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    Posted May 19, 2014 by

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    Martial Law ain’t Marshmallow


    Thai army declared martial law overnight to prevent inevitable crash between redshirts and PDRC. No matter how martial law sounds to the outside world, it is a step in the right direction.  Here is what I want my friends in the west to understand...


    The martial law is in response to redshirt leaders' vow to do whatever necessary to have an election on July 20th. Redshirt campaign in Bangkok has been growing in numbers after the constitutional court removed PM Yingluck Shinawatra from power.


    True, Yingluck came from election but, to me, that does not give her any rights to corruption. The evidence is overwhelming. The appointment of nivatthamrong as a caretaking PM is also disappointing and repugnant.


    Nivatthamrong worked for Thaksin all his life and is not a middle man. So what nivatthamrong says will likely come straight from Thaksin’s mouth. Now tell me. If the government wants peace, why did they pick another Thaksin's proxy to be the caretaking PM? The corruption is proven and the motive is clear. This government will not step down.


    I believe the government would have stepped down long ago if they had shame. It is not about caretaking for the next election but it is all about taking full responsibility for the rice pledging scheme as well as the illegal transfer of the civil servants. There are widespread talks that Thaksin is trying to negotiate with PDRC to get his assets back and all charges removed or he will fight to the death. The death of whom? Perhaps, his fellow redshirts and his fellow Thais?

    We remember what happened a few years ago when their protest led to the burning of Bangkok. There is an evidence that redshirts have been accumulating military weapons in Bangkok. The redshirt leaders also announced the 1 million baht prize for anyone arresting Suthep, PDRC's leader. That is without any doubt an attempt by the redshirts to stir up violence. Redshirt supporters are not objective and blindly refer to their goal of pro-election and anti-dictatorship without providing any defense against Thaksin's corruption, understanding of democracy, or pursuing of non-violence.


    PDRC’s supporters have also been getting gunned down by “mysterious” hitmen. I don't believe they are that “mysterious” and, in my view, the mystery may have something to do with the connections between the police and someone who is against PDRC (perhaps the redshirts?).


    The martial law is the right step toward political stability in Thailand. True, the "martial law" word  may sound negative and could hurt investor and tourist confidence in the near term. But this is the country where noone trusts the police. Police stops traffic for bribes, not necessarily for wrongdoings. You bribe the police to get your stolen car back. Police earns "safety fees" from brothels and drug cartels. The list goes on and on... If you are Thai, do not tell me you have not heard of that.


    Instead, military is seen a savior. I don't think the army is corruption-free either but it is truely the better of the two. For sure, every Thai knows the Police will do nothing to protect the protestors.  Police chiefs seem to at least ignore recent crimes against the anti-government protestors and it is unacceptable. There are many good policemen in Thailand and it is time for their bosses to lose their jobs for good. Anyone who is against this martial law had better ask themselves (1) if they are for violence and/or (2) if they are, in fact, supporting the corrupt government.

    The choice is clear and when it comes to justice. It is not about election when it comes to ridding the current government regime. It is your choice of justice versus corruption. Martial law is not sweet but necessary. It is not Marshmallow but a bitter pill that Thailand needs to swallow.

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