December 21, 2017 by Joseph Thomas – NEO
A mid-December announcement by the European Union was made stating that the EU had agreed to restore ties with the Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand “at all levels” after suspending them in 2014 in the wake of a military coup which ousted the government of Yingluck Shinawatra.AFP reported in its article, “EU resumes official contacts with Thai junta,” that:
The bloc said developments in Thailand this year, including the adoption of a new constitution and a pledge by junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha to hold elections in November 2018, meant it was “appropriate” to resume ties.
The announcement however, was conditional. AFP also reports:
But the European Union repeated its call for the restoration of full democracy and said it was still concerned about harassment of human rights activists and the curtailing of free speech in Thailand.
What the AFP article and the EU statement both fail to mention was the context of the 2014 coup, the nature of the government it ousted from power and precisely which groups have been subjected to the so-called “curtailing of free speech.”
The EU’s move, which was immediately supported by the US embassy in Bangkok, is likely an attempt to pressure the current interim government from further delaying elections and holding them prematurely, thus likely returning political proxies associated with Yingluck Shinawatra to power.
Returning a US-European Proxy to Power
Yingluck Shinawatra was sister to ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin Shinawatra held office from 2001-2006, committed serial human rights abuses including the extrajudicial killing of nearly 3,000 in a “war on drugs” in just under 90 days in 2003. He also eagerly censored his political opponents and critics in the media either through courts or through physical intimidation and violence. Several of his critics were either assassinated or disappeared over the course of this time in office.
In 2006, the Royal Thai Army swiftly and without bloodshed, ousted Thaksin Shinawatra from power. Since Shinawatra’s removal from power in 2006, he and his supporters have conducted an on-and-off campaign of terrorism, violence, arson, political assassinations together with a concerted propaganda campaign attacking Thailand’s independent institutions including the nation’s courts, its military and its constitutional monarchy. Together, these institutions represent insurmountable roadblocks to Shinawatra’s return to power. They also, by no coincidence, impede foreign interests from entering and fully exploiting Thailand, its population and its natural resources.
It has been groups associated with Shinawatra’s efforts to attack and undermine Thailand’s institutions that have been targeted by the “curtailing of free speech.” These groups also so happen to enjoy extensive funding, political and material support from the embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the EU.
US-EU diplomats regularly organise events to foment opposition to Thailand’s government, right in the heart of Shinawatra’s former political stronghold of “Isaan,” or northeastern Thailand. The EU has demonstrated zero respect for Thai sovereignty and its offer to “restore ties” to the nation are loaded with preconditions undermining Thailand’s national interests.
The aforementioned AFP article also characterised the ousted government of Yingluck Shinawatra as representing a certain level of “democracy.” However, Yingluck Shinawatra openly campaigned in 2011 as her brother’s admitted proxy. Thaksin Shinawatra currently resides abroad evading jail after a criminal conviction for abuse of power was handed down by Thai courts in 2008. In other words, the “democracy” AFP claims Yingluck Shinawatra’s government represented in reality amounted to a convicted criminal running the government remotely through a nepotist-appointed proxy. In truth, it represented neither “democracy” nor adhered to even the most elementary underpinnings of rule of law.