This was another one of those weeks when several newspapers, almost in unison, published editorials claiming the junta is losing its grasp on power and then demanding that democracy immediately be restored.
Thailand’s ineffective rule by force – Washington Post, February 19, 2015
[Washington Post warns that Prayuth may start killing soon… However, it is the rarest of newspapers–one that tells its readers what the junta’s actual intent is–stopping Thaksin–rather than glibly insisting that Prayuth is paranoid and only interested in stopping democracy.]
…Junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha lamely protests that, unlike the military-backed regime of Egypt, his has not killed anyone. But given his reactionary plan to permanently hobble democracy, even that dubious distinction may not endure much longer.
The army is attempting to accomplish something it has failed at twice before: a political system that eliminates the influence of the Shinawatra family, which has won every election in Thailand since 2001…
…Mr. Prayuth should get the message that in the absence of meaningful steps, starting with the lifting of martial law, the Thai military will lose its relationship with the United States, including future exercises. If the Obama administration is unwilling to act, Congress should step in.
Liberty Dies As Thailand’s Military Monopolizes Power: Junta Dispenses Repression Instead Of Happiness – Forbes, February 18, 2015
[Another strangely flip editorial from Forbes. It is generally identical to an earlier one published in December that we commented on here.]
…“We are building democracy everyday” proclaimed dictator Chan-ocha. No, he isn’t. Instead, “Mr. Happy” and his cronies are bringing smiles to self-interested elites, not the people.
The Guardian view on military rule in Thailand – The Guardian, February 19, 2015
…The attempt to fix the country’s political future should be abandoned. A return to democratic rule is overdue.
Democracy, Thai-Style – bostonreview.net, February 19, 2015