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Le Figaro article: coup?

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Thailand under the threat of an “aquatic coup d’État”

The head of the government is no longer obeyed. The country, submerged by the waters, could entrust her fate to the army.
In the monstrous floods that ravaged the country since July, the army  could again determine the political course of the kingdom. Before the  vagaries of Yingluck Shinawatra government response to the disaster, the opposition demanded the declaration of a state of emergency, which  would give all the authority to the Army. After the “virtuous coup” of  2006, supposed to deliver Thailand  of a tyrannical and corrupt Prime  Minister, then the “half-coup” of 2010 to maintain in power the Democrat Party of Abhisit Vejjajiva, an aquatic version of the coup is played  today. The opponents of the Prime Minister are using the flood – which  killed 350 people and paralyzed much of the economy – for political  purposes. They would prevent a coordinated response from the government  to undermine its credibility, says the entourage of Yingluck Shinawatra.

If the government has been slow to take mesures against the flood  and left his ministers to give conflicting information – when they were  not missing the point – it must also contend with interference of  Surayud Chulanont, an adviser of the king. The Prime Minister was almost obliged to follow experience blown by the palace, as grotesque as they  are: about a thousand of boats went up the Chao Phraya River, which  winds through Bangkok, hoping to push the water to the sea with their  engines …
Waters interfere in Bangkok

Above all, the Yingluck govrnment is struggling with the army and the governor of Bangkok that operate  independently. “Listen only to me. I will tell you when to evacuate,”  does not hesitate to repeat the Governor Sukhumband Paribatra, a pillar  of the opposition. Thailand has refused U.S. aid Tuesday under pressure  from the army, which does not want them to put them nose in them  affairs. Finally, the head of government is not obeyed, “I gave the  order to open the locks of Bangkok. I was told that it was done, but  when we checked, it was far from being the case,” she explained recently to illustrate the difficulty of having control over all the flooding.

But the floods have also revived the battle that marks the divide  between the country’s elite and the rural and urban poor who have  recently elected the youngest of the Shinawatra clan. “They don’t do  anymore neighborhoods in the Thai political arena. The only goal is to  eliminate the opponents, even at the expense of national interests,”  says the political analyst Pavin Chachavalpongpun. 

In a country  that has experienced 18 coups – and dozens of others missed – in sixty  years, the return of the military is a recurring event. Community radio  stations of the “red shirts” knows it: they denounce already a  “conspiracy of the elite” and a “dirty revenge against the ballot.”


Click here for the  original version in French.


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