Open-mouthed disbelief IV

10 09 2019

That Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao is a convicted heroin smuggler seems not to bother anyone in the military-backed government.

Yesterday he strolled with Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha in Yasothon and Ubon Ratchathani, together with Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob. Readers might consider this a pack of goons and thugs, but only Thammanat has served jail time.

Today, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan claims that having a convicted drug trafficker as a minister “is unlikely to be affected…”.

Gen Prawit mumbled something about Thammanat needing “to handle the problem himself,” but went onto say that the drug conviction “was old news and Mr Thammanat said earlier he had already cleared the case.”

“Cleared appears to mean telling journalists a pack of lies, which the recent Australian newspaper reports correct.

Gen Prawit then went further, saying that Minister Thammanat’s drug trafficking conviction “had nothing to do with the country.” He then added that there was no problem as “Thammanat had been released from prison.”

It seems that Gen Prawit is hinting at Section 98 of the junta’s constitution that allows persons to stand for election 10 years after having completed their sentence.

Is that enough for a drug trafficker and thug? The court of public opinion may have another view.

Another line the former junta has been pushing is that a “movement abroad” is undermining the “government’s credibility.” Remarkably, that bit of nonsense was put by a “journalist.” Gen Prawit shrugged. But the implication is that if it wasn’t for nasty foreigners or anti-regime elements, Thammanat’s criminality would be no problem at all. That mindset is difficult to fathom.


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12 09 2019
Open-mouthed disbelief VI | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] just gets worse and worse. Thammanat Prompao’s lies and deceit multiply by the day. Now, some readers might think he’s just a dope rather than a convicted […]