With student activists saying they will undertake a “study tour” of “the scandal-plagued Rajabhakti Park,” as the Bangkok Post describes it, the military junta “has warned against any attempt to stir up political unrest” over park corruption.
When that report came out, “Government spokesman [Maj-Gen] Sansern Kaewkamnerd said everyone is free to visit the park, but they must also ensure no one has ulterior motives.”
Referring to “a planned trip by a pro-democracy student group calling itself Prachathipatai Sueksa (democracy studies) to visit the park, apparently to shed light on some of the fraudulent schemes put in place during the construction of the park,” Sansern sounded rather like the new French Ambassador, but hardly “moderate.”
Sansern stated that “he believed the entire country is aware of what a politically-motivated gathering aims to accomplish.” He claimed certainty that “most people were fed up with activities set out to cause disturbances.” His view, and that of the military dictatorship, is that if visitors to the park “are there to break the law or ruin the peaceful state of the country, they will have to face legal action.”
Sounding anything but the “moderate” regime claimed by new ambassador Gilles Garachon, Sansern declared:
They should be warned never to smear, with their dirty minds, the park that has been built with the faith and loyalty that all Thai people have for the monarchy…. “Everyone, except those with the foul intention to destroy the nation, should visit the park at least once in their lifetime….
These are the threats by a regime that the gullible ambassador says he sees and moderate when he claims he “had not noticed events that were worrisome during this transition [to democracy] period.” We are sure the mad monarchists will love such nonsensical claims as they do the threats by the fascist-monarchist regime.
Over the weekend, the military packed the park with soldiers in uniform.
Gilles, take note that the military junta used its Order No 3 that “authorises security officials to summon people for questioning only in cases of suspected acts of lese majeste, internal security infringement, illegal weapons possession or violations of instructions of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) or its chief.”
Gilles, you are supportive of a draconian regime that came to power over the bodies of protesters and that has discarded a constitution, overthrown an elected government and trampled on democracy. Recall that France is one of the first democracies. Have you forgotten?
Later in the day, as reported at Khaosod, “the military has intercepted a group of activists who attempted to travel to the army’s historical park said to be rife with corruption.” The report states:
Sirawith Serithiwat, co-founder of the pro-democracy group Resistant Citizens, and dozens of his supporters were arrested aboard a train en route to Rajabhakti Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan province Monday morning….
iLaw, an NGO group that tracks legal prosecution of anti-junta activists, said on Twitter that they were told 33 people have been arrested so far.
Gilles, the same report states that your “moderates” had “employed several drastic measures to intercept the group, including cutting off the train car that Sirawith was riding, closing down the historical park ‘for maintenance’ and threatening Sirawith’s mother on Sunday to convince her son to call off the trip.”
Update 1: Social media reports are of 37 arrested. Apparently, a second team of activists is approaching the park.
Update 2: Dr J Taylor, of Australia’s Adelaide University, sent this letter to Gilles Garachon:
Dear Ambassador, your recent comments on the “moderate’ness” in Thailand under the dictator Prayut is astounding as it is absurd. We must be looking at different countries unless you have an ulterior motive in making this remark. There is no place for neo-fascism in today’s world, sanctioned and supported in Thailand by social elements since 2006. The immense power of persisting propaganda in the hands of extreme right-wing pro-monarchists has been worrying. They have generated a well-orchestrated vilification of Thaksin, Thailand’s truly popularly elected Prime Minister; they could have been saying “Thaksin is Jewish”! – The hatred created and perpetuated is the same as in 1930s Germany. Fascists need to vilify in order to mobilise their support, particularly among the petty bourgeoisie and urban middle classes. The control of information, censorship and the immense reach of the monarchy network into all stratums of society (like a computer virus or worm) have been factors in regulating society and the economy under new fascism. There is no middle ground remaining in Thailand, no platform for dialogue or impartiality. Following the fascist dictate, the Thai regime created disorder on the streets and insecurity (e.g. setting the violent PDRC mob out in the streets before coup/s) in order to recreate a semblance of their own constructed and self-interested order. The radical royalists established a compact with corrupt social elements all the while using 112 to silence political opponents with the myth of the “good” or “moral people”; now placed in absolute dominance while any democratic opposition and critics are taken away and silenced…This situation should not be allowed to continue or supported by democratic countries such as France.