A few days ago we happened to mention the king’s pooch Thong Daeng. We said that, like the king and his family, the favorite royal dog is great, a gem and highly talented. In fact, the bitch is to be venerated.
We added that in any sane society such royal ridiculousness would be treated with the scorn it deserves and the participants would rightly be considered strange, a bit deranged or laughably loony.
… suspected lese majeste offender Thanakorn Siripaiboon has been accused of violating the law against defaming the monarchy by spreading “sarcastic” content which mocked … the [k]ing’s dog, Tong Daeng.
[Prosecutors stated that] … On Dec. 6, 2015, the suspect copied three images from Twitter and spread it on [his] personal Facebook…. These are images which contain sarcastic contents about the royal dog….
… Although the specific message was not identified, Thanakorn posted three images to Facebook related to the dog on Dec. 6. One was an image about Tong Daeng’s royal connection, and two were screenshots of comments from other social media users. At the top, Thanakorn wrote how much he was “emotionally moved” by their sentiments.
Thanakorn also faces another charge of lese majeste for clicking “Like” on a doctored image of His Majesty on Facebook and a charge of sedition for sharing an infographic detailing alleged corruption behind the construction of the scandal-plagued Rajabhakti Park.
Anyone with even half a brain will recognize this as official and royalist lunacy. At this point in Thailand’s descent into royalist insanity, it is crystal clear that the wording of the lese majeste, as draconian as it is, has been thrown aside. It doesn’t apply to dogs or dead kings or some members of the royal family, but what the law says is ignored in a frenzy of repression and fear (of the future, succession, opposition, loss or power, etc.).*
At least Thanakorn was finally produced, having been held in a secret military jail for several days. In another act of junta idiocy, Prachatai is threatened with a defamation case for saying Thanakorn was at the 11th Military Circle military-controlled prison. Today it is reported that Thanakorn was taken back there.
As anticipated, the Bangkok Post reports that while at the military court today:
Thanakorn recorded a confession on a video clip about six minutes long, saying that he posted on the social media the infographic of an alleged “corruption chart” — which implicates many people in the alleged irregularities which have plagued the construction of Rajabhakti Park … with an intention to provoke and attack the government.
Confession is “required” in all lese majeste cases going to the military court; it allows those involved to be locked up with only perfunctory court appearances before incompetent and politically-biased military officers sitting as “judges.”
Update: The Bangkok Post reports that the military court approved Thanakorn being held for a further 12 days of interrogation and isolation. The Post also states that “Thanakorn also released a confession in a six-minute clip yesterday, saying he was responsible for the campaign against the government. He also asked other activists not to exploit his arrest to pursue their political agenda.” That sounds like the junta speaking.
Also reported is that:
… about 10 members of the New Democracy Movement led by Rangsiman Rome yesterday read out a statement criticising authorities for pressing lese majeste charges and inciting disorder against those who posted or shared the diagram.
Mr Rangsiman admitted the diagram was created by his group’s Facebook page but called on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to clarify the details.
He said he was ready to work with authorities but insisted that without the prime minister’s explanations, the public could believe the government was using the lese majeste law to distract attention from the Rajabhakti scandal.
Student activist Sirawith Seritiwat yesterday lodged a petition with the Criminal Court seeking the release of another suspect being detained over sharing the Rajabhakti diagram.
*Khaosod says that Bundith Arniya was convicted for “writing allegorically about a dog the court deemed a reference to Tong Daeng intended to defame the king.” We have not heard this previously.