As the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime continues its political campaign to “protect the monarchy,” a statement by Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon suggests that republican elements are at work within the military.
In the Bangkok Post, Prawitis said to have issued a “warning during a meeting of the Defence Council yesterday in the presence of senior authorities from the Defence Ministry, the armed forces and the council.”
Prawit is apparently so concerned about anti-monarchy websites that “publicise messages that dishonour the King and the royal institution” and “movements to undermine the monarchy” that he he wants “the armed forces chiefs to closely check on internet use by their subordinates.”
He blamed “Thais at home and abroad” for these websites but wanted “military units responsible for supervising the use of the internet to report such abuses by soldiers so those involved could be dishonourably discharged and prosecuted and would not lead others to follow.”
Prawit opined that the “military is directly responsible for protecting the royal institution and must be a good example for the people. All soldiers must strictly observe their code of conduct…”.
This is, for PPT, just one more example of the fascist tendencies within the current regime as it rolls back the remaining freedoms available to Thais and to prevent opposition to the current political arrangements.
That this statement is about the military is no real surprise as its rank and file is made up of ordinary Thais and will thus have different political views represented. But Prawit wants to ensure that the dull and narrow orthodoxy prevails for all, and especially for those expected to enforce repression.