Sunday, 1 June 2008


Throughout its history, the Thais have experienced several coups d'etat, the most recent being September last year. But the question that's baffling me is that why a smart people like the Thais cannot understand the true meaning of democracy

They recently elected a new government into office. By "elect" it's not silly to assume that the populace made their own choices. And one of the fundamental pillars of democracy is that the majority rules and the minority respects that majority. The same rules of democracy also enabled manipulators to fester, and stir up their people to demonstrate against decisions made by the majority.

Demonstrations are healthy. Most of all, demonstrations are a true sign of democracy and the freedom of expression. But what has the army got to do with this?

There is no doubt that in a mature state like Thailand, there would have been an independant judicial system and a police force with clear rules on how to enforce existing laws passed by lawmakers elected by the people.

Under the pretext of keeping peace and unity, they, the army -- whose powers were supposed to have been derived from the civilian government -- blatantly flex their muscles and use weapons purchased from taxes collected from the people who elected their governments, to throw out the democratically elected government.

Must an army be so arrogant in this day and age? Should they feel that their management of Thailand is superior to that of democratically elected representatives of the people? Should they feel that their laws are better than those of elected lawmakers? Do they think that their way of maintaining the peace is better than that of the police force under civilians. Have they not learnt anything from history of the world?

The threat of another coup is affecting not just the proper functioning of the government but also the economy's ability to continue attracting vital foreign investments. The same army which purportedly is acting in the interests of the people and the country is blinded by their "noble illusory conception" as to forget that millions of poor people need to be fed and millions of young children need to be educated for the sake of the future of their nation.

What is a democracy when decisions of the majority facing opposition from the minority become fodder for removal of the government by undemocratic means? Are there no effective laws in Thailand to deal with lawbreakers in such protests and demonstrations? Are the police so severely outnumbered as to be unable arrest anarchists? Is there no faith left in the judiciary in dealing with such anarchists? Or are these (and others) simply excuses conjured up by the men in green? Or are they so close to Myanmar such that their neighbors' ways have had a contagion effect on them?

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