- Posted January 11, 2014 by
COUNTING ON MILITARY STAGING A COUP TO SET ZERO?
The longer time passes, the more peculiar the attitude of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Army commander, is—from asserting stoutly there would certainly be no coup to becoming a voice that does not reply anymore. This includes odd sentences coming out of this military commander.
This was particularly so when Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha answered a question with a metaphor about a crow and a cow with gaping spine. There was also a golden phrase on Dec 7 like “The government must be responsible if there are riots, and people are wounded and killed” This increasingly opens the door for coup d’etat.
Moreover, Col. Vinthai Suwaree, the Army Deputy Spokesman, issued a statement today to reaffirm that if one side commits criminal acts, so will the other. They will retaliate with violence and the country will finally be damaged. All Thai people and the military will probably not be able to accept that. This further reinforces an image of a solemn and stern military.
No one can be certain anymore that the military under the control of the Ministry of Defense with a minister by the name of “Yingluck Shinawatra” will be loyal to the government any longer. This includes the people in military leadership with their names in the “Chong Cao” clip. Are they still remaining entrenched in their departments and divisions?
In the next few weeks, it is highly likely that the situation will be more escalated. Although there may be an election on Feb 2, clashes between protestors and the government will continue towards a risky point. In addition, it is possible that there will be the incidents that Gen. Prayuth and Col. Vinthai have predicted.
Besides noises from military leadership, there is also movement at divisional level. Throughout the week, there has been bustling deployment. The military reiterates everyday that this is the movement of armor tanks for an exhibition on the National Children’s Day on Jan 11. Another part of the tanks will be used for a military parade on the Royal Thai Armed Forces Day. It is special this year because military commanders like Gen. Prayuth along with Gen Thanasak Patimaprakarn, the Supreme Commander, will retire from service so the event on Jan 25 must be grand. Thai people will certainly get to see the greatest parade of tanks pumping at full speed regardless of whether or not there will be a coup!
There have been immense rumors throughout the deployment that there will be a coup on Jan 11-13 because they have already moved the troops, they should just seize state power. Some of the rumors even say that Gen Prayuth will become the Prime Minister himself this time to shatter all the disputes.
As for now, a coup is not just something some people like Thida Thavornsret, Jatuporn Prompan, and Natthavut Saikau talk about to summon a mob anymore.
But even when the noise of a coup is getting louder, the uncertainty of “whom it is for” is more interesting.
If this is viewed superficially, a coup may favor the leaders of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) because it will put Yingluck’s government that is currently its roadblock and the election on Feb 2 out of order by default without the hassle of going through mechanisms of the Constitution Section 3 and 7.
But if we notice the words from “Big Aod,” Gen. Yuthasak Sasiprapa, Deputy Defense Minister, those are more interesting because he was the one who said it was not yet time. If circumstances worsen to the point there is need to work for the nation and the monarchy, he will talk about this again.
Even Natthavut admitted on stage most recently in Nakhon Ratchasima on Jan 7, “The military may not stage a coup but it cannot stay idle. Don’t do that. Suthep must be told to stop. How would you be neutral when Thai people are confronting one another? How could you stay idle?”
That tone of voice was very curious although Natthavut admitted later on that he did not want a coup.
When all the attitudes from “Big Tu,” “Big Aod,” and Natthavut are combined, there are increasingly more rumors that Thaksin and Yingluck may get the military to lend its hand and stage a coup on themselves to reduce conflicts offhand for 1 year. This is to set zero to the entire situation because they will encounter political deadlocks if they continue.
Because when they look around, besides having to contend against pressure from PDRC that is increasingly severe, they will also have to face blades from independent entities like the Constitutional Court and the National Counter-Corruption Commission (NCCC). Those are waiting to slaughter them every other day, especially because of the Rice Mortgage Scheme and the 2-trillion-baht Loan Act.
Perhaps staging a coup to reduce the immediate conflicts may be one of the solutions the government wants the most.
However, if military leaders truly choose to stage a coup to resolve the immediate conflicts, they will definitely encounter grave pressure in the future because they will have to face demonstrators, the PDRC, and a number of redshirts that will come out to protest and get the power back from them. Meanwhile, economy sector and international community will no longer accept a coup in this era.
In addition, a coup for a certain individual will certainly not solve the conflicts. It will only put the country into a tense spot closer to a breaking point and make it more difficult for those military commanders about to simultaneously and comfortably retire from service in September to leave their posts.