What should happen now? First, western governments should move decisively to show their abhorrence of the military takeover. The US has already suspended joint manoeuvres with the Thai military. It should now consider sterner measures, including sanctions. The EU should follow suit. The west must make clear it will not turn a blind eye to human rights abuses. Gen Prayuth should be urged to restore democracy as quickly as possible by charting a path back to elections. In truth that will be impossible if the opposition remains implacably opposed to a Thaksin-leaning government. Thais of all colours must learn to accept the will of the majority even if it challenges their perceived interests. Parliament, not the streets, is the place to battle out differences.
Sadly, Gen Prayuth looks unlikely to step aside quickly. This time the generals – or possibly their proxies – may be hard to budge. These are dark days for Thailand. The hope must be they do not grow darker still.
BP: Most western countries have issued relatively strong statements regarding the coup (in comparison with 2006) and the US has suspended military aid for Thailand (and some trips). Perhaps, we may get some symbolic sanctions such as against Prayuth and some senior military officials OR sanctions in regards to Thailand’s human trafficking problems with the coup being the final political straw. Aside from that, unless there are further developments it is hard to see any other sanctions for Thailand. Instead the embassies and ambassadors are stepping up criticism or correcting the record.*
— U.S. Embassy Bangkok (@USEmbassyBKK) May 25, 2014
BP: The article has a correction but no follow-up with the junta spokesperson to explain the discrepancy….