Thai junta dictates that it was an intervention, not a coup
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Thai junta dictates that it was an intervention, not a coup

Last week, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak spoke to the FCCT.  The Bangkok Post:

Don’t call it a coup. The military action this time is totally different from the previous successful coups since the 1932 takeover,” Col Werachon told a packed audience at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) on Wednesday night.

“Normally the civilian government sets up a civilian government, but now the military will restore peace and order, reconciliation, then elections and other systems to strengthen democracy.”

We just asked them to talk, but yes the lodging might not be air-conditioned. Some, we asked them to stay for a few days, some seven days and some could return home within a day, such as former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra who was invited for a conversation and lunch.

“Then, she was free to go back home on the same day,” said Col Werachon.


Thailand’s military rulers have a message for an international community concerned about their recent takeover of the country: It’s not a coup.

Having used the threat of military trial to stifle criticism of the junta in the Thai press, schools and on the streets, Army Chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha is sending diplomats to explain the situation to foreign governments and ask for understanding. It’s also asking the media to make a few tweaks.

“Please avoid using the word coup because the context of what happened in Thailand is completely different,” Colonel Werachon Sukondhapatipak, the junta spokesman, said last night at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. “The only thing that happened in Thailand is the change of the administration of this country.”


“I don’t like the word detention,” Werachon said last night. People are asked if they need anything “apart from the air condition, apart from the good food, apart from the activities that we provide, apart from all kinds of facilities that make you feel time passing by so quick and apart from the entertainment that we provide? This is detention?”

Summoned, ‘Invited’

Instead of summoned, Werachon uses the word “invited,” and rather than detained uses “remain in army accommodation.” “We just want to provide them a cooling off period in order for them to think over the situation and we don’t want them to have any other influences from outside,” he said.

Khao Sod:

Col. Werachon said the army bars detainees from having any contact with the outside world in order to provide them with a “cooling-off period.” This is a necessary part of the junta’s goal to reconcile the country’s political divisions and “return happiness” to the people, he said.

“We talk to them, we try to convince them to put the country’s interests before their own,” Col. Werachon said. “We don’t want them to have information from the outside. We just want them to be on their own.”

A senior reporter for The Myanmar Times tweets:

Emb. official: “After the incident last month, Thailand has become more stable.” #Myanmar #Burma

— Timothy McLaughlin (@TMclaughlin3) June 16, 2014

Thai embassy official speaking today in Yangon refers to coup simply as “the incident”. #Myanmar #Burma

— Timothy McLaughlin (@TMclaughlin3) June 16, 2014

BP: Even Sek Wannamethee (Director-General of the Ministry of Truth Department of Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) had difficulty where at one point he referred to the differences between 2006 and 2014 stating “What’s the difference between the coup of 2006 and the coup of, er, the military takeover of. The coup was in 2006. This time it’s a military takeover of the administration.” Not always easy to keep up with the approved words.

At times, you do wonder why the junta are arguing about the terminology of everything. The word “detention” can’t be used; it is inviting someone to stay in army accommodation. Is it really worth denying people are in “detention”? When will we get a list of approved terms to refer to things?

By the way, in 2006 the junta referred it as political change and not a coup…