The damage done to Thailand by the actions of the anti-democracy mob will probably take many years to measure and years more from which to recover – and that is not to mention the deaths and injuries the mob has directly caused already (and the many more likely to come, alas).
There is also the economic cost: more than 1.5 trillion baht has been wiped off the share prices on the index of Stock Exchange of Thailand alone. Foreign investors have been postponing decisions and actively moving away from Thailand. The tourism industry is suffering considerably with foreign arrivals down 30% on normal, attributed to the actions of the armed, right-wing PAD mob holding the country to ransom.
The normal business of government has been delayed and disrupted – running a modern, complex country is a difficult and time-consuming business and requires the best minds in government devoted to it – this was the reason the junta gave up military rule in 2007, not because of any desire for a return to democracy or any pretence at ‘reform’ but because even the jackboots realized they were simply not up to the job any more. Military juntas could get away with years of kleptocratic misrule in the 50s, 60s and even the 70s and beyond – but not today.
Perhaps the worst damage has been to the reputation of Thailand and the Thai people. Few people outside the country can imagine why the Thai people, so many of whom were killed in the desperate fight for democracy and freedom, seem to be happy to see democracy sacrificed for the sake of the vanity of criminals like super-rich media magnate Sondhi Limthongkul, a coterie of dangerous military types and a few thousand ‘useful idiots.’