Updated: Still intent on silencing

2 09 2015

The Bangkok Post reports that the military dictatorship has revoked the passport of former Puea Thai Party education minister Chaturon Chaisaeng.

Why? Apparently “for defying the NCPO’s summons to report in, breaching martial law and inciting unrest in violation of Section 116 of the Criminal Code.”

In junta-speak, Chaturon has dared to chastise the criticism averse military junta.

The ministry source lied that the “passport cancellation was a normal practice at the ministry.” This is an unusual action and is targeting a politician the junta fears will criticize the draft constitution it is forcing on the nation and its people.

Chaturon is an articulate critic, in both English and Thai, and the junta wants to silence him in the run up to the constitution referendum, and we suspect that the junta is using this as a warning or is concocting further charges against him.

Update: The Bangkok Post reports that Chaturon has demanded an explanation for the revoking of his passports – one current and one expired. He reveals that while the “military court had approved his requests to travel abroad three or four times during the past 12 months,” the military junta has “recently rejected two requests, saying he had criticised them too much.”

Adding to this explanation of the personalized and paternalistic authoritarianism, The Dictator General Prayuth Chan-ocha said that Chaturon’s passports were revoked because he was “making the same mistakes over and over,” and this was “despite being warned a dozen times.” He added: “Let’s look at their behaviour [opposition politicians]. If they are warned several times and don’t obey, then there must be some degree of punishment…”.