In a most interesting opinion piece, The Nation‘s Weerayut Chokchaimadon has taken umbrage at the Thai junta’s efforts to clamp down on the media and its reporting on elected former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. This attack on the Council for National Security (CNS) shows that there are growing cracks in the, admittedly flimsy, alliance of intellectuals and opinion-formers that have long sought to legitimise the coup-masters.
Weerayut writes (my emphasis added):
The CNS order is nothing more than a betrayal to the media, its major ally that hailed the top-brass generals as national heroes when they sent their tanks into the streets of Bangkok and other cities on the night of September 19, putting an end to the Thaksin era. Amid concerns the coup leaders would become just another group of typical dictators who had robbed Thailand’s democracy – and set to impose absolute control on the media – General Sonthi Boonyaratglin guaranteed the media would be granted freedom of speech, which the people had rarely enjoyed during the Thaksin reign. Some editors were even willing to call the coup as the “road to democracy by democratic soldiers”. About three months later, it’s a different story.
Is anybody really surprised?
Over at Bangkok Pundit a number of commentators are chewing on this issue. It all begs the question: Is the proverbial worm now going to really start to turn?