Barry Petersen reporting from Bangkok has lived in Thailand since December 1992 and has a good grasp of Thai politics and the wealth disparity which exists in the country. That wealth disparity was cleverly used by Thaksin, one of the wealthiest men in the country, to gain the support of the poorest and the articles provide some insight how Thaksin operated and still operates. A copy of the full report can be downloaded by clicking: Thai Dispatches
A letter by Vint Chavala mentions that problems started in 2001 when Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party was elected to govern Thailand. Prior to that election, the administration of Thailand was running smoothly despite the corruption, vote buying, godfathers playing politicians, etcetera. Following his election, then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra empowered his ministers to override laws by issuing ministerial decrees, he tried to muzzle press freedom, he appointed relatives and cronies to senior positions of authority to cement his grip on power, etcetera.
Barry Petersen has also included a number of photographs of the anti-(Yingluck) government protestors which numbered in the hundreds of thousands leading up to the declaration of martial law then the coup d’etat. The size of the earlier anti-government protests certainly well and truly outnumbered the latest anti-coup protests. It would be interesting to know how many photographs of the anti-(Yingluck) government appear in foreign publications.
The articles provide an idea of the situation leading up to the declaration of martial law and then the coup d’etat. The ‘Insider’s report on coup decision’ which appeared in the 23 May 14 edition of the Bangkok Post provides some idea why General Prayuth Chan-ocha declared a military take-over (the coup d’etat). After months of avoiding martial law and a coup, he had finally had enough of the squabbling.
About Barry Petersen: Barry is living in Bangkok, has one of those lives that seems untrue. Yet it is not. Petersen was an Australian Army captain in 1963 and was awarded 13 medals for his service in Vietnam, Borneo and Malaysia. He ended up a lieutenant-colonel.