With the current junta leader’s likely succession of power as prime minister, a sign of resistance resurfaces, the worry of civil unrest returns, and a Venezuelan-like protective entourage of diplomats reiterates the rise of a globalized geopolitical future.
Just barely a week after the overwhelming and surprising success of the Future Forward Party in the election, its leader was requested to Pathumwan police precinct to acknowledge charges filed against him by Col Burin Thongprapai, the National Council for Peace and Order legal affairs chief.
The Bangkok Post reported that Mr. Thanathorn has been charged with sedition, helping a suspect escape, and assembling of more than 10 persons causing unrest according to Sections 116, 189, and 215 of the Criminal code, which can incur Mr. Thanathorn with jail sentences of 6 years, 2 years, and 6 months respectively.
As the leader of the Future Forward Party leaves the Pathumwan police station, a symbol previously banned by the NCPO junta supra-legislative powers reemerged to the public through various media channels. Thanathorn raises his right hand as he looks towards his supporters, and his three finger salute is reciprocated by the people. The reemergence of the three finger salute is a sign retaliation to the current political oppression by the junta.
Professor Duncan Mccargo made observations in Foreign Policy that the recent election is a reminiscence of the election in 1992 that entailed the Black May massacre where civil unrest and protests were crushed by the military under Gen. Suchinda Kraprayoon. The military’s violent suppression resulted in 52 officially confirmed deaths, numerous disappearances, hundreds of injuries, and over 3,500 arrests. Many of those arrested are alleged to have been tortured. Many believe the number of casualties to be much higher than the official count.
Mr. Thanathorn is being hailed by pro-democratic sentiments as the new leader of Thai democracy, and support for him is not coming from just within the domestic constituents, but from the most progressed nations. The Nikkei Asian Review cites diplomatic presence supporting Mr. Thanathorn at the Pathumwan precinct included officials from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. Human rights representatives from the European Union and United Nations, as well.
The involvement of diplomats supporting a political figure in a country that have been internationally condemn as non-democratic is nothing new, but having an entourage of diplomats from several countries escort Mr. Thanathorn to ensure legal transparency and assure an international uproar if Mr. Thanathorn were to be detain makes one connect the similarity to what is also happening in Venezuela where Mr. Juan Guaido has had an international assembly of ambassadors protecting him from being detained by the government of Nicolas Maduro.
The world order is ever evolving, with fears that the worst of human history might repeat itself with the same evils. We will only be more prudent to heed the words of Edmund Burke, even though one might not agree with Burke’s conservative views, it is an ill attempt to rebuke that
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
If globalization should have legitimacy as a positive force, it should begin with the global alliance against all forms of injustices, oppression, and corruption of governments.