More red shirts on lese majeste charges

3 11 2010

About a week ago PPT posted on army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s warnings to red shirts. He warned them that “government officials would not tolerate threats to the monarchy.”

Prayuth complained that “Every time there is a gathering [of the red shirts], there are posters and graffiti [against the monarchy]. Let me inform you that we now have evidence and are in the process of making arrests. Do not whine, because we have warned you many times and you are not supposed to do that.”Then, if accurately quoted, he makes this truly bizarre claim: “Thailand came into existence due to the monarchy…”. He warned: “We have [evidence] in websites, posters and graffiti. We have all the pictures and we must see when they will be persecuted.”

Prachatai reports that Prayuth, his fellow royalist the chief of police and the Abhisit Vejjajiva leadership are following through on this threat. It is reported that a “court has approved arrest warrants for two women who were caught in photographs writing offensive messages during a red-shirt rally at the Democracy Monument on 10 Oct.” This refers to the red-shirt rally at the Democracy Monument “when two women were shown in photographs writing messages offensive to the monarchy.”

The police now have arrest warrants for the two and copies of their photos “will be distributed to police and relevant officials who will search for them in all places where they might show up.”

The police also reportedly say that they “will investigate whether their offences have any connection with any others, or were supported by red-shirt leaders.” It seems that this is one way that the angry royalists can strike back at the peaceful campaigns by Sombat Boonngamanong and thousands of red shirts that have been said to be “more dangerous than violent campaigns, as they cannot be handled by the law.”

The regime has found that they can fall back on the trusty political weapon of the lese majeste law.

As a footnote, it is interesting to note that Abhisit’s former bleating regarding “a committee” to consider lese majeste cases has evolved into the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations being the committee.



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