More than any other new government, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has more than a full plate of goals and programmes. If anything, the junta has a longer list of projects than most governments. Its aim was to interrupt and cancel most of the important work of the government it replaced. Indeed, the NCPO has a tough job ahead to carry out all the changes it envisages. At the same time, it must not forget or ignore the serious problems that come with the job of taking over government.
Among the top duties of good governance is law enforcement. The junta authorities have won some mild praise for their focus on violence that took place during the six months before they seized power. A joint police-military raid nabbed two suspects in the killing of two children at a political rally in Trat. Numerous weapons caches have been seized. If military-directed operations manage to solve other cases of violence that killed more than two dozen people in Bangkok, the junta will win deserved praise.
But there are early, worrying signs about the military's focus. It seems almost exclusively settled on political cases. For certain, there was a spate of violence in the Bangkok area. And the stated goal of the coup was to separate the bickering political factions and provide a cooling-off period. The military has managed to eliminate much of the tension and stop most of the political upheaval. But there is a country to run, and important developments which seem to receive scant attention.
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