Updated: Lese majeste in the toilet

18 10 2014

It is widely reported that a gang of soldiers dispatched to a Bangkok shopping mall has arrested a man identified as Opas Charnsuksai for anti-monarchy graffiti.

Cleaning staff at Seacon Square claim that Opas was “seen writing anti-monarchy graffiti inside toilet stalls in several of the mall’s bathrooms.” Opas was arrested on 15 October and will face trial in military court.

Opas, paraded before reporters, told them “he wrote the remarks because was angry about the coup and wanted to express his discontent. He said he wanted to leave anonymous messages because he was unable to air his opinions openly due to lese majeste laws.”

According to a Prachatai report, the alleged messages “mainly criticized the junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Democrat [Party] government which ruled the country from 2011 to 2013 [they mean 2008 to 2011]. They condemned the two governments for abusing Article 112.”

According to Prachatai, one of the pieces of graffiti read:

The government of clowns that robbed the nation, led by f*** Prayuth. They have issued ridiculous policies of amateur comedians. Their main job is to use the monarchy (uncle [censored by Prachatai is allegedly a reference to the King, merely describes a physical description of a person]). Their main weapon is Article 112. I’m sick of seeing your face [Prayuth] every day. It tells me that you [Prayuth] are near the end because of the looming internal conflict.

Naturally, under arrest with military and police pressing him, Opas said he “now regrets his actions and ‘incorrect’ thoughts about the monarchy.” He added that his opinions were “based on what I read in the media…. I want to caution the public … to carefully consider which media information is right and wrong. Don’t jump to conclusions.”

According to a military officer, Opas “regularly listened to a community radio station” blaming this for “an incorrect understanding about the monarchy.” Presumably the royalist military thugs have told Opas to say this as it smears community radio associated with red shirts.

The same royalist military thug stated: “I don’t want the people to have incorrect understanding about the Higher Institution…. [he means the monarchy] Listening to information can lead to misunderstanding. I want the people who still think and act in this way to stop their behaviour before they are arrested.”

The problem for the military is that many people now have a far more realistic view of the monarchy, its politics and its fabulous wealth than the royalist propaganda permits. The military’s alliance with the monarchy in the 21st century has been toxic for democracy, human rights and equitable development.

Update: Anti-coup graffiti-ist Opas told Prachatai that “the community radio station has actually been defunct for two years and that Burin [the Army Lt. Col.] instructed him to say that he was brainwashed by the radio station.” The dopey and royalist Lt. Col. Burin Thongpraphai “told reporters that “the comments that the suspects made were clear. He can criticise the government, but not the monarchy. There will be many people like this if people consume news without filtering.” Well, we hope people get out there and criticize the military dictatorship! But, of course, this is just more lies from the military, who seem to think that the public in Thailand are as daft as the military is as an institution and individually, at least at the top.



%d bloggers like this: