Ideological diversity dangerous / state surveillance

9 10 2010

The Bangkok Post has an interview with the new head of the 3rd Army based in the north, Lt. Gen. Wannathip Wongwai. Such interviews are usually revealing of the attitudes held in the senior military, and this one is no different.

For PPT, the most interesting statement is this on promoting “national reconciliation”: “Different opinions are normal. But ideological differences must not drive Thais to kill one another. A deep divide among people will affect national security and the royal institution…. The military will do its best to bring the situation back to normal.”

The general is stating the widely held view in the military leadership that the monarchy is unable to be reformed or criticized in any way. Different opinions are fine, but not when it comes to the monarchy. Thinking about the monarchy is not tolerated. It just has to be accepted. Hence, conflict will continue.

With the likelihood that conflict is to continue, the state is watching. Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra revealed that the “city administration had installed CCTVs at more than 800 locations deemed as vulnerable to attack. It had also set up a network of volunteers in all 1,868 communities to keep a close watch for suspicious items and people.” A snitch in every neighborhood? The report adds: “Another source, however, said that in fact, a total of 2,928 CCTVs had been installed in the city. Of this number, 1,972 of them are functioning well. Some 280 CCTVs are used to monitor traffic, the rest are waiting to be hooked up to power supplies from the Metropolitan Electricity Authority. City Hall plans to install 10,000 more CCTVs within the next two years.”

London has about 10,000 state-installed CCTVs operating while rates in the US are far lower, although private installations have increased substantially.



One response

10 10 2020
CCTV for “security” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] supplies from the Metropolitan Electricity Authority. Then, while there were various estimates, it was stated that there were already almost 3,000 CCTVs that had already been installed in […]

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