Thai Leader: ‘It’s No Use’ to Protest

WORLD

Thailand’s junta leader warned citizens not to cause trouble, not to criticize, not to protest—or else face a return to the “old days” of street violence. (Associated Press)

Use our resources to learn more about protests.

Thailand has been in a political crisis for more than six months. Democratically elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the Thai House of Representatives in December 2013. In May, Shinawatra herself was removed from office by the Thai high court. Last week, General Prayuth Chan-ocha led a total military takeover of the state: The military leadership dissolved the Thai Senate and directed the judiciary to operate according to the military (effectively taking over the government); declared martial (military) law; banned political meetings and protests (like this one); arrested and detained authors, activists, and opposition politicians; censored the Internet; and took control of the media. Photograph by ilf, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Thailand has been in a political crisis for more than six months. Democratically elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the Thai House of Representatives in December 2013. In May, Shinawatra herself was removed from office by the Thai high court. Last week, General Prayuth Chan-ocha led a total military takeover of the state: The military leadership dissolved the Thai Senate and directed the judiciary to operate according to the military (effectively taking over the government); declared martial (military) law; banned political meetings and protests (like this one); arrested and detained authors, activists, and opposition politicians; censored the Internet; and took control of the media.
Photograph by ilf, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Discussion Ideas

  • What is a junta? (Use our glossary to get an idea.) The United States has not had a military junta, but many nations have. What are some countries that have undergone juntas?
    • Chile: After the overthrow of democratically elected President Salvador Allende in 1973, the military established a junta that lasted, in one form or another, for almost 20 years.
    • Egypt: After Egyptian Revolution of 2011 forced President Hosni Mubarak from office, the military established a junta that lasted until the democratic election of President Mohamed Morsi. The junta leaders then helped oust Morsi and a junta leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is the leading presidential candidate.
    • Fiji: Fiji is the only nation besides Thailand to currently be governed by a military junta. In 2009, the Fijian president and junta suspended the constitution, and the junta leader, Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama, is the leading presidential candidate.

 

 

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