President Erdogan fulfilled Thaksin’s dream: The President Who Ate Turkey – Politico, November 278, 2014
[There are some astonishing parallels with Thaksin…]
…Erdogan encouraged big businesses that wanted lucrative government contracts—mostly in construction—to buy up media outlets, and, in return for good coverage of the government, the lira would flow. Those who refused to play the game were hounded, sued and fined, often exorbitant amounts.
…This is not to downplay Erdogan’s achievements. He has certainly broadened Turkish politics to include classes that the previous elite had little interest in, and provided them with health care, better infrastructure and improved transportation. Turks have also felt wealthier since the AKP came to power, thanks to economic growth and the availability of consumer credit…
But Erdogan has rolled back many of these liberalizing changes, using the state at his command to crack down on dissent, intimidate his opponents and—perhaps above all—enrich and empower himself…

Posted in 2014 Coup | Leave a comment

Digital TV boxes


The sign reads: You can use the 690-baht coupon for buying the digital TV set-tops here. The price is 690 baht per each.
[The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has distributed 690-baht coupons to people to buy digital TV set-top boxes to enable existing televisions to receive the new digital signals.]

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

Thailand blocking parts of the Human Rights Watch website

As we noted this morning, there is some haphazard Thai blocking of the Human Rights Watch website today (DPA: Thailand blocks Human Rights Watch webpage).


Above: This url is blocked: http://www.hrw.org/asia/thailand


Above: However, the inner links of the site, like this, are not (so far): Thailand: Unending Repression 6 Months Post-Coup.
This points up the way the net has always been censored in Thailand. Similarly Daily Mail links are sometimes accessible when accessed from Google search results.

More: Censorship in Thailand

Posted in 2014 Coup, Censorship | Leave a comment

Five years ago: Beginnings of the second siege of Bangkok

Five years ago: Beginnings of the second siege of Bangkok

Posted in Today in History | Leave a comment

Why do Thai prime ministers leave office?


Above: From January 7, 2009: Besides the plethora of font types, sizes and colors, the Thai government cabinet website continues to show unusually worded reasons for prime ministers leaving office. I bet you didn’t know Thaksin left office because of the “State Administration Assembly on September 19, 2006” (the date of the coup).


Above: September, 2014: Gen. Prayuth gains office by “General Assembly resolution National.”

According to the website, the last PM specified to have been appointed to office by a coup is Kriangsak Chomanan in 1977. The last PM specified to have left office due to a coup is Chatichai Choonhavan in 1991.

Also: From 2012: Thai Government Website Gets An Upgrade: Yingluck, Yingluck, Yingluck!

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

He won’t be able to stop the people from loving Thaksin


From Thairath, November 5, 2014
Title: No picture, no news, no conflict, done?
On the newspaper: Newspaper
On the paper on the ground: News of Thaksin
Phi Nooring (at bottom right): Thaksin haunts
Mouse: It won’t stop people from loving him
[PM Prayuth is shown ripping up the newspaper and censoring online content. This refers to Prayuth requesting that the media avoid its blanket coverage of Thaksin and his travels in order to support the harmony in the country. The coverage of Thaksin is also embarrassing to the junta as it shows he is still a potent political force in the country.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

Despite what local lawyers say, no, foreigners can’t own land in Thailand

[Despite what local lawyers say, no, foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. Like anything in this nation, there are workarounds. However, with every military or establishment government has come immediate nationalistic calls to crack down on Thai companies created for foreigners to hold Thai land. Thus, depending on these sorts of solutions can open one to many unexpected complications (as described in this article). Beyond that, putting one’s entire life savings into such a scheme is a very ill-advised investment.]

Eviction threat for Australians who put life savings into Thai dream homes – The Age, November 26, 2014
…The developer, Napawan Asia Limited, had promised that buyers who paid upfront for their houses would receive titles reflecting their freehold/leasehold ownership once the development was registered with Phuket’s land department.
…Catherine Gathani, a buyer from Hong Kong, said she was aware when finalising the contract for her home there was a mortgage on the land but Napawan Asia told her “this would be paid down as the buyers’ stage payments were made, so that by the time the project was complete the mortgage would be fully paid”.
She said buyers only discovered several years later the company had not repaid the original mortgage and that it had given the titles of the buildings to the bank as part of a debt restructuring or remortgaging arrangement.
Andrew Street, the British developer behind Napawan Asia, admits the company was “over-extended commercially at the commencement of the global financial crisis”, which he says had a significant impact on Phuket.
…Mr Davies said the buyers he is speaking for have not given up hope of keeping their homes “but our position looks dire”.
He said the buyers decided to speak publicly about their plight to warn others who may be considering investing in Thai real estate.

Update: Phuket developer denies December 17 deadline for eviction of buyers

Posted in Property and Development | Leave a comment

Thailand: Calm or in crisis?


With all the furor over students protesting the military PM, the back-stage machinations of the round-up of police untouchables, Human Rights Watch’s urgent condemnation of Thai repression, and overseas pro-Thaksin cheerleaders (both Thai and foreigners) rooting for disaster on social media, it is shocking to find an article that does not claim the country is not on the verge of breakdown.
The article is correct. No Red Shirt protest will be risked again until the outlines of a new constitution or election procedures are known. Until then, the strategy is to boycott the process while not giving the military have any excuses to delay the entire process. The military will almost certainly fumble away its legitimacy while every effort will be made to destabilize the domestic economy.

Thai politics is eerily quiet – Straits Times, November 26, 2014
Just over six months after Thailand’s latest military coup, the country’s politics appears calm and puzzling at the same time.
Events that should be taking place on the ground are not, and those that have transpired have been unanticipated and counter-intuitive…
Yet, if such repeated disenfranchisements through military coups were to happen elsewhere, such as in Latin America and Africa, those whose political and fundamental rights and freedoms are stripped away so blatantly would probably not take it so tamely as people have in Thailand.
No broad-based uprising is evident on the Thai scene, at least during the post-coup six months…

Thailand: Unending Repression 6 Months Post-Coup – Human Rights Watch, November 25, 2014
[And incredibly, this link, http://www.hrw.org/asia/thailand, is blocked from within Thailand, but only when searching via Google with something like “human rights watch thailand.” This points up the haphazard way the net has always been censored in Thailand. Similarly Daily Mail links are sometimes accessible when accessed from Google search results.]

Student protest will grow unless their voices are heard – The Nation, November 26, 2014
…It’s unlikely the junta understands that its tough action against student activists will stimulate even greater growth of a student movement. And as suppression continues, all students will unite.

Posted in 2014 Coup | 1 Comment

Two years ago: President Obama’s Audience with HM the King

Thai Newspaper Headlines from President Obama’s Trip

NYT: A few details the President’s Audience with HM the King

Official Photos of HM The King and President Obama

As the President Arrived: Twitter Advice, Instagram Madness, and Thai TV

Obama’s visit will bolster support for Yingluck and show opposition the US stands with her government

Posted in Today in History | Leave a comment

13 Years Ago: Chalerm and “the brawling brats of the Thai Elite”

The Untouchables – Time, November 26, 2001
…In Thailand, being from the right family too often counts for more than being right. The scions of privileged military and business families have sometimes literally gotten away with murder. There are scant repercussions when a well-to-do ne’er-do-well has a few too many drinks and throws a few too many punches, even when some unlucky Thai ends up dead…

Full text:

The Untouchables
By ROBERT HORN Bangkok Monday, Nov. 26, 2001

It usually starts with a bumped shoulder or a stomped-on foot amid the thick smoke and boozy haze of a Bangkok disco. Then comes the chilling glare and the sudden appearance of men in black safari suits–often moonlighting cops or soldiers. But the sure sign there is about to be trouble–a merciless beating, a pistol-whipping or a shooting–is when the offended party with a chest full of gold chains asks: “Do you know who my father is?”

In Thailand, being from the right family too often counts for more than being right. The scions of privileged military and business families have sometimes literally gotten away with murder. There are scantrepercussions when a well-to-do ne’er-do-well has a few too many drinks and throws a few too many punches, even when some unlucky Thai ends up dead. But now the Thai public, long resigned to police corruption and military imperiousness, is scandalized by the latest case of a rich kid going too far.

On the morning of Oct. 29, at the Twenty Club discotheque, the three Yubamrung brothers, sons of powerful politician Chalerm Yubamrung, began trading blows with a group of plainclothes police. According to witnesses, Duangchalerm Yubamrung, the youngest of the brothers, had his party restrain Suvichai Rodwimud, a police officer awarded Crimebuster of the Year honors, as he executed him with a bullet to the head. Now Duangchalerm, a 20-year-old lieutenant attached to the army’s Supreme Command until his ouster last week, is Thailand’s most wanted man. But after three weeks, the suspect has yet to be found, and the skeptical Thai public is wondering if this is yet another case of selective law enforcement. “The public is watching this case to see if there is any justice in our society,” says Senator Thongbai Thongpao. But about half of Thais polled have already abandoned that notion. They believe “political interference” is helping Duangchalerm evade capture, and that he will never be brought to trial.

Along the strip of hostess bars, cavernous discos and massage palaces of Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek Road, the Yubamrung brothers are the most infamous of the brawling brats of the Thai Elite. During the past five years, Arthan, 30, Wanchalerm, 25, and Duangchalerm have been involved in at least a dozen bar fights and shootings. Yet, until Wanchalerm’s arrest last week as an accessory to the murder, they had never spent a day in jail. “They’re the most notorious, but they’re by no means unique,” says Andrew Hiransomboon, a nightlife columnist for the Bangkok Post. Other infamous scions include Suksant Kong-udom, son of a senator and casino tycoon, charged with shooting a diplomat’s son outside a disco; Poonpol Asavahame, son of a former deputy interior minister, accused of pistol whipping a truck driver and running down a police officer who tried to give him a ticket; and Pattarapong Manasikarn, son of a former Science Minister, charged with shooting an architect to death outside a disco. None of them has ever been convicted, as a litany of witnesses later retracted stories and victims failed to press charges.

As the massive teakwood gates of his family’s suburban Bangkok compound roll open so police commandos can search it for the third time, Chalerm Yubamrung is smoking a fat Cuban cigar and complaining about the assaults on his dignity. Chalerm, a former police captain and now a member of Defense Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh’s New Aspiration Party, has done miraculously well on a public servant’s salary. He and his three sons live in a 2.5-hectare, 14-building estate complete with its own football field. Back in 1991, the last military government charged Chalerm and several politicians with being “unusually rich.” He was forced into exile, but returned a year later after the military was ousted and courts ruled the charges unconstitutional. His reputation remains unsavory and he has been passed over for a Cabinet post by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Today the search of the Yubamrungs’ compound comes up empty. A retired police general says Duangchalerm shouldn’t hide. “There’s always a way to see that witnesses change their testimony,” he says.

Meanwhile, the fugitive, who professes his innocence, continues to play the daddy card. In a letter his father claims was found under a pillow after the young man fled, Duangchalerm tells Chalerm he was being unjustly portrayed as a criminal “simply because [I’m] your son.”

Also: From 2012: Chalerm & Son: Still The Untouchables

Posted in Thai Politics, Today in History | Leave a comment

Who is the liar?


Source: Social media graphic from the Red Shirts
Title: Who is a liar?
Prayuth’s dad said: I don’t know about selling the land. My son did it.
Prayuth said: My dad sold the land when I was young.

[Refers to the sale of land by PM Prayuth. It has become a controversial issue after PM Prayuth disclosed his assets to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). He said that his father sold the land and gave money to him. Prayuth has become angry at the press when asked questions about the matter.
In the middle is Pavin Chachavalpongpun, an exiled government critic who now lives in Japan. He has become a full-time critic of the junta, often writing articles in the international press critical of the military regime.]

Posted in 2014 Coup | Leave a comment

Five year ago: Thaksin to receive $425 per month as Hun Sen advisor

Five year ago: Thaksin to receive $425 per month as Hun Sen advisor

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

Bangkok Post Reporter Retracts Interview With Yingluck

Update: Prayut coy on Yingluck travel ban – Bangkok Post, November 26, 2014
…Gen Prayut was highly critical of an analogy Ms Yingluck used in her interview with the Bangkok Post on Monday, where she said being elected was like being “handed the car keys” to Thailand and asked to drive.
When the coup-makers seized power Ms Yingluck said it was as though someone had “put a gun to her head” and told her to get out of the car “while she was driving the people forward”.
However, Gen Prayut was unconvinced.
“Who put a gun to her head?” he asked yesterday…

Update: Classic ThaiPBS headline: “PM Prayut critical of Ms Yingluck’s criticism”
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hinted yesterday that the former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra might be barred from leaving abroad, or even had her financial transactions halted if she continued giving political comments which could led to political unrest in the country…

Bangkok Post Reporter Retracts Interview With Yingluck – Khaosod, November 25, 2014
…Ms. Yingluck was quoted as saying that she was contemplating running in the next election, and that since her first day as Prime Minister she had expected to be ousted either by the military or by one of Thailand’s “independent agencies.” The remarks were considered unusually strong for the former PM, who is known for her modest speeches.
In the article, Yingluck went as far as criticising the military coup, which was by led by former army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha: “It’s the same as if the people handed me the car keys and said I must drive and lead the country. Then suddenly, someone points a gun at my head and tells me to get out of the car while I’m at the wheel driving the people forward.”
The article was later removed from the Bangkok Post’s website and its author, Wassana Nanuam, later wrote on her Facebook that the piece was not based on an interview with Yingluck. Rather, the article was drawn from bits and pieces of private conversations with the former leader, Wassana wrote…

This sounds more like Yingluck: Yingluck says she won’t run in next election, wants to be a social worker – ThaiPBS, November 25, 2014
…She said she still did not know her future and would like to stay in low profile.
She said it became news because it was discussed at informal speaking…

Here is something in Thai: Gen. Prayuth supposedly warning Yingluck over the Bangkok Post interview: Her rights to travel out of the country could be curtailed if she gives interviews like the one in the Post

Here is the retracted article:

Yingluck saw the coup coming – Ex-premier mulls returning to politics and a memoir
Published: 24 Nov 2014 at 06.00 | Viewed: 14,080 | Comments: 18
Newspaper section: News
Writer: Wassana Nanuam

Yingluck Shinawatra said she knew from the day she became prime minister her administration would end up toppled from power in a military coup, just as her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, was.

Ms Yingluck, in her first public interview since she was ousted, defended her administration and rejected accusations of corruption, comparing the coup to a carjacking. She also said she has designs on a parliamentary run in 2016 if she is allowed.

Yingluck: ‘Carjacked’ into home-stay, and now mulling a memoir and a future return to politics. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)

“I knew from the first day I was prime minister that if it wasn’t cut short by the independent agencies or the judiciary, it would be a coup,” Ms Yingluck said.

Ms Yingluck has come under fire for a failed rice-subsidy plan that is alleged to have cost the state 600 billion baht in losses.

She faces the prospect of impeachment and possibly a trial in the Supreme Court for alleged dereliction of duty in the scheme.

She rejected any wrongdoing and says she intends to fight the case. The rice-pledging policy benefited the farmers, she said, adding that rice-subsidy policies have been implemented by other governments.

The coup that ended her administration was similar to the one that brought down her brother. Thaksin was driven out of power in the Sept 19, 2006, coup by former army chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin.

It has been six months since Ms Yingluck was ousted from power by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the military junta headed by former army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha who has since replaced her as prime minister.

“I try to keep a low profile, in keeping with the request by the NCPO. These days, I read books, meet up with friends and eat out or go shopping. But it’s not often that I do this. I don’t want to be in the news,” Ms Yingluck said.

She said right now, what she does in life isn’t always up to her.

“Since the coup, someone else has chosen the path I walk for me. I have no idea what other path they might draw up for me. I’m not at all in a position to choose,” Ms Yingluck said, addressing herself as “Poo”, her nickname.

Looking back, she said she has no regrets about her short tenure as premier.

“I did my best to fulfil my duty as a prime minister installed via an election and who preserved democracy,” she said.

“It’s the same as if the people had handed me the car keys and said I must drive and lead the country. Then suddenly, someone points a gun at my head and tells me to get out of the car while I’m at the wheel driving the people forward.”

Ms Yingluck said that if in 2016 there is a general election and she is still qualified to stand, she intends to run for parliament. The NCPO has issued a road map which includes drafting a new charter by the latter half of next year. A general election is expected at the beginning of 2016.

“I don’t know what the future holds,” she said.

Ms Yingluck said she now takes care of the house and looks after her only son, Supasek “Nong Pipe” Amornchat, to fill the time taken up for more than two years by the frenetic schedule of being prime minister.

Whiling away the time, she now cultivates mushrooms in her garden at her home in Bangkok. She said it is soothing to watch what she grows.

She is thinking about writing a book about her life as prime minister. She said she remembers “who did and said what” during her administration, which might be material for the book, if she decides to become an author.

She and her son went on a trip to Japan last month after they were given the green light from the NCPO. There they met with Thaksin.

But Ms Yingluck maintained she has no plans to escape legal cases against her.

“I told Gen Prayut before I took the overseas trips that he should rest assured. I won’t run away,” she said.
Bangkok Post, November 24, 2014

Posted in 2014 Coup | 4 Comments

In wake of arrests of police untouchables, police chief vows to clean the organization

Royal Thai Police to get new facelift – ThaiPBS, November 25, 2014
Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Somyot Phumpanmuang vowed to clean the Royal Thai Police of all corruption and make it a new government agency with morality and good governance where the people can rely on.
“Under my era, how big he is, I will not spare but arrest him if he corrupts”, said Pol Gen Somyot at a press conference…


Untold riches and multiple safes of senior police officers snared in crackdown on corruptionManager, November 25, 2014
Update: Reuters has English-language details of the billion baht (USD$30,000,000) stash of senior police officers

Earlier today: Reporting on the high-level arrests of untouchable police officers

Yesterday: Military purge of the Royal Thai Police continues

Also: Senior officers transferred to inactive posts after an officer under them committed suicide – Bangkok Post, November 25, 2014

Posted in 2014 Coup, Thai Police | 2 Comments

Reporting on the high-level arrests of untouchable police officers

In the day-after followups to the arrests of untouchable, high-ranking police officers, The Nation avoids the lese majeste angle entirely.
The Bangkok Post adds specific details, which are unusual to see in English, about how the lese majeste charges came about.
The Post details come from more specific information, as well as insinuations to indicate who was involved, from Chuwit Kamolvisit in the Thai-language media.
The arrests are a further demonstration by the junta that they have complete control of the nation and will maintain that control into the future.

The Nation: Top police linked to unrest, oil smuggling
…Two crime-fighting agencies have been assigned to investigate a series of high-profile arrests – including Central Investigation Bureau Commissioner Lt-General Pongpat Chayaphan – over a longstanding contraband petrol trade that may have been used to back insurgents in the deep South…

Bangkok Post: MPB charges Pongpat, 11 more – Ring accused of graft, gambling, lese majeste
…Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and Pol Maj Gen Kowit were also charged with operating gambling dens in Huai Khwang at which they allegedly said they would hand the money over to the “monarchy”.
Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb is also accused of citing the “monarchy” when taking bribes from oil smuggling gangs amounting to 1-2 million baht per month.
He allegedly delivered 35 million baht to Pol Maj Gen Kowit and 118 million baht to Pol Lt Gen Pongpant between Dec 28, 2011, and July 18 this year…

Sanook.com: Chuwit exposes the gambling case, makes daring claims

Posted in Lese Majeste, Thai Police | 1 Comment