One of the characteristics of military dictatorship is paternalism, and that is clear in the manner in which it seeks to intimidate the Dao Din students (and their parents). The paternalism is packaged with persistent acts of intimidation.
The parents of one of the anti-coup activists arrested in June claim they have been told by an official to “take their son out of school” to stop him from “mingling” with his friends and participating in anti-junta activities.
To encourage this “suggestion,” the Roi Et Governor Somsak Changtrakul as well as “soldiers and state officials,” have “offered their son a job as a defence corps volunteer in exchange for him dropping out of the university in Khon Kaen, where he and his Dao Din friends flock together to stage social and political activities.”
The governor has denied making such suggestions but that is horse manure.
Chalermsak and Neeranuch Soontararak, parents of Apiwat or “Noi”, state that the “governor told us to encourage our son to quit school and he said he would take care of him. He invited our son for a meal at his official residence and offered him the volunteer job…”. Intimidation.
They also point out that the authorities “have been visiting us very frequently after there was a legal case in which our son and his friends held up a protest banner against the junta…”. The father stated that “[m]ore than 40 soldiers and state officials have also visited him at his workplace. The students as well as his colleagues were panic-stricken…”.
That’s the aim. Intimidation.
The paternalism of this intimidation is evident in the “blaming” attached to the parents: “They asked how we raised our son…”.
The soldiers also prowl their neighborhood. Intimidation.
They show up at family events. Intimidation.
One parent wrote: “You are unforgivingly intimidating our personal space…”.