Readers will be well aware of the death in military custody of Police Major Prakrom Warunprapha, accused of lese majeste. Officially, we are told by the Minister responsible for “Justice” General Paiboon Khumchaya that “the case is now closed” and that Prakrom committed suicide. The public is left to ponder a lese majeste accusation that was never explained, detention in a military prison under circumstances that will never be explained and a death in military custody that will not be explained or investigated.
Yet reader may have missed the story of another “suicide” story this week, reported at The Nation: “Sitthikorn Boonchim, 44, better known as Sia Oud, was found dead in his Phitsanulok hotel room on Thursday night. There were no signs of a struggle or an assault.” He is said to have left a suicide note. A friend stated that he had met the dead man several times in the past week and that his sudden unresponsiveness was abrupt.
Sia Oud “was once a high-profile and tremendously rich amulet maker. ” The report states that his “life began to spiral out of control after several amulet buyers complained that his company wrongfully advertised that the production and distribution of amulets had been backed by the Palace since late 2007.” He was later sent to jail for 5 years for the “use and imitation of an official emblem without permission.”
These are interesting times.