Once again the words Thailand and Coup grace headlines. Once again Thailand’s military did what had to be done to preserve Thailand with bad tasting medicine. Once again the Coup was all about bringing to an end the self-serving ambitions of Thaksin Shinawatra.
Putting aside all the negatives of a Coup, Coup is extreme medicine that sometimes must be administered. This is particularly so when it seems it is the only thing that will quickly end the suffering of Thailand’s economy, end bloodshed, and bring end to a growing political impasse.
Thaksin Shinawatra has entered a very unique group in fact he may be the only member. That group is to have been removed by a Coup more than once. Although he physically was not in Thailand, his influence over the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) lead Government was.
Under the Thaksin serving PTP Government, Thailand has seen corruption losses in hundreds of billions of Baht. Because of the refusal to place Thailand first and to hold on to power at all costs, Thailand’s economy has gone from roughly 6.0 % growth, to the early stages of recession. This was no doubt a pressure tactic designed to force Anti-Government protesters to back off for the sake of the country. This also was no doubt one of the factors considered by the Coup makers.
There was also violence against law abiding Anti-Government protesters and the use of military weapons to do so. It seems the police and the Government were incapable of finding the culprits. However one day after Martial law was declared, the military had no problem at all in finding them and started to arrest them. So with some fuzzy logic and some common sense conclusions, the attacks on Anti-Government protesters were most likely silently endorsed and perhaps even encouraged by the Government.
When you also add in the very Bias attacks by the Government peace keepers CAPO, and selectively ignoring court rulings that resulted in further deaths, you start to see the basis for deciding to go forward with a Coup. Innocent and law abiding Thais were being killed and Thai blood was being spilled all in the Government’s efforts to stay in power at all costs. In short law and court orders were being ignored by the Government in order to stay in power.
Any Government that turns a blind eye towards, or encourages violence against people deserves to be removed from office, and it does not only need to be in Syria. But in the end it was Thaksin’s self serving arrogance that finally triggered the Coup just as it did in 2006. Read here a minute by minute insiders report from the meeting room and see how Thaksin’s arrogance pushed the military’s last button.
In retrospect there are some lingering questions if there was a way to avoid the Coup and remove the Government with the Constitution. But it was very obvious the Government was blocking every avenue to not let the Senate convene to consider those options. Also the Government started with legal challenges that the Senate may have already overstepped its mandate by electing a President without it being part of the planned meeting agenda.
There was also the weight that CAPO seemed to be deliberately letting the Anti-Government protesters fall in harms way. So it was very possible additional loss of life could happen if the clock was allowed to run while waiting for possible options with the Senate. Loss of life of innocent Anti-Thaksin protesters was also a consideration in the 2006 Coup as there was strong evidence armed people were descending on Bangkok with plans to attack the protesters.
Whether this Senate option will ever be examined as a viable alternative to a Coup is not known. But with every possible delaying tactic by the Government to cling to power and putting Thaksin first while the whole of Thailand suffered economically, and with protesters in harms way leaves tough choices for the military within the Mandate of the Military to protect the people of Thailand. It is clear the Coup was not to serve the military, but instead to protect the people of Thailand from themselves in the political divide cause by Thaksin.