The Dictator and his minions are very angry with Pavin Chachavalpongpun.
Already living in exile in Japan because the military junta withdrew his passport and charged him with lese majeste, Pavin has been a regular commentator on the monarchy, the military and politics.
His most recent outing has been at the New York Times, where he argues that The Dictator is at odds with the grand old man of the palace Prem Tinsulanonda. He writes that a “rift is growing within the military-royalist establishment, threatening the country’s stability and undermining prospects that the upcoming royal succession will unfold smoothly.” He argues that Prem’s power is on the wane as General Prayuth Chan-ocha and his cronies rises.
Pavin observes that the Prince “Vajiralongkorn, for his part, seems to have endorsed General Prayuth’s coup…”, adding further to the current clique’s power. He sees a succession clash between the two groups.
No one may be sure about this scenario but we can be sure that it annoys the military dictators. So annoyed that they are whining to the Japanese, asking the “the [new] Japanese ambassador to ‘reconsider’ whether it is appropriate for Japan to shelter an academic [Pavin] charged with insulting the Thai monarchy…”.
Pavin certainly seems to be able to get under the thin skin of the royalists and the military dictatorship.