Updated: Intolerance

22 06 2014

Thailand’s military dictatorship tolerates not a word or action that is considered dissident. The weekend has demonstrated that this is a regime that expects obedience and operates to instil fear through repression.

Prachatai continues to report the junta’s activities. On Friday it reported that minister in the Yingluck Shinawatra government Chaturon Chaisaeng could now face up to 14 years in jail on a series of charges related to his initial refusal to comply with the dictatorship’s illegal orders. No dissent is to be tolerated when the Dictator makes demands, especially when the refusal comes from people considered capable of intelligent dissent. Chaturon’s new charge relates to the Computer Crimes Act for Facebook posts of his statements opposing the coup and the junta. In demonstrating that it brooks no opposition, the junta indicates its fear of Chaturon.

Another opponent feared by the military is red shirt activist Kritsuda Khunasen. She has been missing for many days. She was presumed to be in military custody, prompting Human Right Watch to issue a special call for her to be located. As Prachatai now reports, the military junta has failed to produce her, but has made a statement that “the army is detaining an anti-establishment red-shirt activist at an undisclosed location so she can meditate without any distractions from the outside world.” This raises the specter that the junta is running an Abu Graib-style detention camp. Because “Kritsuda ha[d] a prominent role in providing legal and humanitarian assistance to red-shirt supporters who were affected by political violence” in the murderous 2010 Army-led crackdown on red shirts, she is despised by the Dictator. The junta should be required to produce Kritsuda immediately and release her or lay charges.

In its refusal to accept even silent dissent, the military dictatorship expended huge resources on the weekend capturing anyone considered to be showing such dissent. In one police action, police made it apparent that a red shirt/United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship Buddhist ceremony to remember the people murdered by the military at Wat Pathum Wanaram in 2010 could  barely be tolerated. This meant that only 30 people arrived. One of those, was Usanee Sedsuntree who wore a Respect My Vote t-shirt. For that apparently dastardly act, she was taken off by the police for a “talk.” It is not known how many were prevented from attending the ceremony.

A further large police action was conducted at shopping malls to prevent any displays of anti-coup sentiment. Police reportedly detained eight activists “from the Thai Student Center for Democracy group, just half an hour before their planned activity to hand out sandwiches as symbolic protest against the coup at Siam Paragon Mall.” No free sandwiches as this violates the junta’s demands and edicts. Subway is apparently not suspect as it charges for its sandwiches. It is unclear where the students have been detained and for how long they will be detained. Not long after, a lone and well-dressed student, sitting alone, eating a sandwich and reading “1984” was literally jumped on by police and dragged off.

Silent dissent

Update: Adding to this picture of total intolerance is the report that the “Bangkok Military Court on Monday approved a police request to detain Sombat Boonngamanong, leader of the Red Sunday group and founder of the Mirror Foundation, for another 12 days for further questioning.” Sombat is perceived by the military dictatorship as more of a threat to them than Chaturon. This is because Sombat is a canny organizer who has been critical in mobilizing opposition to military fascism in the past, and has a huge following. The excuse for locking him away is that he has violated the Computer Crimes Act, a quasi-lese majeste charge.


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4 responses

23 06 2014
Most repressive regime | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] In an AP report at the Bangkok Post, this line deserves attention, and matches our earlier post: […]

23 06 2014
Most repressive regime | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] In an AP report at the Bangkok Post, this line deserves attention, and matches our earlier post: […]

25 06 2014
Activist released | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] a few days ago, we called for the military dictatorship to produce Kritsuda immediately and release her or lay […]

25 06 2014
Activist released | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] a few days ago, we called for the military dictatorship to produce Kritsuda immediately and release her or lay […]




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