Death and after II

9 10 2014

While the military dictatorship may see one of its major tasks as being to manage the death and succession of the king, it also seeks to manage politics.

One of the most remarkable pieces of pompous dictating that has come out of the current junta – and there have been plenty – is Deputy Dictator General Prawit Wongsuwan deciding that he can dictate who goes to funerals.Apiwan

The Nation reports that the¬†Deputy Dictator “urged that the funeral rites of former Pheu Thai MP Col Apiwan Wiriyachai be kept free of politics.” Apiwan died in exile, essentially forced out of the country by the military coup in May, and harrassed with lese majeste charges laid on 26 June 2014, three years after a speech deemed by the military to constitute lese majeste.

The Deputy Dictator felt that it was his prerogative to dictate how his relatives and friends could pay their respects. He said:

“It is okay for relatives, friends, and people who respect him, to mourn for him [at the funeral] but they will have to abide by the law. But if [the gathering] is about a political agenda and will lead to political chaos, we [the fascist military dictatorship] will send officials to look over the funeral,” said Prawit.

Prawit was worried that supporters of Apiwan, “who was also a red-shirt leader,” who wanted to pay their respects “would create an opportunity for the red-shirt supporters to create chaos and disrupt the government’s reconciliation plan.” The Deputy Dictator – who will no doubt get a royally-sponsored funeral when he is dead, if the monarchy still exists – declared: “We’ve been working on national security and other aspects to keep the country stable, please do not make any movement to interfere with the country’s stability…”. The implied threat of arresting people at a funeral is stark and cruel.

Meanwhile, The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, “said Apiwan’s charge of violating lese majeste law would be dropped due to his death.” How big-hearted and generous of him. But he also showed his true colors as a military despot by warning that his dictatorship “could not tolerate any violation of order.” That is well known; the dictatorship is intolerant.

When he also stated that “he would not attend the funeral,” and said he “hop[ed] everyone would understand,” we were confused and didn’t understand. Is Prayuth simply full of political and personal hatred? Is he disdainful of red shirts despite all the nonsensical rhetoric about reconciliation?


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12 10 2014
Death and after III | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] couple of days ago, PPT posted on Deputy Dictator General Prawit Wongsuwan deciding that he was such an important boss that he could […]