Friday, September 22, 2006

Popular uprising in Thailand

How often do you get a situation where over 80% of the country supports your military coup?  Not often, but it just happened in Thailand.  The key in that country, it seems, is who’s got the support of the elderly beloved king.

      In Thailand's rice-growing heartland, an impoverished area six hours by car north of Bangkok, there is only measured disappointment and scant visible anger that Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister stripped of his job Tuesday in the coup, is gone. It is a surprising turn of events in an area long considered the bastion of Thaksin's support. The lack of outcry and resentment may give the military government more time as it navigates Thailand's delicate transition back to democracy.

      The king's backing for the coup appears to be a key reason why former Thaksin supporters now express their support of the military takeover.

If you read the link in my post yesterday, you might recall that the monarchy is more of a cherished institution there than it is in England.  The King fully supports democracy and is responsible for the first Constitution written in 1992.  Support for Thaksin was only substantial because poor uneducated farmers in rural areas considered him a representative of the king himself, who is known for his concern for farmers and rural interests.

No comments: