Simple logic seems to have fallen victim to the coup

One of the biggest, but least talked about casualties of the May 22 coup is not human, but this abstract thing called logic.

Ever since the military coup, public space for logical and rational political debate has been diminishing.

Last week, a human rights groups wanted to hold a discussion on what has happened to people's access to justice under the junta, but it ended up being "requested" to cancel the event.

A deputy spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) said the timing wasn't right for the event. However, it's been more than 100 days since the power seizure. Surely by now we should be allowed to deliberate on certain topics?

On Monday, red-shirt singer Thanat "Tom Dundee" Thanawatcharanont was handed a six-month suspended sentence and fined Bt10,000 for not reporting to the military.

Now, how can we teach the young about democracy when people who disobey the junta are treated like criminals, while those who tear down the country's Constitution are allowed to get away?

Another example of how logic has fallen victim to the power seizure is that now, the very people who were outraged by the previous govern?ments' so-called populist policies, seem to find nothing wrong with the NCPO giving away free tickets to patriotic films and a football match.

Also, nothing's been said about the possible conflict of interest with NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha becoming prime minister while still holding the Army chief's post.

The same goes for ML Panadda Diskul, who has been made PM's Office Minister while at the same time holding the position of permanent secretary. Panadda has apparently shown no interest in ever quitting his permanent secretary's post.

Clearly, the logical "conflict-of-interest" concept cannot be applied to "good men" like Prayuth or Panadda.

Then there's the countless poll results suggesting that most people are satisfied with the fact that there's peace and order in the country.

Now, if true peace and order existed and if all sides had truly reconciled, why won't the premier lift martial law? As Prayuth himself admitted last Friday, there's still those who oppose the new regime - both inside and outside the Kingdom.

People should not mistake forced silence for national reconciliation, or substitute logic for blind faith.

Under the junta, logic appears imprisoned by the fact that people who think differently about the current regime have little or no legal space to publicly air their thoughts. And this certainly doesn't augur well for Thailand.

There was a time when this writer considered Prayuth to be logically sound - this was when the General, as Army chief, repeatedly told the media that staging a coup wouldn't solve any problems.

We wait for this pre-coup General Prayuth to return.

The article is first published on The Nation http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Simple-logic-seems-to-have-fall...