Submitted on Fri, 23 May 2014 - 01:47 PM
About 50 people, led by the Assembly for the Defence of Democracy (AFDD), a group of pro-electoral democracy academics, organized an anti-martial law activity on Thursday evening, which suddenly turned into an anti-coup event after learning that the military had seized power at 5 pm on Thursday.
Puangthong R. Pawakapan, political scientist from Chulalongkorn University, a leading member of the AFDD, said she believes the people will soon rise up against the coup, especially the anti-establishment red shirts, who have long been suppressed in Thai politics.
“The military only have weapons, but weapons cannot win over the people’s hearts and change the people’s thoughts. They can only prohibit people from voicing their thoughts and opinions. More people will be arrested in order to create a climate of fear. However, the fear of the people is limited. In the end, we should not underestimate the pride of the people. They will stop being afraid and fight.
“The army will be defeated in the end because their weapons will not be able to resist the people’s will,” said Puangthong.
Prajak Kongkirati, (mid) declares the anti-coup stance of the Assembly for the Defense of Democracy (AFDD) at Thammasat University, Tha Prachan campus, Bangkok.
Prajak Kongkirati, leading AFDD member and political scientist from Thammasat University, yesterday (Thursday) was one of the most regrettable days in Thai political history. The military staged the coup when Thai politics has developed and Thai people are more politically active, even though they may have different views. The military intervention will make Thai politics lag behind other ASEAN members.
In no other country like us has the military staged a coup d’état twice. We should have learned the lesson that a coup d’état never leads to reform, a better society, a country with less corruption, or a smaller disparity gap, nor does it solve conflict, said Prajak.
“Today’s conflict dates back to the 2006 coup. And I believe the 2014 coup will lead to deeper conflict in Thai society because it has destroyed the attempt to solve the problem through peaceful means.”
The coup d’état itself is violent enough. The army has no legitimacy at all to stage a coup, the academic said. “If there is political violence from now on, the military will have to bear sole responsibility. It shut the door on a peaceful solution.
He also urged the military not to violently disperse protesters, and return power to the people immediately.
Participants show signs oppsing the coup d'etat.