The recent announcement by Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) that it will be initiating an official investigation into former Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva for his part in the 2010 Bangkok Massacre should be greeted with the suspicion that all actions undertaken by the junta administration deserve. In few other countries would the murders of dozens of unarmed civilians be demoted to a charge of “misconduct in office” – the premise upon which the NACC have launched their investigation into Abhisit.
But nobody should have any illusions here – the responsibility for the murder of almost 100 Red Shirts in 2010 does not only land at the feet of Abhisit but also on Deputy PM Suthep Thuagsuban, General Prayuth Chan, General Anupong and every other Thai Army officer who gave direct orders to kill unarmed Thai civilians during those terrible months in 2010.
So why are the NACC moving against Abhisit now? Why not just progress the Thai criminal court’s highly detailed, well-documented and exhaustive findings that the authorities – e.g. Abhisit and the Army – were responsible for the deaths of several unarmed civilians at Wat Patum in 2010?
To say the NACC are a discredited and inept organisation would give them far more credibility than they deserve. They are, after all, the same body that found Thai PM Yingluck “guilty” of corruption without producing a shred of documented evidence. It follows that using the NACC to investigate Abhisit for “misconduct in office” is just a continuation of the process of denying justice and truth to the Thai people. It is also further evidence that the murder of ordinary Thais is not even worthy of proper investigation by the junta or their elaborate system of flunkeys and hangers on.
The move to implement an NACC investigation into Abhisit reveals more though – that the consensus within the pro-coup Thai Establishment appears to be coming undone. Abhisit and his ironically named Democrat Party – both of whom were at the forefront of the PDRC’s efforts to destabilise democracy and initiate the 2014 military takeover – have long viewed themselves as the natural rulers of Thailand. In Abhisit’s mindset the Army are there purely to support the Democrats’ rule, even if that means, as happened in 2010, shooting unarmed Thai civilians.
The lucrative spoils of junta rule, with billions of dollars at stake, are also being constantly fought over by the shady coterie of backers who support the now competing factions of the Democrats and the Army.
Of course the big losers in all this are ordinary Thais. They’ve had their democratically-mandated government overthrown, the rule of law shredded, their freedoms snatched from them and they know, if they protest, the pro-coup Establishment will shoot them down in cold-blood and then enact a cover-up.
We can only hope for a final peaceful and just resolution for Thailand.