1914 Martial Law Resurrected – in Thailand
Thai Army – “This is not a coup.”
Definition of ‘coup’ – look at the word’s etymology…” c.1400, from Old French coup, colp "a blow, strike" (12c.), from Medieval Latin colpus, from Vulgar Latin colapus, from Latin colaphus "a cuff, box on the ear," from Greek kolaphos "a blow, slap." Meaning "a sudden decisive act" is 1852, short for coup d'etat. In Modern French the word is a workhorse, describing everything from a pat on the back to a whipping, and is used as well of thunder, gusts of wind, gunshots, and chess moves.”
Thailand’s mighty patriotic John Wayne, AKA General Prayuth Chan-ocha, surprised most people in Thailand and beyond on 20 May 2014 with an oh-three hundred pre-dawn strike against civilian governance and its internationally-recognized counterpart, free and open public debate. Citing personal concerns as a man in uniform fearful of yet another threat of an embarrassing bloodbath the general scratched public assembly, removed civil dominion, and cut in to the front of the queue with firm invasions of local media offices and forced removal of opposing televised political debate channels. Today, 24 hours after the fact of coup loath to call it coup Thailand is now not just a country in a seriously divisive mood, but one with its mouth taped shut and guns aimed at civilian activists. Now, the big question is not what is going to happen next, but who ordered, or gave a nod to General Prayuth to take this rash and unwise action.
Thailand’s best-known contemporary activist is Suthep Thaughsuban, formerly a high-ranking board member of the country’s oldest and most royal-loyal Democrat Party. Sometime before November 2013 he and like-minded fellow Democrats and others possibly conspired to keep their party intact by resigning so they could take the bull by the horns and bring it to the ground. That is, help the Thai military finish off the job it began by the 2006 coup that removed popular prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and do a root canal on the rest of Thailand by forcing enough hatred and discord against the Thaksin machine, always seen as a challenge to Thailand’s monarchy-based governance, to the point where the public would demand that everyone go along with this solution to problems Thailand seems to be totally unaware of – that Thaksin-type corruption and different thinking were not real issues but corruption of the soul was. A soul that lavishes in worshipping false gods, pretending to make merit while being deceitful and greedy…that is another story, but it is related.
Thailand is, if anything, a land of illusion, delusion and collusion. The forces that be, for whom and alongside whom General Prayuth works, will not tolerate self-empowerment and open expression. They argue that if such freedom were allowed that the monarchy would fall and Thailand would cease to exist. This rationale is now being reinforced under a century-old Martial Law that makes it convenient for those who rule to keep ruling.
Great republics, perhaps even used-to-be-republics such as the United States, depend on reason and opinion and debate to exist, to give the individual the opportunity to grow and be free. In Thailand that scenario is just too dangerous to accept. Go too far and you become the end point for a high-velocity bullet in the head, like another Thai Army general, Sae Daeng, did not that long ago. He became too high profile, in addition to possible meddling in highly dangerous areas, and paid for it with his life. Thailand’s rice paddies and streets and back rooms are littered with the bodies of people, men and women, who cared and dared, and paid the ultimate price. Today, 2014 the ruling elite still have the audacity to invoke the 1914 Martial Law Act (amended in 1972, a year before the Big Massacre) to yet again remind the Thai people, and the world, that the country is free and tolerant as long as you stick to the script.