PPT doesn’t think it a coincidence that as the Army chief returns to threatening behavior that the (relatively quiet) Nitirat group receives threats. At Prachatai it is reported that on 17 August, members of Nitirat “went to Chanasongkhram Police Station to file a complaint after mysterious men had been seen at their [Thammasat University] offices taking photographs of their schedules to meet students.”
Nitirat’s Worachet Pakeerut told Prachatai that “similar incidents had seemed to happen more frequently lately at the campus in Tha Phrachan.”
The police say they want the university “to provide its security surveillance video footage for the police to investigate and consider whether the men in question had meant any harm.”
Members of Nitirat, who have argued for constitutional change and amending the lese majeste law, have good reason to be suspicious following the attack on Worachet in February by thugs who happen to be weapons “enthusiasts” and have been photographed as snipers and compared to Army marksmen in some photos.
Attacks on political opponents, threats against them, and raising the political temperature are all well-tried tactics used by the military over several decades. Of course, there is no evidence that the military is directly involved in any threat to members of Nitirat, yet the coincidences of recent events (“peace talks” in the south, Thaksin Shinawatra’s U.S. visit, continued discussion of the monarchy’s decline, Army statements on red shirt deaths, and charges against Robert Amsterdam and a translator) are striking.