Mar 22

Thailand's Coup Leader Sonthi - Only empty promises?In Thailand’s current political arena, things don’t look so bright after all anymore – just 6 months after the ‘bloodless coup‘ over there. Of course Tourism seems to look stable and the Sex Industry isn’t effected at all – as usual.

After the first doubts, if Thailand has a democratic future; the view of the Thai People obviously changes, they demand more clarity on how things will progress further. There are even the first demonstrations in Bangkok and the reputation of the Coupsters vanishes more and more.

Will there be truly free election again soon?

Local and foreign businesses are concerned about the lack of political governance and the unstable situation with new rules and policies coming up almost daily, some examples the

  • the troubles around the Shin Corp Deal, ITV Station, AIS Mobile and Singapore’s Temasek Holding
  • the new monetary, financial and fiscal rules – introduced, cancelled, re-introduced and re-cancelled (what is the latest status anyway?)
  • the changed Visa Rules
  • the mess in the Thai South with Muslims and Buddhists killing each other

Troubles in Thailands Southern ProvincesThe former prime minister Thaksin is still traveling in Asia and Europe; I don’t think he will go back to Bangkok anytime soon – it could happen that he will not only get prosecuted because of corruption and graft, but also because of offending and insulting the Thai King Bhumipol, as happened to some drunk-stupid Swiss guy recently.

Seems they have to come up with something new to find a reason to punish Thaksin for his ‘crimes’. :-)

Here some impressions from the Coupsters latest press conference:

Thai junta promises polls this year but does little to ease growing criticism

In a nationally televised press conference yesterday, the leader of Thailand’s junta promised elections by the end of the year, a move aimed at defending the coup that brought him to power six months ago.

The press briefing, however, shed no new light on the military’s ambitions and did little to ease criticism that the junta-selected government is no better than the administration it replaced.

“We will have free and fair elections on schedule,” said junta chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin. But he refused to rule out the possibility that he would stay in a political role after the polls.

“I’m Thai, and I want to protect the national well-being, so I will do anything I can for the good of the country.”

The military has long promised to hold a referendum on a new constitution followed by general elections before the end of the year. Efforts to write a new charter have been held up by contentious debate over issues ranging from whether the Prime Minister should be appointed to whether Buddhism should be declared the official religion.

Political parties complain that a military ban on their activities prevents them contributing to the constitution or preparing for eventual elections.

Supporters of the coup have also criticised the new government for not moving aggressively enough to prosecute ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra over alleged corruption.

“I am fully aware that people are waiting for the prosecution of wrongdoers but we have to be fair to all parties,” said Gen Sonthi. “It is a very difficult and slow process to solve problems resulting from the pseudo-democracy and capitalist dictatorship” of Mr Thaksin’s regime, he said.

During the briefing, eight agencies – including the constitution drafters, the Election Commission and the attorney general’s office – gave 15-minute rundowns on their work since the coup.

Mr Thaksin’s lawyer, Mr Noppadon Pattama, said the junta’s lengthy briefing only highlighted how little the military government has accomplished since then.

“The junta should explain what they will do in the next six months instead of reiterating the same old things,” he said. “A military dictatorship is worse than a capitalist dictatorship.”

In a sign of growing discontent, thousands of people demonstrated over the weekend against the junta, the largest rallies held since the coup and in stark contrast to the warm welcome it received after the Sept 19 coup.

Interview Source: Today Newspaper, Agencies

All in all – for me that leaves Thailand as a currently not so desirable travel destination. So, if you think as well that this is all too much politics currently in Thailand; why don’t you travel somewhere else, for instance Laos?

What do you think, am I overreacting? Should travelers be worries about the recent developments or simply not care and continue to enjoy only the obvious hightlights of the country?

And I don’t talk about flying into Pattaya or Phuket and getting cheaply laid over there.


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written by Chris

4 Responses to “Thailand: 6 Months After Coup – Little To Show”

  1. YearinthelifeNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    >So, if you think as well that this is all too much politics currently in Thailand; why don’t you travel somewhere else, for instance Laos?

    Laos has been a bit of a hotbed of activity lately, too – around Vang Vieng on Route 13, Lao troops were mobilised against Hmong forces. This was last month so it might have calmed down by now, but it goes to show all is not roses in that idyllic country.

    Then again, I would mount my own attack on Vang Vieng if I had the forces; it would be entirely peaceful, with the sole purpose of destroying every Friends VCD in the town :D

  2. DaveNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Political instability seems to plague a lot of countries high on my list to visit next year, including Nepal and Thailand. And I’ve heard wonderful things about Columbia, and we all know how the State Department feels about the narco-terrorists down there!

    I still plan to go to these countries though.

  3. No plan after Coup? Visit your fortune-teller and you are set! | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Thailand: 6 Months After Coup – Little To Show […]

  4. Laos: Coup Attempt Prevented | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

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