By Steve Finch | 아시아 전문기자
2016년 5월 11일 4:26 오후
On May 22, 2014, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was resting at Klai Kangwon Palace-meaning “far from worries”-as tanks and soldiers took control of key installations 200 kilometers up the coast in the capital Bangkok. Then 87-years old, Thailand’s revered monarch had spent four years in hospital with a lung infection until August, 2013 when he was discharged to his favorite retreat, a Spanish-style villa decorated with Javanese art in the seaside town of Hua Hin.
The army was staging its second coup in less than eight years, and its 19th attempted takeover since 1932. The coup-makers followed a well-worn formula: soothing images of the king were broadcast on television and martial law was declared by nightfall including a 10:00 pm curfew and a ban on gatherings of five or more people. Thais joked they might have to cancel dinner plans that Thursday evening.
19th Coup in Modern Thailand
"역사상 19번 째 쿠데타“
“We ask the public not to panic and to carry on their lives normally,” Army Chief
Prayuth Chan-ocha1) said in a national address on television. It remains unclear whether Prayuth consulted the king before seizing power. Over the past decade, the world’s longest-reigning monarch had suffered pneumonia, a lack of blood to the brain, bleeding of the left frontal lobe, lumbar spinal stenosis-a condition of old age causing squeezing of the spinal column, diverticulitis-pouches within the bowel wall, and-according to Wikileaks-Parkinson’s disease and depression. King Bhumibol’s public appearances have been few in recent years, and public speeches rarer still. Most Thailand observers believe that after more than 69 years on the throne, the king is conscious but barely functioning. The palace took four days to issue its first public notice following the military takeover: “To restore peace and order in the country and for the sake of unity, the king appointed Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha as head of the National Council of Peace and Order to run the country.”
Many Thais in the capital welcomed the overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra2) by the NCPO. Over the previous six months, few days had passed without a major protest, and 25 people had been killed. The majority in Bangkok disagreed with Yingluck’s populist policies and the manipulations of her brother Thaksin Shinwatra3), a former prime minister in exile following his own ouster from a coup in September, 2006.
Together the two siblings represent something of a paradox: a super-rich second-generation Chinese family that has become the champion of Thai democracy and the poor against the royalist elite. Offering populist policies that have spurred support in Thailand’s poor north and northeast-both hail from the northern city of Chiang Mai-Thaksin has been the dominant political force in Thai politics since the turn of the millennium. Thaksin still leads the ousted Pheu Thai party by mobile phone and Skype from London, Dubai, Hong Kong where he maintains luxurious residences.
Thai Politics : Deadlocked
태국정치 : 교착상태
The catalyst that prompted anti-Shinawatra groups onto the streets of Bangkok came in early November 2013. Yingluck’s ruling Pheu Thai party tried to ram(공격하다) a political amnesty bill through parliament that was supposed to be a “political reset” but instead riled everyone all over again. For Shinawatra opponents, the bill was a cynical attempt to smooth Thaksin’s return to Thailand by quashing a two-year prison sentenced handed down after he fled the country, a get-out-of-jail free card. For Shinawatra supporters, the bill would absolve political leaders responsible for a bloody military crackdown that left at least 90 dead-most of them Red Shirts-during major demonstrations in Bangkok in April and May 2010.
The Shinawatras were essentially offering a political solution: to swap Thaksin’s return for the promise that the military would not face prosecution for the killings. But few accepted the deal, not least ordinary people representing each end of Thailand’s political spectrum. It therefore only served to anger many within Thaksin’s traditional support base.
Thida Thavornseth1), chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD)2), one of many loosely affiliated groups that backs Thaksin, said the bill left her members with a sour taste. The UDD is the main group within a wider movement termed the ‘Red Shirt’s whose support base comes from north and northeast Thailand, regions dominated by farming where people often see themselves as downtrodden by the Bangkok elite. These groups have viewed Thaksin and his affiliated parties as the best hope for opposing elite, royalist politics dominated by the military in the capital.
“We’re very angry,” Thida said of the amnesty bill. “We opposed the government and Thaksin changing the amnesty bill because we cannot benefit from that way.” The bill easily passed the lower house, dominated at the time by the ruling Pheu Thai party.
1> 세계 최장수 국왕이자 태국 국민으로부터 존경을 받는 푸미폰 아둔야뎃(87) 국왕이 2015년 5월 10일 그동안 입원했던 병원에서 나와 해양 휴양지인 후아힌 별장으로 거처를 옮겼다. 이날 오후 시리킷 여왕과 함께 방콕 시리라즈 병원에서 퇴원해 자동차로 방콕에서 남쪽으로 약 170㎞ 떨어진 후아힌 왕실 별장으로 향했다. 2) 2014년 5월 태국 군부 쿠데타의 주역인 쁘라윳 짠오차(61) 육군 참모총장 8월 과도의회 총리로 선출됐다. 이로서 군부 내 최고 실권자인 육참총장직과 최고 군정기관인 국가평화질서회의(NCPO) 의장직을 수행하고 있는 그는 총리까지 맡게 돼 3대 권력기관을 모두 장악하게 됐다. 2) 2006년 군부 쿠데타로 실각해 해외 도피 중인 탁신 친나왓 전 총리의 여동생인 그는 태국 최초의 여성 총리로 주목을 받았다. 하지만 잉락 총리는 "오빠의 사면을 서두르지 않겠다"는 취임 일성과 달리 지난해 11월 야권의 거센 반발에도 불구하고 탁신 사면법을 밀어붙여 태국을 정치적 혼란 속으로 몰아넣었다. 3) 남매인 탁신 친나왓 전 총리와 잉락 친나왓 전 총리는 지난 2001년 이후 열린 총선에서 모두 승리하는 저력을 과시했지만 엘리트 군부는 2006년과 2014년 쿠데타를 일으켜 이들을 총리직에서 축출했다. 1) 학계에서 정년퇴직한 미생물학 출신으로 스스로를 "중산층 출신 지식인"이라고 부르는 티다 타원셋(Thida Thavornseth)은 2010년 레드셔츠(UDD) 의장대행으로 오르며 재야 지도자로 활약을 시작했다. 남편인 웽 또찌라깐 박사 역시 의사 출신으로 UDD 집회 현장을 지켰다. 젊은 시절의 티다 여사는 1976년 민주화 시위 당시 군대의 학살을 목격하고 태국 공산당 동지들과 함께 밀림 속에서 6년이나 투쟁하면서 보낸 이력을 갖고 있기도 하다. 2) 대표적 레드셔츠 단체인 독재저항민주연합전선(UDD)은 탁신 축출 이후 수년간 거리에서 레드 셔츠를 입고 과격한 지지 운동을 펼쳐온 정치 세력이자 조직이다.