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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Thais Do Not Want A Military Coup

Transfers of military weapons and vehicles hint a military coup

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Chatwan Mongkol
Chatwan Mongkol
A freelance journalist based in Bangkok, Thailand covering Thai politics

THAILAND. Thai netizens put out tweets with an anti-military coup hashtag #ไม่เอารัฐประหาร (#WeDon’tAcceptCoup) amid mysterious military movements and the army chief’s attitudes towards leading a coup.

In recent weeks, Thai people spotted army rotation of transferring military vehicles and weapons from army bases in other provinces to the capital and big cities across the country where almost daily anti-government demonstrations take place. Military officials said the movements were for maneuver purposes. However, people believe this is a sign from the army that it is ready to take over.

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Since the 1932 revolution, Thailand has faced 13 military coups. Most of them were led by the army chiefs, including the most recent one in 2014, in which then Army Cheif Prayut Chan-o-cha took control and later assumed the prime ministership until now. Similar military movements were reported prior to the most recent two military coups in 2006 and 2014.

Apirat Kongsompong, the current army chief, has also been refusing to answer reporters’ questions many times regarding the coup rumors. He also did not deny that the rumor was not true.

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Defence Ministry Spokesperson Kongcheep Tantravanich said the coup rumor is just a rumor while saying that the ongoing political climate is complicated and sensitive as there are groups of people who keep spreading the rumor in attempt to create suspicion. He asked the people to be more critical of the information they are consuming.

People are ready to resist

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Meanwhile, people are advocating on social media for resistance if the coup ends up happening. Guidelines on how to resist a coup strategically were released and virally shared on social media. The hashtag #WeDon’tAcceptCoup has been trended on Twitter from time to time in recent weeks.

“If there is an attempt to perform a coup, no matter by who, everyone please come out to obstruct it and make the coup leaders become rebels as stated in Article 113 immediately #WeDon’tAcceptCoup,” Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree, a youth leader, tweeted.


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