A Group of Alumni and Students of the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University issed an statement to criticize the coup, as follows
Amidst the year-long protracted political crisis, the fact that difference and conflict are inevitable in any societies should be well realized.
Political history has given a lesson that a political system called democracy is the most effective and peaceful means to manage conflict among people. Democracy guarantees rights, freedom, and equality. Democracy also respects that sovereign power truly belongs to people. Therefore, the solution to the political crisis must be in accordance with democratic principle in order to reaffirm that sovereign power cannot be easily stolen from people, and that people truly own the country.
The May 22, 2014 coup led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha is absolutely not the way out of the current political crisis. However, it is an act of robbing sovereign power from people. It also is a recurrence of political history i.e. most coups throughout the history have exposed the country to political deadlock, disrupted democratic development, eroded confidence in the eyes of international community, a return to a vicious cycle, and potential bloodshed violence in the future.
We, a group of alumni and students of the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University would like to present our positions towards the May 22, 2014 coup, as follows;
1. A group of military officers who seized power form the caretaker government should be called “Coup Group” not “National Peace and Order Maintaining Council” (NPOMC). Even though disorder in the past six months had been caused by political conflict, the Coup Group who seized power did not only lack legitimacy, but also failed to restore peace and order. Shortly after the coup, in contrast, disorder has occurred in several aspects ranging from curfew imposition, television and radio programmes suspension, political gathering ban, politically provocative and inflammatory speech against NPOMC restriction, to potential large-scale violence in the future. Disorder in the aforementioned aspects obviously is caused by the coup. Therefore, the group of military officers who seized power should be labeled “Coup Group” not “National Peace and Order Maintaining Council” (NPOMC) as claimed.
2. The Coup Group is requested to return sovereign power to people as soon as possible by organizing a free and fair election in order to pave the way for the cabinet granted with authority from people to resolve problems and conduct the reform in an immediate and legitimate manner as called by a number of parties. Seizing power for a long time and appointing a group of cabinet members without people’s consent in accordance with democratic principle only lead to an uprising by a large number of people who are opposed to the said power. Violence, bloodshed clash, injury and death, as well as disorder are expected, all of which contradict the Coup Group’s objectives of power seizure. Moreover, drafting a constitution amidst undemocratic environment makes the constitution illegitimate and lacking acceptance from various parties; the similar situation happens with the 2007 constitution. The reform process without inclusive participation under illegitimate power only worsens the reform and leads to its failure.
3. Martial law and every announcement from the Coup Group are against the democratic principle. The military officers at all ranks who are opposed to the coup are requested to kindly withdraw their arms, and join people to peacefully present their opposition to the coup. The Coup Group is also requested to terminate all measures that block people’s rights and freedom as soon as possible, and free every captive ranging from politicians, protest leaders, activists, members of the press, to people whose rights and freedom are restricted by the Coup Group’s orders. The Coup Group is requested to immediately terminate media interference in every aspect.
4. The Coup Group attains absolute authority only by your silence, obedience, and cooperation. Therefore, we call on all parties including civil servants and state enterprise officers at all levels, members of professional association, private sector, political party, the judiciary, financial institution, educational institute, and civil society regardless of political stance but believing in the fact that sovereign power and the country truly belong to people to issue an anti-coup declaration to demonstrate their opposition to the coup, lead normal lives, and refuse to cooperate with the Coup Group in any cases.
5. All parties including the Coup Group, the coup supporters, and the anti-coup supporters are requested to show their positions in a peaceful manner in order to avoid causing violence, injury, or any effects on freedom, safety to life and property, as well as fear among the public.
A group of alumni and students of the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University
May 24, 2014