Campaigning for the monarchy

5 05 2011

At the very time that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is demanding not a single mention of the monarchy in an election campaign, he is chairing a committee that spends billions promoting the monarchy as the symbol of the royalist’s Thailand. In other words, in a campaign against those considered republicans, who the regime identifies with the red shirts and Peua Thai Party. Abhisit proves once more that he could not lie straight in bed.

Prachatai reports that on 2 May, Abhisit chaired an Internal Security Operations Command meeting that discussed “activities to mobilize the public to protect the monarchy and national security.” Amongst the measures discussed were the ISOC-initiated “security hotline” – the “report a red shirt hotline” – that allegedly promotes “the public’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of security issues and impacts from various threats, and to seek their cooperation in monitoring and informing the authorities on the threats so that a mass coordination centre in each province can quickly solve problems.”

Just since April Fool’s Day, ISOC has despatched some 100 teams to propagandize on “the duties to protect the nation, religion, and monarchy.” This includes “the protection and worship of the monarchy…”.

ISOC promotes free concerts – and in some areas makes it compulsory to attend – to “promote patriotism and loyalty…”. It also “uses its community radio network for national security, consisting of 700 stations, to broadcast via the internet three times a day, focusing on the monarchy’s great gifts to the people and promoting patriotism and loyalty.”

We would assume that all of these stations are correctly registered, but that is a false assumption as these are pro-regime activities and are not subject to any laws, unlike opposition stations, which are harassed, censored and shut down.

ISOC continues the mass-mobilization of vigilantes, known as the Thai Volunteers to Protect the Country, recently “training 209 students of Srinakharinwirot University to produce educational materials to promote the appreciation of the royal kindness and loyalty, and organizing free concerts.”

The monarchy is only banned from politics for some parties. More of those double standards at work. A just which party would these vigilantes be promoting if there is an election?


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