More lese majeste accusations by ultra-royalists

18 04 2011

Two items of interest are reported indicating the rightist/rightist mobilization of ultra-royalists for another round of battles with the red shirts and Puea Thai Party, including Thaksin Shinawatra.

The first item is in the Bangkok Post, in the same report we used in this post. It reports that a group calling itself Motherland Protection has met the chief of the political police known as the Department of Special Investigation, Tharit Pengdit, and called “on him to take legal action against the red shirt leaders for allegedly offending the monarchy during the rally [on 10 April].” The group seemed to be led by Monchai Rabruentaweesuk, who “accused the red shirt leaders, particularly Mr Jatuporn [Promphan], of offending the monarchy during their speeches at the rally.”

Tharit reponded that the DSI would “ask the Office of the Attorney-General to withdraw bail for the nine red shirt leaders who face fresh charges of lese majeste laid by the army.” See our earlier post on Tharit’s crazed interpretation of lese majeste. Political copper Tharit says this action “follows the DSI’s study of taped speeches by United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship leaders who addressed crowds that gathered last Sunday.” He added: “the DSI had made considerable progress in its inquiry into lese majeste allegations against 18 red shirt leaders who attended the rally.”

The second report is at New Mandala by Nick Nostitz, reporting on the arrival of red shirt leaders as a police station to file counter-charges against Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha. (See PPT’s earlier post on this here.) Nostitz reports on ultra-royalists being at the police station, apparently organized and waiting for the red shirts. He says:

… just in front of the police station about 200 to 300 “Monarchy Protection Volunteers” were protesting. Most of them were dressed in pink. They held portraits of the King and the Queen, and s[a]ng royalist songs…. The Monarchy Protection Volunteers announced their demands: the protection of the monarchy, to sponsor democracy, to keep the lese majeste laws in place, to call on people to protect the monarchy, and to ask journalists and the people to protect the monarchy. The name of their group was “Sahaphan Khon Thai Pok Bong Sathaban” (Federation of Thais Protecting the Monarchy), and their leader Rachen Trakulwieng claimed that they came from local Monarchy Protection Volunteer groups of several districts.

One of several photos by Nick Nostitz at New Mandala

Nostitz reports that the Monarchy Protection Volunteers were joined by “a few members of Dr. Tul’s group filed another lese majeste case against the Red Shirt leaders.” We assume that Nostitz refers to Tul Sitthisomwong, of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine. PPT has posted on Tul here previously, when he was busily organizing yellow shirts as pink shirts. Back then, Tul and his group were opposing an election (the red shirt’s demand) and the date of their mobilization is significant, being just a few days before the army’s first blundered attempt to suppress the red shirt rally. Tul’s group are reported to have said they had simply decided to join the Monarchy Protection Volunteers.

Nostitz observes:

This new group of the Monarchy Protection Volunteers was most definitely not People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and/or their many sub- and splinter groups, other than Dr. Tul’s group…. None of the color and professionalism of the PAD events was visible, and none of the regular participants of the PAD were there…. The organization of this group reminded me of Interior Ministry sponsored events I have seen previously, also several of the participants might have been soldiers out of uniform.

PPT has the same impression. It seems that the Army and Bhum Jai Thai Party-Ministry of Interior – probably masterminded by Newin Chidchob – are intent on driving up the political tension through the use of ultra-royalist “protesters.” We wonder if the pink shirts are recycled from earlier yellow shirt/pink shirt/no color mobilizations. As seems common for April, the political temperature is rising as the dinosaurs of Thai politics maneuver to get their way, trampling on democratic rights and political freedoms.



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