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Pitak Siam: Into the Abyss of Democratic Demise

Bangkok is preparing for the return of the infamous neo-fascist ultra-right group, Pitak Siam (Protecting Siam). From the police force to members of the general public, that name carries confusion and the hint of pandemonium. However this time the boundaries of politics have changed, Thailand saw Pitak Siam declaring their intent to forcibly remove the legitimately-elected Government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and install a junta similar to the previous ruling tyrannical power of Myanmar.

The police chief, Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew said the cabinet decided to impose the Internal Security Act (ISA) in three districts of Bangkok from November 22 until 30 after security agencies reported receiving information there could be attempts to raid government grounds and a plot to take Ms. Yingluck hostage. He said the ISA was effective in Dusit, Phra Nakhon and Pomprap Sattruphai districts, but gave assurances that the enforcement will not affect people’s daily lives. The Cabinet has decided to impose the ISA as proposed by the National Security Council (NSC), Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said on Thursday.

Coincidently the Constitution Court has decided not to accept for consideration three petitions asking it to order Pitak Siam to abandon its rally on November 24 because it was in direct violation of Section 68. The Court ruled that there was no evidence the organizers planned to illegally topple a democratic administration under the constitutional monarchy.

This is despite the fact that Pitak Siam's leader, Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, or known as Seh Ai, has said his goal was to remove Parliament, the Constitution and the institution of governance. People ponder upon the Court's conclusion as such goal is subversive and undermines the principles of democracy.

Section 68: No person shall exercise the rights and liberties prescribed in the Constitution to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State under this Constitution or to acquire the power to rule the country by any means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in the Constitution.

The Government has promised that the enforcement of the ISA is one of the preventive measures in order to ensure lives are not placed in harm's way and property will be protected, in accordance to law and order, and that all three districts are monitored for the larger majority who are in fact concerned about the objectives of Pitak Siam.  

Various pro-democracy groups have expressed their support for the Government and the Constitution; some have even expressed apprehensions about Pitak Siam's attempt at removing elected politicians with lies and a promise of a militarized leadership of Thailand. One has mentioned that people toppling a Government beyond the boundaries of the Constitution is treasonous.

The return to a non-democratic state of rule is not just a leap backward but also a removal of constitutional rights and liberty. Rather than utilizing available platforms for change and development, in which Pitak Siam has rejected, the rule of anarchy is used to champion not 10 million or one hundred thousand people but just the delusional goal of one retired military man.

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Areva Aamy passionately believes in democratic principles and idealism. Her experiences in writing short stories and traveling within the region has enabled her to dream of a better future for Thailand.