Do you remember who said that there will be no coup when he was in charge of the army?
Do you remember who asked for “a little more time” before holding elections, then ruled as the head of a military junta for five years?
Do you remember who said that his government would listen to the people?
It has been six years since the 2014 coup. If this government finishes its term, Prayut would have ruled Thailand for a decade – longer than most of the famous dictators in our troubled history.
In that time, Prayut has carried out the said coup, written laws and appointed senators to allow him to continue to stay in power and carried out a program of intimidation and suppression that have jailed dissidents from the very young to the very old.
So when he promises to create a forum that will take into consideration the view of student protesters, do you think he will really listen?
Only two days after he said that his government is willing to listen to the protestors, activist Anon Numpha and student protestors Mike Rayong were arrested.
Last week when reporters asked if he would be at any of these forums, the PM did not immediately answer and instead provided the reporter with a disgusted face to show his disapprove for the question.
“Will see,” he muttered before changing the subject.
If he is not going to be at any of these forums to listen to students, union workers and other activists that what is the point?
Actions speak louder than words.
If he is sincere, then he should back up his sincerity by ensuring that no more student and activist be arrested. All charges must be dropped against Anon and Mike. Students and activists should stop being harassed by the police and soldiers.
At the same time, pushing for a constitutional amendment or the rewriting of the constitution should be one of the parliament’s top priority right now.
This is all very likely wishful thinking.
I do not think he will give up on what he built that easily.
He can continue to say that the constitution could be amended but he will never change the articles that continue to provide guarantees for this next term, including the electoral system and the appointed senators.
He can continue to arrest dissidents because he has written up laws that allow him to do so and then claim the same claim of national security that he used for the coup.
With executive control over appointed senators, the justice system, other co-called independent institutions and the police via a deeply undemocratic constitution, why give it up so easily when everything is now under his control?
And on top of that, you think he will really listen when he cannot even answer if he is going to go to the very forums he proposes?
Actions speak louder than words and Prayut’s actions over the past decade shows that he cannot be trusted.