The Military Coup is Deplorable and Thais must fight back. We in Nepal condemn the army takeover.
The military coup in Thailand yesterday reminded many of us in Nepal King Gyanendra’s Feb 1, 2005 takeover. First, as the global democratic citizens, we strongly condemn the coup and urge the Thai people to fight back the military takeover. Thai Army, with its own history of coups, did what Gyanendra did in Nepal in 2005. Now it’s time for the Thais oo do what we the Nepalis did in April this year. Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, the coup leader and chief of the army, has said the reason for seizing power was the “government’s misconduct, which has caused conflicts and broken the unity of the people in the country in a way that has never happened before in the history of Thailand.” The army seizing administrative power from the democratically elected (caretaker) government by ordering the dissolution of the House of Representatives, the Senate, the government and the Constitutional Court on any pretext is deplorable.
Like all autocrats and dictators around the world, the Thai General’s aide in the coup, Gen. Prapas Sakultanak, according to New York Times, said that the military did not intend to rule the country and that it would “hand power back to the people.” In Nepal too, Gyanendra had said the same but he took the lives of 22 innocent Nepali people before handing over power back to them. The tactics applied by dictators are same around the world: They ban press from reporting truth, blackout information, jail democratic leaders and claim that all they are doing to strengthen democracy. General Sondhi, according to the Times, vowed that military rule would be temporary. The military, he said, “insists that it has no intention to become the country’s ruler and will return to democracy under the monarchy to the Thai people as soon as possible.”
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is a popular figure in Thailand and the army, with its own ambitions, was unhappy with how the populist Prime Minister was dealing with some issues. Coup is not the solution. If Thaksin needs to be punished, people will punish him in democratic elections; Generals should just salute him and follow his orders.
Some people in this afternoon’s tea session in canteen were relating the coup in Thailand with Nepali situation. All agreed that in Nepal the situation is different now. General Rukmangat Katwal, the newly appointed Chief of the Army Staff, has publicly vowed to work under the orders of the government of Nepal. He should be given the benefit of doubt. Meanwhile, the reform process must continue within the army. It must be intensified. And law that parliamentarians are currently discussing on about the army will be crucial to help democratize the army. The autocrat has been partly tamed and the institution of monarchy must be eliminated in the CA elections, better if that is done earlier than that. King is Thailand is incomparably popular among his people than the king in Nepal. But if he really adores his people, Thai king must distance himself with the coup and direct the military to return the power to people.
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