The draft constitution is a written attempt by the junta to take Thai politics and society back to the pre-Thaksin era. The draft not only aims to prevent the emergence of a Thaksin-like government, but also the emergence of Thaksin-like policies, which were tangible and ‘edible’ for the poor.
Not only Pheu Thai’s red bowls, but medical kits from the Democrats are also a threat to national security. On Monday, 11 April 2016, the state authorities confiscated 1,271 medical kits from a Democrat Party politician’s house in the central province of Kamphaeng Phet, saying that it is a symbolic political act which could threaten national security, reported ASTV Manager Online.
The junta is attempting to abandon the universal healthcare scheme, one of the most acclaimed policies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and replace it with a co-payment system. Analysts say under the draft constitution, healthcare will be no longer a state obligation, but state assistance to the poor. Amid news that the junta plans to reduce the budget for the universal healthcare scheme, formerly known as 30-baht policy, and ultimately abolish it, the equal right to healthcare has been removed from the draft constitution.
Election? Another coup? People’s uprising? Where is Thailand heading? Academics have said that if the military decides to prolong its regime, a people’s uprising is inevitable.
The junta has exempted the construction of coal-fired power plants in Songkhla and Krabi provinces from city planning laws in a bid to push forward controversial projects despite strong local opposition. The exemption was published in the Royal Thai Gazette on Thursday 31 March 2016. It was issued after NCPO Order No. 4/2016, signed on 20 March 2016 by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as the Chair of the National Energy Policy Committee.
In an attempt to censor voices against the draft constitution, the junta threatened the Pheu Thai Party after it issued a statement denouncing the draft constitution as undemocratic. On Wednesday, 30 March 2016, the Pheu Thai Party issued a statement condemning the final draft of the constitution and urging people to turn it down in the referendum, scheduled in August. In response to Pheu Thai’s move, Col Piyapong Klinphan, a spokesperson for the junta, said the junta thanks Pheu Thai for having a clear stance on the draft, but t
The anti-Thaksin civil society has condemned the junta government for issuing orders that intentionally benefit big construction projects which affect locals, and has urged people to use the upcoming referendum as a bargaining chip against the junta. Academics and civil society state that NCPO Orders 3/2016, 4/2016 and 9/2016, which were issued using the power of Article 44 of 2014 interim charter, are turning Thailand into a capitalists’ paradise.
Pro-coup ultra-nationalists have attacked the Facebook page of the US Embassy in Bangkok after the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific criticized the junta’s martial law, with some comments going as far as calling the US terrorists.
The junta leader threatened to step up the use of martial law, warning that people who still engage in anti-junta activities, especially the media and the anti-establishment red shirts, will be detained and barred from making financial transactions. Moreover, the junta Premier revealed that another ex-Pheu Thai politician has been summoned for taking an anti-junta stance.
The Appeal Court granted bail to an ex-lese majeste convict, sentenced to jail for failing to report himself to the junta after the coup. The Appeal Court on Monday granted bail to Nat S., a former lese majeste convict who was first to be sentenced to prison without suspension for defying junta’s order, after the defence lawyer submitted 40,000 bail request.