In the case of Ah Kong, all sides in Thai society have shown a lack of moral courage to do what is right. They have been concerned with their own status, positions and politics, and have done nothing. Ultimately, an ordinary old man has fallen victim, having to die away from his family….
This is an important point made by Somsak and reported in a post at Prachatai that has photos and videos of Ampol Tangnopakul’s funeral on Sunday. Ampol succumbed to cancer in prison while those without a shred of moral courage had him locked up on lese majeste charges.
The court must have been aware that the repeated denial of bail and the guilty verdict were not right. Academics and members of the elite, like Anan Panyarachun, Bowornsak Uwanno and Khanit Na Nakhon, who have come out to say that the lèse majesté law is problematic, have been silent in this case. Why have they not come out to say that the verdict was wrong? Where is their moral courage, he asked?
Our answer is that these people and those all the way up to the very top of the royalist elite are not just morally bankrupt but frightened. Frightened that they might do or say something that their liberal and conservative friends might object or call them out, but are even more frightened that the structures and institutions that make them privileged and keep them privileged may come tumbling down.