If I had my way, my troubled home country would not be called Thailand, but the People’s Republic of Siam.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how the Thai people should react to the country’s latest coup led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha.
So far, the people have largely been too scared to say or do anything, because there are thieves in uniform everywhere.
But for me, the problem in Thailand has always been the monarchy and its network. Nothing ever happens in Thailand without the top royal’s approval, and this latest attack against the Thai people is no exception.
Now that the constitution has been illegally “cancelled” by General Prayuth, he has a free hand to do just about anything under the direction and watchful eyes of top royals.
The previous constitution wasn’t democratic either and was, in fact, titled in favour of the country’s elites. For example, the majority of the senators were appointed rather than elected.
The whole political game in Thailand during the past six months has been ludicrous. It has wasted so much money and time, and put Thailand backward in terms of economic progress and prestige.
Top elites and royals have always had the upper hand in Thailand. But I am not sure if they will prevail this time. We, the freedom and democracy loving Thai people inside Thailand and abroad, should move quickly to declare a republic.
This would have three immediate and major effects.
Firstly, everyone would be financially better off, as the Thai king’s personal fortune of some US$30 billion dollars, according to Forbes, could be confiscated and shared among poor Thai people.
Secondly, Article 112, which supports the country’s lese majeste law, would be declared null and void. Political prisoners will be set free. All pending Article 112 cases would be dismissed without prejudice.
All of the country’s brave and patriotic men and women could come home to rebuild a better nation. The ills of the country would then also be openly discussed without fear of reprisal.
Thirdly, the nation would immediately experience a period of political and economic stability, as King Bhumibol’s negative influence in Thai politics is neutralised, putting an end to decades of royal meddling.
Long live democracy and long live the great people of Siam.
Chatwadee Rose Amornpat is based in London. She was charged with lese majeste by the Thai military junta in July 2014. For previous New Mandala coverage of her situation see this post.