Dumb, dumber and stupid

30 11 2015

Sorry folks, but we are having trouble taking any pronouncement from Thailand’s ruling body, headed by its  most senior military leaders and supported by many in the middle class, the palace, mad monarchists and the powerful Sino-Thai tycoons. We can even see that the grand old man General Prem Tinsulnonda supports the military junta.

But, really, is this the stupidest government of all time? And, we do realize that stupidity does not eliminate the fact that it is an unpredictable nasty, vindictive and repressive government.

All of this is to preface the response from these dullards to the warrant they had issued for Thanakrit Thongngernperm, a suspect in the “terrorism plot,” claimed to be “on the run,” who has actually been incarcerated in a Khon Kaen jail since mid-2014.

So here we go, with the response to this revelation of Thanakrit’s incarceration from Deputy Prime Minister, coup maker, former current Defense Minister and loyal General, Prawit Wongsuwan. Based on what is currently known, his response is so deliciously dumb that we are amused and, at the same time, terrified for Thailand under this boot of this bunch.

General Prawit said that “although Thanakrit was in prison he must have done something against the law, otherwise the court would not have approved the warrant for his arrest.”

“He might have been in some communication (with outsiders). Ask him. He must have done something wrong. The court must have gone through all the requested warrants individually before approving them. A warrant can’t simply be issued without legal backing…“.

There are possibilities that Prawit could be right. After all, the judicial system and the Corrections Department are riddled with corruption, so Thanakrit might have been out on visits to friends.

In fact, though, Prawit is responding as the corrupt and arrogant thugs in the military have responded for years. They think that because they are powerful and armed, they can say any stupid thing they like and the gullible and frightened must believe them.

We can’t wait for the next story saying that they have discovered that Thanakit was, in fact, free.





Dumb and dumber

29 11 2015

We know almost all of our readers will have seen the latest and widely circulated stories on the “Khon Kaen Model Plot.” Even so, we feel we must post on the military’s most recent demonstration of its stupidity and disdain for the Thai people, if only as a matter of record.

Yes, we refer to the suspect, claimed to be “on the run,” who has been incarcerated in a Khon Kaen jail since mid-2014.

It was the junta – the so-called National Council for Peace and Order – that filed the complaints that led to the police warrants for Thanakrit Thongngernperm and eight others. They were accused of “terrorism,”  lese majeste and computer crimes.

None of the original Khon Kaen 26 has yet been convicted and many remain in jail. PPT thought the military concocted that “plot.”

We can now be sure that they have concocted the most recent “plot.”

The military dictatorship is full of such dunces, brought up to operate on unquestioned hierarchical obedience, its leaders are unable to concoct a believable lie. That’s obviously good for those who oppose them because the regime is composed of thugs rather than “thinking thugs,” who are infinitely more dangerous.

At the same time, this episode of political nastiness also displays how the military regime considers every single Thai to be stupid or gullible.

 





Recalling Thaksin’s early politics

29 11 2015

Busy with “plots,” lese majeste and myriad other fictitious and real problems, the police are apparently facing complaints about Bangkok’s traffic and internal strife and competition.

In the Bangkok Post, it was recently reported that “Acting Metropolitan Police chief Sanit Mahathavorn has been given three months to solve Bangkok’s traffic gridlock otherwise he could face the music, police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said.”

We were reminded on reading this demand that complaints about Bangkok’s traffic go back to the introduction of traffic. More recently, though, we were reminded of Thaksin Shinawatra’s early days in the political scene. As an academic description has it:Thaksin trafficThaksin failed so we can guess that Acting Metropolitan Police chief Sanit Mahathavorn will be heading for the door, the south or some inactive post.





Same dumb excuses for lese majeste repression

28 11 2015

The Dictator General Prayuth Chan-ocha has responded further on lese majeste and the US Ambassador’s comments.

Like almost all of the royalist regimes that have vigorously used the lese majeste law, Prayuth has decided to make claims that the law is required for “protecting the monarchy against defamation, as members of the Royal Family are unable to sue offenders themselves.”

The always doltish Prayuth also “said foreigners appeared to have no understanding about this law, stated in Article 112 of the Penal Code, despite repeated attempts to explain it to them.”

He added: “Every country has its own defamation laws. This is a defamation law for the monarchy. It’s because the monarchy cannot sue anyone. This law is for the protection of the monarchy against defamation…”.

The reason “foreigners” do not “understand” is because Prayuth’s explanation is clearly political and flawed.

For a start, the law has been extensively used against political opponents, to silence them.

But even if it were to be accepted that such expression was somehow defamatory of the world’s wealthiest royals, the fact is that there are currently quite a number of persons currently jailed, on the run or dead in custody who have been charged with lese majeste for things that would never be considered defamatory in any sensible place.

One was sentenced for speaking of a dead king. Some are facing charges now for allegedly plotting against an “event” not a person. Several of former Princess Srirasmi’s relatives, who served the monarchy, are jailed for all manner of crimes, none of them that should be considered lese majeste, even in Thailand’s weird world of monarchism. These include selling food to the palace at prices considered inflated! We could go on.

Defamation? Really? No. Prayuth is stupid and he thinks the rest of the world might be too. He certainly thinks Thais are a bunch of idiots.

As a footnote, Prayuth is also a nasty piece of work, as we know from his work and statements. He has further proven this by indicating that rights were of no concern for him and that he has no conception of these: “He did not think it was right for law violators to complain that their rights are infringed upon after they are arrested.”

Certainly, the two men who died in a military prison aren’t complaining about rights. They had none once they were arrested, disappeared, and then “suicided.” They have none in death, and Prayuth is probably happy and content that such “criminals” are dead, even if they were great supporters on the monarchy.





We predict it, they do it

28 11 2015

On 26 November, in a post on US Ambassador Glyn Davies at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, PPT stated:

The military dictatorship and rabid royalists will be unhappy. Expect to see the madder ones protest because Davies expressed concern about “the lengthy and unprecedented prison sentences handed down by Thai military courts against civilians for violating the lese majeste law…”.

The mad monarchists are absolutely predictable.

issara and prayuth

Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha was predictably thick when he “waded into the debate on Friday.” He “responded” by blathering about Davies being able to say what he wants: “It’s up to him…”. But, as everyone expects, Prayuth was unable to control his tongue, threatening: “Next time don’t send anyone to talk about trade with me then…”.

Equally predictable were the “dozens of demonstrators” led by fascist monk Buddha Issara who descended on the US Embassy. They protested against Davies’ criticism of the lese majeste law. That means they protested for the feudal law and all of the repression it stands for.

Issara and the moneyThe monk “urged Mr Davies, who took up his post just nine weeks ago, to better understand Thai culture and not to intervene in the debates related to politics and the royal institution.”

One of the bright sparks among the protesters decided to wave a placard saying “This is Thailand, not the USA.” We are sure Davies knows his location, so the placard is a statement of rejection: a rejection of liberal values, of freedom of expression and of civility.

The anti-democratic monk babbled: “You have no right and no power. … We are not slaves of the US. The monarchy is a sacred symbol that all Thais are ready to defend with their lives…”. These mad monarchists consider themselves slaves of the monarchy and military.





Graft and lese majeste

27 11 2015

Readers will no doubt have noticed that the Army’s corruption case involving the one-billion-baht Rajabhakti Park project has predictably gone rather quiet in recent days. Cover-ups do that and cover-ups work better when there are “distractions.” A few days ago, on this “project,” PPT asked “Who got the loot?” The Army and the military dictatorship do not want to provide any answers.

But how about the lese majeste case involving two dead men, one survivor and one gone missing? How much did Suriyan Sujaritpolwong, Jirawong Wattanathewasilp, Pol Maj Prakrom Warunprapha and Col Khachachart Boondee gain by their alleged use of the royal connection?

We saw some early claims that their “fraud” involved some very big business interests. We were told that Prakrom was a kind of bag man, but we don’t know for whom. A list of supposedly ill-gotten gains was supplied:

… 26 rooms in La Maison Condominium on Soi Phahon Yothin 24. He had also paid for another four rooms worth 500,000 baht each but had not yet obtained the ownership rights…. Hundreds of thousands of baht in foreign currency, including US dollars and Japanese yen…. Several cars owned by Pol Maj Prakrom, including a Bentley, a Rolls-Royce, a Mercedes-Benz and a Toyota…. 10 valuable Buddha amulets [said to have]… belonged to Pol Col Akkharawut Limrat, the former chief of the Crime Suppression Division’s Sub-Division 1 and a former member of Pongpat’s network [Pongpat Chayapan] who died after falling from a building. [Of course, this “fall” was never properly investigated.] … [T]hree guitars, including one worth more than 400,000 baht [said to “belong” to Pongpat] … [and] several Buddha images … earlier … seized from Pongpat’s network…. [M]ore than 200 radio communication devices and five signal antennae…. Six police cars which Pol Maj Prakrom had ordered for use in his work have also disappeared.

How did Prakrom get stuff seized from Pongpat? What has happened to all of this stuff now? Has it simply been recycled to someone else who looks after it, as it seems to have been from Pongpat to Prakrom?

The latest bit of news on these three men and their supposedly ill-gotten gains comes from AMLO. Buried down in the story it states: “A source said AMLO had not found any assets in Prakrom’s name but it was trying to determine whether he put his properties in the names of other people.” Ah, well, the above report seemed to say otherwise….

The report goes on to reveal that the “Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has frozen more than Bt44 million worth of assets belonging to several suspects linked to the ongoing high-profile lese-majeste case.”

That doesn’t sound to us like a huge haul. If these “suspects” were really using the royal name, then we would have guessed they’d be accumulating more than rich people’s change. About 75% of this “haul” is reported to belong to Khachachart alone.

Still AMLO declares: “We have grounds to believe these suspects violated anti-graft laws and anti-money-laundering laws…”.

As the report states, “Jirawong, Suriyan, Prakrom and Kachachart were charged with several crimes in relation to falsely citing the Royal Family for personal gain in the course of collecting donations and sponsorship.”

Based on the reports so far available, it seems that the “personal gain” was quite small in the scheme of corruption deals in Thailand. Perhaps they weren’t very good at corruption? Or perhaps the loot has already been redistributed or collected by a boss or bosses?





The courts deserve contempt

27 11 2015

Back before the military coup, on 21 February 2014, Thammasat Universty’s Sudsa-nguan Suthisorn, Darunee Kritboonyalai and Picha Wijitsilp, a lawyer for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship were  charged with contempt of court for laying a wreath and holding up placards that criticized the Civil Court. They did this  in front of the court.

The Bangkok Post reports that the Appeals Court has “reduced a one-month prison term given to a Thammasat University lecturer for contempt of court to one month in detention, a less severe penalty.”

Earlier proceedings against Darunee were halted as she “failed to show up to fight the case, and [the court] issued a warrant for her arrest.”

Sudsa-nguan and Picha had earlier been sentenced to two months in prison, reduced to a month each because of a confession. Picha has since died. Hence, it was only Sudsa-nguan who appealed.

The Appeals Court considered her act a “serious contempt of court” and refused to “suspend the one-month jail term…. However, the court reduced the one month jail term to one month in detention under custody – a lighter form of penalty she will serve outside a prison.”

In PPT’s view, the country’s courts deserve all of the contempt they receive; they have been politicized and work with double standards.








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