Thai anti-government group’s bizarre open letter
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Thai anti-government group’s bizarre open letter

BP has already blogged on Yingluck’s speech in Mongolia and the insult directed at her (as made clear in this post it was directed at her) by the Thai Rath cartoonist who stated that Yingluck is an evil woman who sells the country, but also implied she is worse than a whore.

One other response has been the forming of Thai Spring. The Nation:

This dissatisfaction with the prime minister’s speech has led to the formation of a new group called Thai Spring.

Members have been collecting signatures of those who disagree with the contents of the speech, while the group has also published an open letter detailing Thaksin’s alleged misdeeds that they say warranted the coup and.

The letter also attacks the Yingluck government, calling it a dictatorial regime that is perpetuating the power of the Shinawatra family. It also attacked Yingluck personally, saying she was merely a puppet of her brother.

Thai Spring is modelled after the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement in North Africa and the Middle East. The Arab Spring movement spread across the region and dictatorial regimes were toppled in countries including Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. In others, such as Syria, a bloody conflict is still ongoing.

Two founding members of Thai Spring are well-known figures – Kaewsan Atibodhi and former chief of the Royal Court Security Police Vasit Dejkunjorn. They are known to have close ties to the Democrat Party and previously participated in protests against the current government. They are also known to be close to the Siam Samakkhi group, which has held seminars critical of the government.

BP: Kaewsan is a long-time critic of Thaksin – see here, here, and here – from his PAD days to his time investigating Thaksin after the coup and to involvement with other anti-Thaksin groups.

However, reading the letter “Community of Democracies”, you get a few “interesting” comparisons with North Korea:

Ms. Yingluck’s assumption of office to continue and perpetuate her family’s dominance is no different from that of Mr. Kim Jong Il’s continuation of his family’s control over North Korea [BP: cough every election since 2001 cough contrast with North Korea]. Ms. Yingluck’s tenure is totally dependent on the wishes and orders of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Successes at past general elections were simply legalizing acts of authorization of this authoritarian family to gain power, to capture and subjugate the country. If your Excellencies were to be more judicious and scrutinizing you would have found out that the Shinawatra-owned Pheu Thai Party is full of stooges in the guise of Members of Parliament. They are no different from members of the Communist Party of North Korea.

The Thai media in general behave in a similarly subservient manner, being commissioned by the Shinawatra family to create personality cults and promote public adoration for themselves. They behave no differently from the North Korean media.

If you pay a visit to North Korea you will witness the omnipresence of portraits of the leader. In Thailand it is the same. These two likeminded families have thus been sending their followers and subordinates to infiltrate all strata of their respective societies.

BP: Yes, Marshall and Saksith have already pointed out the North Korea comments previously, but you really have to read these bolded and underlined parts again and think about them more carefully. It is not a parody. This is really their open letter. Do they really understand what a personality cult is? Wikipedia:

cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass mediapropaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic, and, at times god-like public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.

Throughout history, monarchs and heads of state were almost always held in enormous reverence. Through the principle of the divine right of kings, for example, rulers were said to hold office by the will of God. Ancient Egypt, Japan, the Inca, the Aztecs, Tibet, Thailand, and the Roman Empire (see imperial cult) are especially noted for redefining monarchs as god-kings.

Often, a single leader became associated with this revolutionary transformation, and came to be treated as a benevolent “guide” for the nation without whom the transformation to a better future couldn’t occur. This has been generally the justification for personality cults that arose in totalitarian societies of the 20th century, such as those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

BP: Is it the case in Thailand, that there is “unquestioning flattery and praise” of Thaksin and Yingluck?   Are portraits of Thaksin or Yingluck so widespread like those of Kim Jong Il? It is not pictures of Thaksin or Yingluck that are widespread in Thailand. 

Is this some kind of Bizarro World?

* their dig at the Thai media as being subservient is amusing…. but subservient to Thaksin and Yingluck. Has there ever been a day over the last six years where if you looked at the front page of every newspaper that wasn’t at least one critical comment in one paper of Thaksin or Yingluck on the frontpage?