Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary to the Coup

Four years ago today, the military overthrew the elected government of Prime Minister Thaksin.  Whatever the former-PM's short comings at the time, or his terrible decisions since, this day was blow to democracy in the kingdom. 

I understand the necessity of a military coup in the case where there is a dictatorship and the people do not have a viable way to replace their leaders.  The Thai elections, while hardly free from fraud (mostly bribing voters), are not the sham that is the upcoming election in Myanmar (Burma).  For better or worse, the Thai people had chosen Thaksin's Thai Lak Thai (Thai Love Thai) party to lead.  If the majority were dissatisfied, then they could have made a different selection at the polls during the last election.

Instead we've had four more years of political and economic turmoil.  A large part of the country, mostly the poor, rightly feel disenfranchised, and that the powerful only respect elections when its convenient for them.  Thailand has made the news in the last few years, but for all the wrong reasons.  Instead of being known as a place to vacation and do business, its becoming better known as a place for bloody protests  and airport closures. 

One just hopes that maybe those responsible will at some point in their lives realize the consequences of what they did.  Maybe there will be at least a few moments of clarity when they will realize the blow that they struck to their country and its people.  On second thought, maybe they already know, but just don't give a shit. 

No comments: