Thailand – An Indecisive Country


The ongoing political crisis in Thailand has deterred tourists and investors, and after the military coup, it’s not better. On the contrary, many Thais crave for security and order – and free elections. In Bangkok, the hope is high that the coup will finally bring peace and stability.

The middle and upper classes fear what could come soon – they supported the overthrown government of Yingluck Shinawatra. Thats why today, everybody is cautious.

In turn, the military currently tries to justify the coup from last week. “A clash was very likely and if a clash were to happen, it might as well lead to a civil war,” so Bangkok could have become something like Syria, Libya or Iraq, said Lieutenant General Chatchalerm Chalermsukh of the Thai Army. They could not let that happen, and the chief is sure that most Thais also did not want that to happen.

Something relevant that must be mentioned is that since 1932, there has been the 19th coup d’état; this nineteenth one is lead by the army’s Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Prayuth Chan-Ocha, and it is assumed that he has the control of the country.

The martial law has been declared under a strong censure control and suspending the Constitution of 2007 on the 20th of may 2014 – with the exception of some dispositions related with the monarchy – being the king the most estimated politic figure in Thailand, and no politician would dare to overthrow him. The general Chatchalerm Chalermsukh told to the international press that the coup d’état was not premeditated and that they have been ‘forced’ to intervene due to the inability of both political sides to reach an agreement. The general said that it is “impossible” to go to the polls in a climate of hostility.

In this context, in order to maintain order and prevent the protests, the military government in Thailand has blocked the Internet and media access. Thus, Thailand is suffering a big drama nowadays; the freedom of all citizens is being questioned by the military government’s restrictions on the media and the Internet. The only media that is still working is the military controlled media. In order to contain the protests against the military coup, the ‘government’ first restricted and then blocked the Internet access to Thai population. For example, Facebook has been blocked, as well as all the foreign news channels like CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera.

To explain these restrictions made by the military, the current ‘government’ argues that it was a technical problem – does that really justify it?

 

Anyway, there is still some hope: the government assigned to the ICT Minister (Information and communications technology) Anudith Nakornthap the creation of a supervisory committee – in order to implement the new Internet policy – and to follow social media and its publications made by the Thai population.

This previously mentioned assignment will take time to get into the daily life of Thais, but what really matters is that it is in process. Obviously, the population desires more freedom, but in today’s type of regime, a supervisory committee is a huge change… To say and to do are two different things. So, can the ICT Minister perform his duties in the name of the Thai population?

Future events will show…

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