Updated: Challenges for the state apparatus

22 02 2011

A few hours ago, PPT commented that the increased wave of state control of dissent via the lese majeste law seemed timed “to secure political advantage for the current government and to repress while the world’s attention has shifted to the Middle East.” Yet even as the Thai state attempts to do so, it is facing an uphill battle. Challenges from within and outside the state apparatus are emerging – in a sense, at the same time that those outside are launching deep challenges to the system, its own internal contradictions are being exposed.

First, PPT draws readers’ attention again to the night time arrest of Surachai Sae Dan. PPT quoted the text of the Prachatai article about his arrest, and here we roughly translate Surachai’s comments about how he will proceed in his case:

Mr. Surachai said that he was aware that he had not prepared to ask for bail. He was prepared to go to jail, because the on path of struggle he was prepared for, there would be at least another ten cases like this one. He was not going to struggle only to the point of being arrested and then released. Not at all.  There is no need for people to go and call for his release.

นายสุรชัย กล่าวยอมรับว่าในวันนี้ไม่ได้เตรียมยื่นขอประกันตัว โดยเตรียมที่จะเข้าเรือนจำอยู่แล้ว เพราะแนวทางการต่อสู้ที่เตรียมไว้ ยังต้องมีคดีอย่างนี้ตามมาอีกเป็นสิบคดี จึงไม่ใช่ต่อสู้ว่าแค่จับตรงนี้แล้วปล่อยตรงนี้ มันไม่ได้ ดังนั้นจึงไม่ต้องไปเรียกร้องที่จะให้มีการปล่อยตัว

Surachai’s comments are chilling and arresting. If the state can no longer use arrest under Article 112 as a tactic of intimidation and control, then what?  Despite his insistence that people do not need to call for his release, PPT here notes the unjustness of his arrest. Article 112 should be repealed and Surachai should be released immediately.

In the coming months, proceedings by the Constitutional Court will either aid in undoing the repressive power of the state or further clarify the depths of its monstrosity. Responding to the recent news of the failure of the court to grant bail to Darunee Charnchoensilpak, despite the annulling of her sentence, Elizabeth Fitzgerald at New Mandala highlights the looming constitutional crisis in Thailand.  Fitzgerald points out that when the Constitutional Court considers  whether the original closed-door nature of her trial was legal or not, this is a question of with deep political, and not only procedural, significance. PPT names this a crisis because it should be viewed as one. Rights, justice, and the basic premise of citizenship are at stake.

Updated: Also at New Mandala, Jim Taylor has a post on Surachai’s arrest and his attitude to the state’s use of lese majeste repression.



One response

23 02 2011
Tweets that mention Updated: Challenges for the state apparatus | Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Incognito and per arne granbo, per arne granbo. per arne granbo said: Updated: Challenges for the state apparatus: http://t.co/kRZryzX Take the Lese Majeste Law to the ballot boxes. Let the PEOPLE decide ! […]

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