When the military has impunity it leads to lawlessness. In Thailand, the military has long had impunity and this makes them – quite literally – a law unto themselves. The military has long evade the jurisdiction of civilian courts.
When the military has illegally seized power, impunity is no longer an issue. It just is a fact of life. The military is thus untouchable. Sure, the junta might sometimes throw a soldier or officer under a legal bus, but this is no more than smoke and mirrors. The military is, quite simply, not bound by the laws of the land, the laws of decency or even required to abide by quite basic human traits such as the capacity to distinguish between truth and lies.
In recent weeks, PPT has sometimes pointed out deliberate fabrications emanating from the military junta (as three recent example, see here, here and here). It is obvious that fabrications are the stock in trade of the generals and that they are unable to distinguish between fact and their lies. In fact, it seems that they believe their lies are facts. This is deeply disturbing to the average human being and could be considered a marker for a deep-seated psychological confabulation marking an entire national leadership.
The latest reason for us thinking this is a story at Prachatai that has yet another junta spokesman lying. A few days ago, the sub-committee on civil and political rights of the largely useless and incompetent National Human Rights Commission of Thailand called in “Col Nurat Kongkaew, the Director the Military’s Staff Judge Advocate Office, who came as the representative of the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Somporn Musik, a representative of the Lawyer Council of Thailand, and Kittisak Prokati, a lecturer of the Faculty of Law of Chulalongkorn University.” The police decided to skip the meeting. Those who did show up were to discuss the arrest of the 14 Dao Din students.
A junta representative said that the military took no part in anti-junta activists and dismissed allegations of intimidating villagers who support the activists. The junta’s representative stated that “the military took no part in the arrest of the 14 anti-junta activists on 26 June 2015 and that the police were responsible for the operation.” This is a lie.
Sure, it was the police who arrested the students as they went to a police station, but the police acted for the junta, for the military and used the junta’s laws and were under the orders of the military dictatorship. Nurat confirmed this, saying “that the arrest was done in accordance to the law and that the NCPO acted within the law.” He means the military junta. Nurat also confirmed the lie by refusing to say if there were military officers present when the students were arrested.
The same liar “dismissed allegations that the activists were followed by military officers and said that there is no evidence that military officers paid visits to the houses of the activists.” This is a lie.
When he was asked why the 14 activists were before a military court, Nurat “refused to answer and said that it is policy.” When asked if “military officers [had]… intimidated villagers to prevent them from showing support to the activists,” this fabricator stated that “if there were people who disguised themselves as military officers, then they would be prosecuted according to the law.”
Lies, deceit, fabrication and fiction go together with repression, censorship, torture and impunity to define this military regime.