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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 28 - June 3  > Anti-coup rallies continuing in Thailand
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2014 May 28 - June 3 [WORLD]

Anti-coup rallies continuing in Thailand

May 28, 2014
Akahata ‘current’ column

The Thai military has again launched a coup, setting out to crush pro-Thaksin factions. Thaksin Shinawatra was the Thai prime minister from 2001 until a military coup toppled his government in 2006.

The Thaksin government implemented a low-cost healthcare system and a program of funding to promote the economic well-being of rural villages. These initiatives, reportedly, aroused resentment among royalist wings because they thought Thaksin stripped the king of his exclusive prerogative to give his charity to the poor.

The military in the coup this time declared the Constitution suspended, except for Section 2, “Thailand adopts a democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State.” The coup leaders indicated their intention to maintain support for the dominant classes consisting of high-ranking bureaucrats, the military top brass, and traditional business elites, with the king at the top of the hierarchy.

Right before the coup, various strata of people, including university professors, farmers, and NGO workers, took part in a pro-Thaksin rally held in Bangkok. They raised a protest against the ruling class hostility to the political participation of ordinary people.

A local paper reported on the concerns of a farmer, “We, peasants, do not understand difficult things but certainly know that in a democratic country, people choose the government.”

The people’s political consciousness is different from that in 2006. A leading local daily, the Bangkok Post, ran an editorial openly opposing the coup. Section 69 of the Thai Constitution, though suspended by the military, stipulates, “A person shall have the right to resist peacefully an act committed for the acquisition of the power to rule the country by a means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in this Constitution.” Since the army seized power, anti-coup rallies have been taking place every day across Thailand.
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