Tracking down anti-monarchists for “reconciliation”

27 06 2010

PPT missed reporting this from Prachatai about a week ago. Many readers will have seen it, yet it remains significant enough to warrant posting here. The story comes from a report on a cabinet meeting of 15 June, where the new ICT Minister Chuti Krairoek made a report to all of his anxious colleagues regarding websites containing allegedly lese majeste comments. We certainly trust that PPT was discussed and that all ministers read our content, even if they have to do so via Cooloo.

The minister “said that Jakrapob Penkair and Giles Ungpakorn are still active in conveying information through websites in Europe.” Perhaps more significantly, he also reported that the ministry had discovered “a group of 200 people that constantly posts LM messages online, which is against the law.”

The royalist’s prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva apparently urged the minister to “negotiate with the people related to the websites according to the National Reconciliation Roadmap.” That seems like a negotiation that would go like this: “Stop or you go to jail.”

Then the man the military shoe-horned into the prime ministership is reported to state: “A big problem is to censor the websites, for example, Prachatai. It appears that the owner of the website who is a lady has proficiently coordinated with foreign countries by sending them a photo of her behind jail bars to accuse the government for suppressing freedom of the press, so we have to negotiate in keeping with the reconcilation roadmap.”

Of course, PPT understands him. The difficult task is in dealing with those with international connections – for the rest, just jail them and threaten them. By the way, the photo of Chiranuch Premchaiporn referred to is readily available with a search for images on Google and doesn’t need to be a part of any international conspiracy.

In its increasingly Orwellian world, ICT Minister Chuti assigned the Ministry “to look after how people use websites, which is another policy to promote reconciliation. Soon, the Ministry will summon owners of the websites to talk and negotiate for them to restrict the rules of their websites. If there are messages that violate the law, distort the information, or provoke the public, officers will be taking charge of the websites. The minister also insists that this is not a control or restriction of rights to hold opinions.”

For PPT, this sounds like a statement from the Burmese military junta. But that’s where the current government seems to be locating itself in political terms.

More threateningly, “the cabinet has approved an establishment of a new office in one month to look after the violation of the Computer-Related Crime Act to protect and take care of the royal institution.” More royalist nonsense. The more they do this, the more the spotlight is on the royal household and the politics of the palace.


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