Ugly and barbaric

12 11 2015

In a Los Angeles Times report the deaths in military custody of lese majeste suspects Prakrom Warunprapha and Suriyan Sujaritpalawong in the context of the military dictatorship.

As we already know, The Dictator has stated that “the military was not responsible for the deaths of two detainees suspected of insulting the monarch — including the crown prince’s former personal fortune-teller — who were being held at a controversial army detention site.”

General Prayuth Chan-ocha falsely states that his vicious military is “kind, not cruel” and “rejected concerns over possible human rights violations at the detention facility…”.

It is clear that no one believes him and that everyone has ideas about what really happened. The problem is that the secrecy and fear that surrounds the military junta and the monarchy prevents any truth emerging.

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, associate professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Japan’s Kyoto University is quoted as saying: “I find it shocking on many levels, and one is the extent to which the law is being used more than any time in Thailand’s modern history…”.

Thongchai Winichakul, a professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin is also quoted: “The deaths and the mystery surrounding them are ugly and barbaric…. It hints at something wrong in the state and suggests that those in power have everything to hide. It’s medieval justice.”

“Hints” is probably the wrong word. It shouts! As everyone knows, the military dictatorship has used lese majeste to silence its critics. However, these cases of persons alleged to have fallen out with the Crown Prince’s palace are deeply disturbing. Death solves some problems but creates others, with the specter of a vicious king and a vicious military junta worries many.

Perhaps some are heartened by an old prediction (opens a small PDF banned in Thailand).