Of course, the reason we posted the VICE clip was to allow readers to see it. We knew that Wuthipong Kachathamkul or Ko Tee was being investigated on lese majeste charges arising from the interview he does in the VICE story.
As might be expected, it is going to be blocked as much as possible in Thailand by the thought and lese majeste police: “The TCSD [Technology Crime Suppression Division] was instructed to contact the Information and Communication Technology Ministry to block access to the clip…”. Worse, the police have been threatening and have “warned the public not to share the video clip as those doing so will also be subject to punishment under Section 112. Those found guilty are liable for a three- to 15-year jail term.”
The Bangkok Post reports that “Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered police to charge Pathum Thani-based red-shirt leader … Ko Tee, for an alleged lese majeste offence committed in an interview with a foreign journalist,” meaning the VICE interview.
The Post reports that a “video clip was circulated online showing the interview in which Mr Wuthipong made the offensive remark about the monarchy.” In fact, for PPT, it was hardly offensive. Ko Tee simply stated a matter of fact/conjecture [readers choose] that has been spoken of for about a decade now.
That royalists find his statement about the power of the palace and the king behind the various anti-democratic movements from PAD to be offensive is because this is meant to be unsayable in public. That he names his enemy is both courageous and frank, but immediately allows the royalists to paint the government and red shirts as anti-monarchy.
The Post reports that “Prime Minister’s secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva said Wednesday the premier had ordered him to submit a letter to national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew calling for action against Mr Wuthipong.” Of course, the police have sprung into action on Article 112.
Pol Gen Adul has been “informed by the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) that Mr Wuthipong’s remark in the clip shared on YouTube violates Section 112 on lese majeste in the Criminal Code.” There you go, as in most lese majeste cases, the conviction is already in place.
Not unexpectedly the leader of the failed monarchist party known as the Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva, acting like a toady prefect running to the headmaster, “has also instructed the party’s legal team to file a complaint against Mr Wuthipong for lese majeste…”.
Update: As is usual in lese majeste cases, the crazies get to work. Khaosod reports that “group of royalist activists … demanded that the authorities investigate any possible links between the Canada-based news agency [VICE] and former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.” It continues: “under the name Citizens Volunteer For Defence Of Three Institutes Network” – that’s a new bunch of monarchist crazies as far as PPT can tell, but we suspect it is the usual suspects – “met with police officers at the Crime Suppression Division HQ…. The group brought a DVD copy of the Vice News interview as evidence.” Hmm, in this surreal world of monarchists and lese majeste, this could probably constitute an act of lese majeste itself? (see above)
The leader of the mad monarchists Baworn Yasinthorn “asked the police to investigate whether Vice News is related to Mr. Roberts Amsterdam, a Canada-born lawyer and lobbyist hired by the former Prime Minister, who is also facing a separate lese majeste charge filed by an anti-government activist on Monday.” Below we print the only corporate information for VICE we can find. But really, how silly is this? Baworn is born in Thailand, so does that make him an ally of Thaksin or a red shirt because of place of birth?