The COUP Aftermath

Popular Militarization of Justice and Law Enforcement
Any “Deep Impact” on Foreigners in Pattaya

“Guns & Roses”, Mission Impossible without the Popular Support

The pictures of tanks in the streets of Bangkok surrounded by people morally supporting them with rose raises a thousand words of paradox. How can “Guns & Roses” go together as the icon of democracy” With the breaking news in BBC and CNN about the “Coup” in Thailand, we received many telephone calls from our clients in the UK asking us whether they should liquidate their properties in Pattaya and run away to other countries. The New Zealand Prime Minister strongly asked all New Zealanders to go back to their homeland. They even scared that the junta will confiscate their properties like they saw in many banana republic countries”

“Can the “End” still justify the “Means””

Many Thai people strongly believe that the “Coup” should have been obsolete for nearly two decades.  The latest Junta was toppled by the street democracy 15 years ago.  A “Democracy” becomes our culture. We still adhere to the universal concept that nobody can topple the legitimately elected government by any unconstitutional means. However, Thai people cannot tolerate the “absolute power in the guise of democracy”. No country can be called the “Most Democratic Country in the Region” with only one seat of the opposition in the parliament, or no visa for NGOs during the IMF meeting. The democracy should not surrender to the “Vice of Venality”.

Is it a magic solution to justify the legitimate government by only the “Electioneering Means”” The ousted government always claimed their legitimacy by electioneering mechanism. In the last snap election, people became skeptical of the electioneering democracy once they saw a man tearing his ballot to protest against the snap election in the manner of “civilized disobedience” used in the ancient Greek. This iconic man, Dr. Chaiyan Chaiyaporn of the School of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University can tell us what would be the feelings of  “Plato” if he was forced to put a ballot in the latest snap election which was later nullified by the Administrative Court. His doctorate degree from “London School of Economy” (LSE) with a thesis in “Plato Philosophy” should be a credential to justify his means to protest against the electioneering process. Can the electioneering means under the “Vice of Venality” transport us to the “Real Democracy””

If you have a good team of spin doctors and electioneering engineers with many big bags of money from impersonated Santa Claus around the world, you can create a regime of “Absolute Despotism” based on the “Venal Democracy”. This kind of government becomes the proxy or nominee of many multinational business cartels. The media spin can be easily made to mislead public to indulge themselves in a consumerism and become passive for politics.

Many urban people led by middle and elite class came out in the streets of Bangkok demanding the then caretaker prime minister to make a political pause to pave the way for the “Nonpartisan Government” who will spend about one year to reform the legislative and political mechanisms to ensure the fair election. Then the caretaker prime minister could come back to the electioneering process once again. Tony Blair who leads the UK to become the wealthiest country in Europe decides to terminate his political career for good (not on pause) just only by the criticism that he is an “analogue in a world of digital”. But our then caretaker government remained deaf for the cry of people in the street.

The situation turned into the national disunity in the deadlock where nobody denied even one singly step backwards. However, we can show to the world that during the one-year street democracy period, there is not any serious violence or vandalism differently from the last year student and teenager riot in France and ethnic riot in Los Angeles many years ago.

“Popular Militarization, Fast Track Modus Operandi for Peace and Order”

Under the concept that all soldiers are comparable to horses belonging to the nation while the government is just only the jockey, the military group declared the Martial Law and seized the executive power of the then government on the night of Tuesday, 19th September 2006, suddenly after the announcement of the then prime minister for the state of emergency to militarize the situation under the “Red Code Crisis”. It was not so clear at that time about the mastermind. Until nearly morning of the day after, we checked the breaking news from CNN and BBC reporting about tanks around Bangkok. There was an official announcement of the military group could absolutely control Bangkok in good order without any violence. In the morning, we could see many people surrounding tanks with roses in their hand to give to the military officers. Most soldiers looked more relaxed than the American soldiers wandering with their guns (without roses) during their flood relief mission in New Orleans.

The military group called themselves as the “Council of the Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy” (CDRC) led by Genaral Sonthi Boonyaratglin, a Thai muslim who holds a high reputation of nonpartisan, patriotism and honesty debut their first announcement in the TV pool in the morning. The leader of the military group strongly affirmed to all Thai people as a “Social Contract” that this militarization was not for the political ambition of any person and there will not be any succession of power. The interim civilian government and constitution will be ready within two weeks. The main task of the interim government will be an enactment of a new constitution and reform of the politics to reinstate democracy within one year. The “CDRC” touts many elitists in the country to become a prime minister, e.g., Dr. Supachai Panitpakdi, the former Director General of World Trade Organization (WTO) and incumbent Director General of the UNTAD. As we say “Nobody can become a prophet in his home country”, this great man will never become a prime minister by the venal electioneering means. His term with UNTAD still remains another three years. We have heard that Kofi Annan said that Dr. Supprachai Panitpakdi is one of five persons who can become the Director General of the United Nations.

If the “CDRC” fails to comply with their “Social Contract” not to transform the power to a civilian government, they will be called a “Dictator Junta” by the international community. It is likely that Thai people will come out in the street once again but without roses in their hands.

Is it a Vacuum of Law and Justice”

The “CDRC” declared the Martial Law and annulment of the Constitution 1997 and takeover the executive power from the caretaker government. The question is whether the country became the lawless or anarchic state. The answer is “No” because other laws and institutions are still in force and existing. Even we did not have the writing constitution for this short vacuum period, the national customary and traditional practices of democracy under the Constitutional Monarchy are still prevailing. All courts can still enjoy their judicial power independent from the executive power of the CDRC. All justice mechanisms are still under the due process of law.  The country complies with all commitments with other countries including the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” whereby all foreigners in this country can still enjoy the equal protection under Thai laws. Some people saw many tanks waiting for the traffic light which means that they abide by the traffic law better than many foreigners in Pattaya. There is neither curfew nor media control. Just only the restriction to create a mobster is imposed to prevent the escalation of situation. Thai currency and stock index are stable on that day without interference by the Bank of Thailand. Many foreign journalists still enjoy their freedom of expression in Thailand more than the time during the IMF meeting in our neighboring country.

For foreigners in Pattaya, we have not seen any impact on them. No curfew is imposed. They can still enjoy their nocturnal life in the Walking Street. Some foreigners said they felt even safer than ever in the normal situation.

Any Deep Impact on Property Buyers in Pattaya”

Foreigners buying properties in Pattaya should not panic for this militarization. There is not any executive order of the “CDRM” creating any new impact on foreigners about the exchange control or foreign ownership practice.

However, some foreigners have heard that the next government will conduct fast tract investigations into the unethical business practice of some foreigners using nominees and tax evasion. Please understand that most of foreigners in Pattaya using nominee shareholders to buy property for their retreat, not to takeover share in the companies having the concessions of satellite or TV stations or airlines. The punishment for violation of the Land Code is in Sections 112 and 113 whereby you cannot see the jail punishment for foreigners (please see the complete version of the Land Code Governing Foreign Ownership in, but the punishment under the Alien Business Law is more serious with fine and jail punishment. You can still enjoy the “Quality Bread of Justice”. Nobody can abuse you. You can still invoke the law and justice to protect your rights.

Don”t be miserable in this land of smiles. We are all under the shelter of his Majesty the King who is always kind to dispense justice to all of us regardless of race, culture, religious belief and political band.

You should report to your government that the status quo in Pattaya still remains in normality. They worry about you because you will stay here forever and forget to pay tax.

There is good news from our former caretaker prime minister currently having a temporary exile in London about his interest in charity work for eradication of poverty in Thailand. We advise him to try to find a chance to fly a balloon with “Sir Richard Branston” or read a new book of “Bono”. These people will definitely be able to enlighten him about the axiom “What is a profit of a man gaining the whole world and losing his soul””

Many foreigners may laugh at the paradox of our democracy “Neither Venal Democracy Nor Junta Dictator”. We have to see whether the end of this “Militarized Modus Operandi” can justify the “Unconstitutional Means of Coup d”Etat”. Some Britons in Pattaya become more worry about the politics in their home country than what happens in Bangkok. The announcement that Tony Blair will cease his political career become a scary scenario by the fact that his potential successor will probably be “Gordon Brown” whose the most favorite song is “MR. TAXMAN” of the Beatles !

Can you tell us if the real democracy is only putting a ballot for the election between the “Tory” and “Labor” and waiting until the age of 65 or even 75 for your retirement pension to be able live peacefully in Pattaya ”

Some people may shout “Vive la Revolution” for the sustainable Peace and Happiness in Pattaya!