Police disrupt (publishing) plot

20 09 2020

The activists arranging yesterday’s rally were intercepted by police on their way to Thammasat University.

Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak was transporting “50,000 copies of a booklet containing the transcription of the speeches on monarchy reform given at the 10 August demonstration at Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus which were to be given out at the protest on Saturday afternoon.”

The police, claiming “national security,” declared that “the booklet is illegal and an attempt to overthrow the government,” later adding that “the content could be considered an insult to the monarchy.” They confiscated the booklets “and took the students with them to the police station.”

In fact, the publication is also available online and has been widely downloaded.





Updated: Concocting a plot

14 08 2020

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha seems to be claiming that there’s a “network” at work behind student protesters, amounting to yet another anti-monarchy” plot. There’s been lots of plots “revealed” in the past, especially by the military junta after the 2014 military coup. These multiple “plots” dissolved into almost nothing following initial “revelations.” Unfortunately, some innocents were usually harassed or jailed in some of these military-concocted plots.

Perhaps the best known concocted plot came in 2010, when the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime concocted a lom jao (ล่มเจ้า) “plot.” The diagram associated with this official lie presumed to show links (and funding) behind the non-existent plot to bring down the monarchy.

The 2012 anti-monarchy plot diagram

The latest “plot” is hedged as a “search” for those “funding” the students.

The claims of a shadowy figure behind the students circulated widely on deep yellow social media, from some of the military brass, and in some of the mainstream media. An Iranian-Russian-Chinese-yellow shirt-alt right-linked version comes from the usual source, claiming official US-funding is behind the student groups. We suppose that this source is receiving funding from official Thai sources, but we will never know, for while demanding funding transparency for others, has no transparency in its own operations.

Gen Prayuth blathered “[t]hese activities cost a lot. Where does the money come from? This must be checked out thoroughly…. Is there anyone behind it?” He implied that broad investigations of the students are under way. He added: “It is important to refrain from offences. That is not Thailand… At this time it is too dangerous, and unacceptable to most people…”.

In making such claims, Gen Prayuth is threatening the students, seeking to intimidate them, and denigrating their motives, painting them as naive children.

Update: The Bangkok Post reports that investigations against students who made comments about the monarchy are underway.

Nang Loeng police have summoned Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and five other activists to answer questions about a July 20 rally. In a complaint made to police, Parit has been accused of lese majeste

Gen Prayuth says that the authorities – police and military – are seeking to identify people who called for reform of the monarchy. He stated that “those who rallied at the university made comments that potentially violated Section 112 of the Criminal Code…”.





Updated: Royalist plotting

19 09 2019

Among others, Khaosod noted the “report” that was “seen on PM [Gen] Prayuth Chan-ocha’s desk during a parliament session on Wednesday” when he did not respond to his unconstitutional oath.

That official document is apparently titled “Network Plotting to Destroy the Nation…”. Initially, “Government spokeswoman Naruemon Pinyosinwat said the report was compiled by officials who work on ‘national security issues,’ but declined to elaborate, saying the content is ‘classified’.”

Khaosod observed that the “report’s cover photo appears to show the aftermath of a recent bomb attack in Bangkok.”

The Bangkok Post has more detail, translating the report’s title as “network of elements sabotaging the nation…”. Its anonymous “source within the government” disclosed that the report was “prepared for a briefing by intelligence and security agencies,” with “the elements” claimed to be “sabotaging the nation” are “political figures whose acts are deemed to offend the high institution of the monarchy.”

In other words, as has been since the period leading up to the 2006 military coup, the royalist military and its supporters are concocting yet another “plot” against the monarchy. This follows concoctions like the Finland Plot and the infamous anti-monarchy “plot” and “diagram” under the royalist military-backed Abhisit Vejjajiva regime.

The anti-monarchy plot diagram

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has confirmed that it “has information about a network…”.

As the Post observes, no names have been mentioned, but Army boss Gen Apirat Kongsompong “had previously mentioned some groups which he believed intended to harm the country…” and referred to “a movement which was trying to provoke a civil war between ‘pro-democracy’ and ‘pro-junta’ factions.” He was essentially attacking the Future Forward Party.

And it was only a few days ago that the Criminal Court ruled that ultra-royalist prince Chulcherm Yugala, who declared the Future Forward Party dangerous republicans “seeking to overthrow the monarchy,” had not libeled that party.

Quite obviously, the military, its ISOC – an “intelligence” agency – and the regime is going to use the monarchy against democratic and parliamentary opposition.

Such plotting by the regime may be dismissed as the musings of old generals who crave power and serve the ruling class.

However, such maniacal plotting in the military and probably in the palace has real and terrible consequences such as military coups, lese majeste, jailings, bashing of opponents, enforced disappearance and torture and murder.

Clipped from Thai Alliance for Human Rights website

Even in recent days, the family of victims of such accusations have been harassed by the regime thought police. Kanya Theerawut, the mother of missing political refugee Siam Theerawut, disclosed “that the Rights and Liberties Protection Department [a useless part of the Ministry of Justice] … told her not to take her son’s case to the UN, as it could ruin the country’s image.” We think the regime has done plenty to ruin Thailand’s image. She was also “visited and questioned by Special Branch officers…”, which is a standard regime means of intimidation.

It is the royalist plotting that is most intense and most deranged. It is also hugely expensive. This regime plotting is far more dangerous than anti-monarchists.

Update: A reader points out that the report on the political harassment of Kanya came just a couple of days after Shawn Crispin at Asia Times erroneously claimed: “Political scores are being aired and contested in the open, not through late-night police state knocks on the door…”. Like the reader, we are confused as to why a journalist would want to whitewash the current regime’s political repression.





The luxury watch “plot”

2 04 2018

Now that the Deputy Dictator has declared his luxury watch scandal “over,” he’s become more animated.

The Bangkok Post reports that Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has come up with yet another “plot” or “conspiracy” to explain why there was interest in the appearance of millions of baht’s worth of luxury watches on his wrist.

Like other “plots” manufactured by the regime, this is a self-serving concoction. He is essentially claiming that “opponents” were creating the scandal rather than his own arrogance, where he believes – perhaps correctly – that he can get away with anything.

Prawit has blamed the “opposite side” – by this he usually means Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters – in insisting that “the whole affair was designed to attack Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.” In doing this he also seeks to win back some of the middle class in Bangkok who are worried by junta corruption. By making the affair a political plot, he seeks to influence that yellowish group.

More remarkable was his claim of victimhood:  “It hurts, doesn’t it?… I’m a victim used by the opposite side to hit the prime minister in the leg.”

Prawit shows he’s arrogant, self-consumed and a dolt.

He continued his doltish “explanation,” giving great insight into ruling class culture, claiming late “billionaire Pattawat Suksingwong who died early last year … was an avid collector of more than 200 watches and some were lent to him [Prawit]…”. He continued his doltish claims : “Pattawat was very rich. He had given me his watches for more than 20 years. When I got bored with one, I returned it to him and he gave me new one…”. No corruption there. No political influence sought. No rents collected or paid. Sure…

Gen Prawit declared: “I’m not stupid…. I’ve worked as a minister for many terms. Why don’t I know about the asset declarations?” adding that he screwed up on the assets declaration. Stupid? You bet. Corrupt? Of course.

One result of the Deputy Dictator’s affair with this billionaire is the complete undermining of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. Its politicized “investigation,” which, so far, amounts to a poorly constructed cover-up, should be the final nail in the NACC’s coffin.





Further updated: Behind the “plot”

5 12 2017

The Nation reported about a day ago that The Dictator reckons the “discovery” of one set of rusted weapons and another set of brand spanking new ones were of a batch that “belonged to Ko Tee or Wuthipong Kachathamakul.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha also predicted that there might be more weapons to be found, and we guess he should know.

In our earlier post we suggested that this sudden “discovery” might have been a sign of political desperation, another excuse to delay elections or testing the gullibility of the media and population. We now think these might all be reasons for the discovery but we also think we missed the most likely explanation.

But some more contextualization from a report in the Bangkok Post.

It is stated that “[w]arrants for the arrest of five people, including former PM’s Office minister Jakrapob Penkair and former 3rd Army deputy chief Maj Gen Manas Paolik, for their alleged links with the recent discovery of a huge [sic.] arms cache in Chachoengsao will be sought…”. The other “suspects” are Watana Sapwichien, Somjet Kongwatana and Chaiwat Polpho (Peak Kalamae).

In other words, it is being cast as a red shirt plot.

Oddly, “Watana was said to have reported to the Army Air Defence Operation Centre 1 in Pathum Thani on Friday. He has been taken into custody at the 11th Military Circle.”

Even odder still, it seems that Watana “was earlier arrested in 2014 for allegedly conspiring to possess firearms and explosives.” Read this and wonder if this isn’t the usual stitch-up:

His arrest was announced in the joint police and army press briefing on Aug 13, 2014.

According to the briefing at that time, Mr Watana’s arrest was made following the apprehension of Mr Somjet, who was accused of supplying weapons, including M79 grenade launchers and RGD 5 grenades, to people during demonstrations by the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Mr Somjet allegedly told officers at that time he had delivered the weapons to Mr Watana, who would distribute them further. Mr Watana then allegedly confessed to the charges.

Mr Watana allegedly told police during that time he received weapons from Mr Somjet and handed them to Mr Chaiwat, who would carry out attacks in various places.

Mr Watana allegedly also told police that he had dumped some of the weapons in Ayutthaya’s Lat Bua Luang district for fear of being arrested.

The strange bit is that, if they were arrested in 2014 on such serious charges, why are they wandering around now? Are they working for ISOC? Are they connected to Ko Tee or were they the men providing “evidence” against him in the earlier weapons “find.”

But here’s what we think is really going on. The junta may get away with deception, tarnish red shirts further and delay their “election,” but we noted that one report stated Jakrapob was thought to be “hiding” in Cambodia.

Then we recalled our post on trouble for dissidents. We think the “sudden” discovery is possibly one element in an effort to extradite exiled red shirts from Cambodia.

Update 1: The junta has provided a kind of “reply” to some of our comments above, as reported in the Bangkok Post. It may be a coincidence that as this report emerged, so did the sentencing of the man who admits to bombing the Army hospital, stating that he “despised the military-led government.” In addition to “a total of 27 years in prison [reduced] because he cooperated,” he was “fined 500 baht, reduced from 1,000 baht, for carrying the bomb in a public place.”

That sentence is revealing when it is considered the junta has launched a “probe … to determine why one [Watana] of the five men allegedly linked to a huge [sic.] arms cache … was released early from prison after a weapons conviction in 2014…”. The report continues:

Watana was earlier arrested on Aug 13, 2014 for allegedly conspiring to possess firearms and explosives. The suspect allegedly told officers at that time he handed weapons to another man, who would carry out attacks during demonstrations by the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

A police source said Watana had links to the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

Doubts have been raised as to the effectiveness of the punishment in relation to the 2014 offence as he is now suspected of having committed a similar transgression just three years later.

They don’t know? Seriously? That beggars belief. We also loved the picture of the “discovery” of weapons in 2014, which we reproduce below from the Bangkok Post.

This is a “diver”? Seriously? Interestingly, these weapons – not rusty – were also under water.We can only marvel at the capacity of the police and the junta for these marvelous “discoveries.”

Update 2: The Nation reports that not only has Jakrapob angrily denied the charges but more information on Watana. The latter “was summoned and detained for questioning on December 1 and released on Thursday…”. He was said to have “provided authorities with useful information…”. It is added that Watana “was convicted of crimes in 2014 related to military weapons and sentenced to 40 months in jail. Because of his confession, his jail term was commuted to 20 months and he had just completed the term.” This is a highly dubious story.





Updated: Another “plot”

1 12 2017

Whenever the military dictatorship feels a bit of political pressure it comes up with some king of red shirt “plot.”

Hey presto, there’s another one. Suddenly, the cops have found “war weapons” under water in a rice field looking a bit like a swamp.

Clipped from Bangkok Post

The “weapons,” already “investigated,” were to be used by “political elements” who “were prepared to bring the weapons to Bangkok to incite strife…”. The police added that “several firearms and rounds of ammunition came from the same sources and matched the evidence collected by police from scenes of unrest and from people arrested during the 2014 political turmoil…”. They even claim to know the person responsible.

Wonderful investigations and forensics. After all, the rusty junk had been under water for months. Exactly which “political elements” store their weapons in such a manner?

Clipped from the Bangkok Post

Will anybody believe this? Is it a sign of political desperation? Or just another part of an excuse to delay elections because of “unrest”? Or just testing the gullibility of the media and population?

Update: Remarkably, given that he was forcibly disappeared and probably murdered, Deputy Dictator General Prawit Wongsuwan has linked the underwater weapons to Wuthipong Kachathamakul or Ko Tee. Equally remarkably, Prawit “told reporters today that the armaments appeared to be from the same cache of weapons soldiers found in a residence linked to Ko Tee in March.” Those weapons were linked to an alleged assassination plot against The Dictator.





Updated: Yet another anti-monarchy “plot”

3 10 2017

Thailand’s recent politics has been awash with rightist and royalist claims of “plots” against the monarchy. The military dictatorship claims to have “discovered” another such “plot.” This time the plot is claimed to be a plan to disrupt the funeral for the dead king.

PPT can only express disdain for this political ploy and we can only wonder if anyone still believes such nonsense. As much as we’d like to see an an anti-monarchy plot in Thailand, we haven’t seen any evidence that there is one in the works now.

One of the first “plots” was the entirely concocted “Finland Plot.” The claim peddled by many associated with the People’s Alliance for Democracy and fabricated by notorious royalist ideologue Chai-anan Samudavanija and others. It claimed that Thaksin Shinawatra and former left-wing student leaders had met in Finland and come up with a plan to overthrow the monarchy and establish a communist state. These inventions were published in the Sondhi Limthongkul-owned newspapers and repeated many times by PAD.

As bizarre as this nonsense was, Wikipedia notes that the allegations had an “impact on the popularity of Thaksin and his government, despite the fact that no evidence was ever produced to verify the existence of a plot. Thaksin and his Thai Rak Thai party vehemently denied the accusations and sued the accusers. The leaders of the 2006 military coup claimed Thaksin’s alleged disloyalty as one of their rationales for seizing power.”

Back in 2015, even the politicized courts held that ultra-royalist Pramote Nakornthap had defamed Thaksin with these concoctions. Not surprisingly, many ultra-royalists continue to believe this nonsense.

The anti-monarchy plot diagram

Equally notorious was the anti-monarchy “plot,” replete with a diagram, that the Abhisit Vejjajiva government concocted when faced with a red shirt challenge in April 2010.

The government’s Centre for the Resolution to Emergency Situations claimed to have uncovered a plot to overthrow the monarchy and said “intelligence” confirmed the “plot.” Indeed, the bitter Thawil Pliensri, the former secretary-general of the National Security Council “confirmed” the “plot.” The map included key leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, members of the Puea Thai Party and former banned politicians, academics and hosts of community radio programs. Then Prime Minister Abhisit welcomed the uncovering of the “plot.”

CRES spokesman and then Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, who just happens to be the current dictatorship’s chief propagandist, repeatedly declared this plot a red shirt effort to bring down the monarchy.

We could go on, but let’s look at the current “plot,” which not coincidentally comes from the same military leaders who were in place in when the above “mapping” of a republican plot was invented. It is the same coterie of coup plotters (and that was a real plot) that repeatedly accused Ko Tee or Wuthipong Kachathamakul of various anti-monarchy plots and he was “disappeared” from Laos, presumably by the junta’s henchmen-murderers.

In the new “plot,” Deputy Dictator General Wongsuwan has declared:

Anti-monarchy cells are conspiring to disrupt the funeral of His Majesty the Late King this month, deputy junta chairman Prawit Wongsuwan said Monday.

Gen. Prawit described the alleged agitators as those who “have ill intentions toward the monarchy.” Although he gave no details, he said full-scale security measures would be implemented throughout the rites to place over several days culminating with the Oct. 26 cremation.

Prawit added that “[a]uthorities have learned of threats inside and outside the country, especially from those who oppose and have negative thoughts about ‘the [royal] institution’…”. He put “security forces” on “full alert.”

Careful readers will have noticed that the first mention of this “plot” came from The Dictator General Prayuth Chan-ocha almost two weeks ago.

Army chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart “refused to elaborate in detail on the supposed threat in the latest intelligence report” but still declared that “[t]hose involved were among the ‘regular faces’ abroad wanted on lese majeste charges, but who still incite negative feelings towards the monarchy among supporters through social media.”

The fingerprints on this concoction are those who have regularly invented plots for political purposes. That’s the military. They read all kinds of social media and put 1 and 1 together and come up with anti-monarchy plot.

We tend to agree with Pavin Chachavalpongpun, who is reported as saying:

The cremation provides an opportunity for the security forces to strengthen their position politically using critics of the monarchy as an excuse to increase the state’s heavy handed policy to control society more tightly…. Critics of the monarchy hardly pose a threat considering how much they have been suppressed since the coup….

The cremation and the coronation that will follow are critical political events for the military dictatorship. They want to be seen to be ensuring that everything runs smoothly for both events as the junta moves to stay in power, “election” or “no election.”  Finding a “plot” can make them look even more like the “protectors” of the monarchy.

Update: We don’t know why, but Khaosod’s most recent report on this “plot” seems to be supportive of the the junta’s claims. The claims this report makes amount to little more than reporting chatter. Similar chatter has been around for some time, encouraging individual acts that do not amount to anything like rebellion or disruption.

Some of the material that has been circulated may well derive from the state’s intelligence operatives seeking to disrupt and identify red shirts.  The thing about concocting a plot as a way to discredit your opponents is that there has to be elements in it that seem, at least on a initial view, feasible and believable. That was the point of the diagram produced above, naming persons known to be anti-monarchy. Putting them in a plot is something quite different.





Further updated: Another junta “plot” unmasked

12 04 2017

Remember that dastardly plot to bring down the junta. The one where the junta’s spokesman, Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd revealed a wicked conspiracy involving a supposedly bogus “set of nine restrictions for the Songkran holiday…”. These restrictions “prohibited Songkran revellers from wearing tight and revealing clothes and using high-pressure water guns and hoses…”.

Lt Gen Sansern cried: “Some groups want to discredit the government by linking these [alleged nine restrictions] with the new traffic regulations and a ban on water throwing on [main] roads.”

Turns out that the rules are there, referred to as “curbs” by the Bangkok Post, they include most of the items included in the “bogus” list.

At least that’s one junta “crime” solved.

Update 1: Over the Songkhran holiday, PPT is going to reduced posting as we head off upcountry. We will, however, post significant stories. We can already see a couple we will have to post early tomorrow GMT.

Update 2: A reader reckoned we were being a little too gullible accepting online “false news.” Nope. We have added a picture taken today. It is from the junta’s puppet Bangkok Administration.





Another “plot” against the junta

9 04 2017

In an earlier post citing Deputy Dictator General Prawit Wongsuwan on why the constitution did not mean that political parties could again become active, he said there was too much “trouble” still going on.

We wondered if he meant a tiny but convenient bomb? Or that “assassination plot” for which no evidence has been produced? Or the rusty bunch of weapons claimed “seized” from red shirts that became a sparkling bunch of newer weapons after the military had the “suspects” and “evidence” for a while? Or the Wat Dhammakaya debacle?

What we missed was another dastardly plot by the nebulous “opposition.” The junta’s spokesman, Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd revealed a wicked conspiracy involving a supposedly bogus “set of nine restrictions for the Songkran holiday…”. These restrictions “prohibited Songkran revellers from wearing tight and revealing clothes and using high-pressure water guns and hoses…”.

Lt Gen Sansern cried that “groups with ill intentions were capitalising on the controversial traffic rules to undermine the administration.”

He added: “Some groups want to discredit the government by linking these [alleged nine restrictions] with the new traffic regulations and a ban on water throwing on [main] roads.”

Let’s get this right…. The junta issued new traffic rules that were then modified, delayed or something like that. Then a plot has developed, circulating bogus rules to make the junta look even worse. Got it?

Well, not quite. “Lt Gen Sansern said that some of the bogus restrictions were ‘guidelines’ made by the cabinet during previous years of the Songkran festival.”

Confused? You bet. Anyway, his point is that, no matter what things the junta has actually done, there’s a conspiracy to make it look bad. Perhaps he should look in the mirror.





“Evidence” for an “assassination” plot

22 03 2017

The assassination story, already remarkable, is becoming increasingly stunning for its contradictions.

The Bangkok Post reports: that the junta has now “found” a “movement” working against it and called it “Red Radio.” It claims it has been “for several months been planning to assassinate Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his deputy, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon…”.

Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said “Red Radio” had also been “working to stifle the authorities’ efforts to investigate Wat Phra Dhammakaya by causing unrest there…”.

No one could possibly believe that the junta’s own efforts at Wat Dhammakaya could have caused any unrest there.

Pol Gen Srivara said his lot are “now seeking arrest warrants for six people who are suspected of being involved in the group including red-shirt leader Wuthipong Kochathamakun, who goes by the alias Kotee and is believed to have taken refuge in neighbouring Laos.”

That seems to be six in addition to the nine already arrested. (We are surprised that they have not been paraded yet, although that usually awaits the passing of seven days in military custody somewhere secret.

Then a claim that it is “not clear whether the group has ties to the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD)…”.

The police claim is that “Red Radio” “aims to kill Gen Prayut and Gen Prawit and had been told to attack military, police and other officials during the authorities’ raids on the temple, according to the police investigation.”

And the evidence is….

Our investigation has shown that several of the suspects, detained previously, were spotted at Wat Phra Dhammakaya and nearby Khlong Luang central market, for reasons unknown….

As police investigators have found no link between Mr Wuthipong or Red Radio and the temple, they believe the group’s main goal has been to stir up unrest during the authorities’ operations there….

Yes, that’s “no links,” none, zilch.

The temple itself has “denied any involvement with Mr Wuthipong or the group.”

And, The Dictator is playing down the Wat Dhammakaya link: “Gen Prayut said he was more concerned about the alleged assassination plots and the seizure of weapons of war.” He’s also playing down the size of the “plot,” saying it was small.

Previous reports stated that police said “some of the seized weapons had been taken from soldiers during the violent red-shirt political rallies in mid-town Bangkok in 2010.”

Now, Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana said just one “M16 rifle seized at the weekend has been confirmed to be among the state weapons stolen during the red-shirt protest … in April 2010.”

The story is changing and the evidence is flimsy, but the junta seems rattled.








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