Readers may have noticed that the mainstream media has been markedly quiet on the death in custody of Police Major Prakrom Warunprapha, accused of lese majeste and held at an Army base when he was “found” hanging in his cell.
Certainly, the holidays means that news is slower, but we can’t help but wonder if the mainstream media has been ordered to say no more? We have no doubt the military junta would want to distance itself from the death, especially when it was the junta that made the lese majeste complaint against the dead man and his two co-accused.
PPT generally doesn’t comment on rumor or post without some link to media reports. However, on this occasion, we feel it reasonable to mention some of the speculation doing the rounds.
One story that has had wide circulation is that one more of the detained men is dead or hospitalized. Police have already denied that Suriyan Sujaritpalawong is in hospital. These claims by the rumor mill are sometimes linked with previous rumors about Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn having been violent to those he dislikes or sees as opponents.
Another rumor is that the military dictatorship is seeking to blame the “previous regime” for the detained man’s demise. The story being concocted seems to be that police, considered close to the various Shinawatra regimes, was seeking to keep him quiet. In other words, the claim is/will be that he was murdered for political reasons.
As PPT has stated previously, this death, like the charges against the three men, will probably never be satisfactorily explained. This is the nature of a political system that is shaped by impunity, a hierarchical official culture and secrecy surrounding the monarchy.