In a report at The Nation, Deputy Government spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd has “warned the public to consume information with judgement…”. We almost never agree with much that emerges from the official mouthpieces of The Dictator and his junta. After all, they are propagandists. However, this time he is absolutely correct.
We think no one should consume any propaganda from the military dictatorship with considerable “judgement.” Indeed, with considerable skepticism. This is especially the case for the reports from the junta regarding the students currently languishing in jail for being anti-coup and remembering the 1932 Revolution.
Police have been ordered to find the “puppet masters” who the junta believes are “behind” the students. There are no such figures. These students have long been independent activists and have shown few links with any political movement or party. So the Keystone Cops are identifying those who have offered even moral support to the students and their cause as “puppet masters.”
It was only a day ago that PPT predicted the discovery of a “plot.” We stated: expect some arrests and a claim of a network and plot, with a likelihood for lese majeste accusations and undefined threats to national security. The junta is moving down this path.
Metropolitan Police Chief Lt-General Sriwara Rangsipramkul said that “[a]vailable evidence suggests possible links…. We believe there will be more arrests pretty soon.”
As ludicrous as this is, the junta is agitated about the defiance of the students and “are preparing to arrest suspects the authorities believe have steered the anti-coup movement from behind the scenes.” Perhaps academics who have issued statements supporting the students will be harassed in the way that their lawyers have.
Apparently this is the “plan” as PM’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana said the student’s supporters “such as academics and others who backed them” were not necessarily campaigning “with honest intent.”
The Nation is wrong in stating that the cops had search warrants to search lawyer Sirikan Charoensiri’s car, for they initially attempted an illegal search, returning later with a warrant. In that “search,” the cops searched the car, parked at the Bangkok Military Court, seizing “five mobile phones believed to belong to the arrested students.”
This exercise is so pathetic that the report states that the police “are considering whether to charge Sirikan.” We expect that holding mobile phones is not yet a crime, even in the junta’s Thailand, so the cops will have to invent something.
Lawyer Yaowalak Anuphan said that the arrested “students … had no intention to requesting bail.” She added that they consider “themselves as political prisoners and they hoped the junta would release all political prisoners, not just them.”
As usual when the military dictatorship is making stuff up, its puppet and hired minions have expressed support and legality for the junta’s illegal actions. Odious Deputy Prime Minister-for-hire Wissanu Krea-ngam claimed “that the ban on political rallies” does not violate the 2014 interim charter, claiming that Article 5 of that military document allows the junta to do anything it wants and that anything it does is somehow “legal.”
He’s making it up, the junta is concocting plots and Thailand is falling deeper into a political dark age.