Skip to main content

I'm back to posting in English again briefly since I really want to communicate this to the world :/

Today's Bangkok Post editorial has a good summary of what I feel right now about the Thai government's deafening and morally repugnant silence over the massacre that's going on in Thailand's next-door neighbor, so I'd suggest anyone who is interested in reading my thoughts on this to read that editorial instead.

What I want to do today is simply call foreigners' attention to comments made by the head of Thailand's military junta which I find either amazingly clueless or totally abhorrent, depending on how much he actually knows about the situation. Since this news article is somehow not available in English (neither The Nation or The Bangkok Post, Thailand's two largest English newspapers, printed the story), I am translating it here for anyone who wants some idea about why Thailand is doing nothing (by the way, "Council for National Security" is the fancy name Thailand's junta is using to call themselves).

The article is a bit "old," but I think it's still useful as it shows the repugnant "mentality" of Thailand's junta leader quite well.


"Big Bung" believes the chaos in Myanmar won't get out of hand
Translated from this Thai article. Emphasis (boldfaced words) are mine.

Head of Council for National Security believes the Burmese military junta will be able to control monks' protest not to get out of hand. Points out this is Myanmar's "internal affairs" in which friendly superpowers including China and South Korea stand ready to assist.

Today (26 September) coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin gave an interview regarding the use of force by Myanmar's military government to disperse protesters as follows: in this situation, Myanmar's military government isn't using soldiers, but is using the police force to disperse protesters. This is considered the correct procedure that every country follows. In this kind of situation, soldiers must make way for the police to handle it, but the actual means of doing so depends on each country's own techniques. However, I believe the current situation is still not violent; it's still containable. With regards to news of violence on the monks, I think we cannot answer from looking at the photos alone, because as Thailand's situation has shown, sometimes the people use violence on the officers. Sometimes officers have to protect themselves. These photos are political in nature which we consider Myanmar's internal affairs.

When asked whether he's concerned that there will be more Burmese refugees coming into Thailand, General Sondhi replied that: the situation along the Thai-Myanmar borders should remain normal, except if the Burmese junta would announce curfew and order the closing of borders, which is something that's within their powers to do. I don't believe the current situation will go that far, because it's a normal protest and not a political crackdown.

As for the concern that the beating of Buddhist monks, which the populace highly revere, by state officials may arouse more people to join the protest and push the situation to get out of hand, General Sondhi replied that: the Burmese government probably understands that this is just a tactic of the protesters. The government must find a way to handle this, because they know that they can't use violence on the monks; they must be gentle. According to the latest reports that I have received, the Burmese government has begun the negotiation process by inviting senior monks to help defuse the situation already.

When asked what may happen when the international community starts to pressure the Burmese government, General Sondhi replied that: the Burmese junta probably wouldn't care, because in the past they have always taken care of themselves. When outsiders don't intervene in domestic affairs, everyone can co-exist. In fact, the Burma government has many friendly nations who stand ready to help, including China and Korea, because Myanmar is a nation with a wealth of natural resources; many superpowers want to go in. Therefore, no matter what happens to that country, many countries are secretly protecting it. This is the smarts of some superpowers with whom we [Thailand] are friendly. If we get involved, our relationship with them may be damaged.

Prachatai English's Logo

Prachatai English is an independent, non-profit news outlet committed to covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite pressure from the authorities. Your support will ensure that we stay a professional media source and be able to meet the challenges and deliver in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: [email protected], please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”