A Coup for the Rich by Giles Ji Ungpakorn

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

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We need the truth in order to have transparency and in order that Civil Society can make all public institutions accountable. What we must never forget is that any institution or organisation which refuses to build transparency can only have conflicts of interest which it wishes to hide. The conservatives in Thailand want to create an image that the present Monarch is more than human. This is unscientific. The Monarch is only human, no different from other citizens and thus can make human mistakes and must surely have the normal strengths and weaknesses.

Comes out of interviews of 31 Peoples’ Movement activists, carred out by the author’s research team in early to mid 2006, together with surveys of media reports and declarations. The full results have been published in Thai in the book: Ji Ungpakorn et al. (2006) Social Movements in Thailand. Workers Democracy Publishers. 36 A Coup For the Rich Thailand’s political Crisis The view that the Peoples Movement was too weak to act independently has some truth, given the way that the movement is dominated by the fragmentation of single issue campaigning and an anarchistic refusal to build any unified political theory or political party.

Prapart is an advisor to the Assembly of the Poor, but he has capitulated to the elite by joining the “Tank Liberals”. Yet the ordinary villagers in the Assembly of the Poor have generally maintained a principled anti-dictatorship position. Long standing social activists such as Chop Yodkeaw, Tuenjai Deetate Giles Ji Ungpakorn 31 and Wiboon Kemchalerm also joined the junta appointed assembly, probably for similar reasons to Prapart. This raises the question, which will be discussed in the next section, about why the “Tank Liberals” should be able to influence some sections of the Peoples’ Movement.

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