~Meaw & More~


Reactive blogger (~and more~)

Saffron Revolution and PADs: Isn’t it the same?

Htet Aung has an article about “State Violence in Thailand and Burma” In the beginning, the article stated that:

The Thai military’s recent refusal to use force to crack down on the current demonstrations staged by the People’s Alliance for Democracy has become the subject of an academic debate about whether this signals a real change in the Thai military, and whether it could give a positive lesson to Burma’s military rulers that could have an effect on the country’s democratic transition.

At a recent seminar entitled “State Violence against Popular Protests: Thailand and Burma,” Thai and Burmese academics and activists exchanged views in a discussion comparing how the governments of the two countries have used violence against citizens struggling for democracy in their respective countries.

State in Violence and Violence in State
I think the problem now is shifting from state violence to people to people violence against people and while a state either endorses by direct or indirect support support or negligence. State may facilitate confrontation, allow mobilization of certain groups while dispersing the other or simply let some one go to show their ugliness and pointlessness and lose popularity to the extreme. The old fashioned of police/state brutality as commonly seen in Burma last year, should be fading and must be used with caution in Thailand in BE 2551.

However, while the Thai military has learned to avoid using violence against citizens involved in popular protests, the Burmese army has shown no such willingness to act with restraint. Whether Burma’s rulers are prepared to follow more positive regional trends remains an open question.

There are gap between civilian and military government in terms of dispensing power to use violence these days, after too many lessons unlearned. The Thai military chief seemed to be more reluctant to use power during the emergency degree. They have to position the army as neutral from politics, after the coup. They also have to worry about their negotiation with the government who decide their reshuffle, while bargaining with popularity among critics and the people. A military government seemed to worry less about that. They are military leader and the government acting as one, and they cannot be voted out, the junta seemed to careless about dispensing power against a protest. They are accountable to themselves.

The Saffron Revolution and Santi asoke Sit in protest
The two side of the protest involve monks. In Burma, the monks are actively participate in politics while in Thailand, mainstream monks are not encouraged to do so. Still the role of Santi Asoke sect at the PADs camp is rather limited, comparing to Burmese monks. They could not seemed to be involve publicly, though they could mobilized a number of disciple and the model of communal politics, e.g. leading protester. However, I do not know the behind the scene.

Now the point that they did not discussed at the forum, as the forum did not intended to talk about it is the aim.

Yes, there were demonstrations and there were people, but isn’t it funny that we should have, here in Thailand, the protest to say the dear democracy, that had been wanted for a long time in Burma, doesn’t work. The Thai PADs used to say we want some junta, as long as the junta does not work for Thaksin.


Filed under: Political Sciences, , , ,

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