The truth that cannot be spoken

15 05 2012

At The Nation, Avudh Panananda has an opinion piece with the headline “Oddities abound in Amphon’s trial and jailing.” One of the oddities, as a reader pointed out to PPT, is that The Nation cannot bring itself to speak the truth.

The article begins well enough: “The death of Amphon Tangnoppakul serves to remind us of a travesty of justice.” Yes, it does, in spades, but the article simply cannot state that Ampol was wrongly convicted. Okay, there may be a fear that the courts will go after a journalist for disputing its decision, but shouldn’t truth win out? Not when you are recycling drivel from ultra-royalists propagandists at outlets like ASTV/Manager.

Avudh rightly points out that Ampol “was at the centre of an ongoing debate between proponents and opponents for change in the lese majeste law.” Of course, that is true, because his sentencing, as an old, sick and self-admitted “loyal” man was so obviously ludicrous and based on legal interpretation that was so obviously politically biased.

But so too were the convictions of other lese majeste victims. Let us mention just two: Darunee Charnchoensilpakul and Joe Gordon. Darunee was taken to a closed court for a secret trial and, beyond all reason and law, the Constitutional Court decided that this illegal process was somehow constitutional.

In Joe’s case, the Thai courts decided that they had jurisdiction over acts that were allegedly committed when he was in the United States and a citizen of that country. The kangaroo court in Thailand decided that he was a Thai by birth so they could frame him.

So the Ampol case is just one of a string of cases that demonstrate the barbaric nature of the royalist ruling class and its puppet courts.

While Avudh’s statement that the “opposing camps should, however, be mindful that this is a time for mourning and reflection, instead of treating the dead man like a political football,” will ring true for many, it is also a sleight of hand. Was it perfectly fine and just royalist dandy to throw this sick old man in in jail as a political football for the royalists and the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime?

The article seems not to be able to say it: Ampol was not guilty. But it is willing to weasel about, implying that others were responsible by “failing” Ampol. Like the horrid ultra-royalists, Avudh seeks to raise questions about Ampol’s lawyers and the way they conducted the case. The article again takes up the ultra-royalist nonsensical claim, and implies that Ampol was somehow framed, with the additional implication that it was by red shirts and his lawyers.

Repeating ultra-royalist inventions and conspiracies provides them with a credibility they most certainly don’t deserve for they are just self-serving concoctions.

The brave and correct thing is to observe that the courts were and are rigged by the monarchist ruling elite and royalist toadies to ensure convictions on lese majeste. The court system is quite simply rigged. Don’t forget that lese majeste charges that go to court have an almost 95% conviction rate!

Why doesn’t the author damn the judges? Avudh shows that they manufactured a conviction of Ampol when, as the article makes clear, there simply wasn’t the necessary evidence to convict? Speaking the truth requires integrity, intelligence and bravery. Repeating ultra-royalist dross in low, lazy and reprehensible.

Avudh makes yet another claim that has been doing the ultra-royalist rounds: “The autopsy report showed Amphon had terminal liver cancer. … Yet in all his eight bail applications, the defence never mentioned cancer.” It is then added: “His poor health was apparent for all to see.”

From the day of his arrest, lawyers and supporters stated that Ampol was sick and mentioned cancer in bail applications. Here’s a report from January 2011. There the discussion was of mouth cancer, but cancer is cancer. If his “poor health was apparent for all to see,” then what do we make of the judges in each of 10 applications for bail and several other court appearances? Were they blind? Perhaps they were blinded by the dazzle of yet another chance to demonstrate the power of the courts in “protecting” the monarchy.

Finally, Avudh gets buried in deeper in royalist yellow propaganda by making the remarkable claim that he was let down by “the people he trusted.” Again, the “blame” for Ampol’s death is sheeted home to those who worked long and hard for this poor and sick man.

The death of Ampol had nothing to do with a vicious and malicious law. It has nothing to do with the royalist lese majeste hysteria stoked by a military and the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime that even concocted royalist plot diagrams that they now admit were bogus. It has nothing to do with the king who does nothing on lese majeste when his supporters bleat that he doesn’t like it. It has nothing to do with salivating and cruel ultra-royalists baying for lese majeste blood. It has nothing to do with a judiciary that manufactures decisions. No, all of Ampol’s travails were the doing of those who supported him!

To repeat, those peddling such royalist tripe are  low, lazy and reprehensible.


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