Lalita Meesuk

Lalita

Clipped from Prachatai

TikTok user Lalita Meesuk faced charges under the lese majeste law and Computer Crimes Act for a video clip criticizing the Thai government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. She reported to police on 20 May 2021 after a complaint was laid two weeks earlier.

Lalita, who is from Kalasin, reported to Nang Loeng Police Station. The complaint was laid by Apiwat Kantong, a lawyer for the Office of the Prime Minister. Apiwat and the Nang Loeng police are becoming partners in political repression.

Apiwat complained that Lalita posted a short video on TikTok criticising the government’s struggling virus response.

Apiwat’s complaints are generated directly from the Prime Minister’s Office and have for some time legally trolled those critical of the regime’s virus choices, including the decision to allocate vaccine production and to subsidize a little known company that just happens to belong to the king.

Lalita says that in a reply to a comment on her post, she stated: “It’s not as much a favour as a person who takes the people’s money and gives it back to the people. But why do we need to show appreciation for royal grace?”

That got the regime’s bosses in a flap and Apiwat was given the job of filing a complaint to shut down criticism.

It is reported that Lalita denied all charges. She insists she was criticizing the government.

She was released, to report to the public prosecutor on 13 July 2021.

She remained defiant, saying that the use of Article 112 amounts to a ” weaponizing the law,” adding: “What I’m feeling today is mostly anger that he used the law as a weapon to hurt me, even though he is also a lawyer. He shouldn’t be acting like this. What I said was nothing wrong. I said it because I want things to get better…”.

She attacked the government:

The country is being ruined not because of what I said. It’s being ruined because they themselves are using it and ruining it. The ones ruining it are not us but them. In the end, the things that are issued, like court orders and summonses, they have almost no meaning…. What they are doing, how long have they been doing it? And has anything got better? 5 years ago, 10 years ago, how many people did this happen to? So today, has the number got any smaller? It’s increasing instead, so is what they are doing going the right way?

They should take what we are talking about to fix things, and not look what we say as a problem, and write it down as a problem and then throw it in the garbage. The problem is not what is said. They are not doing it right. They won’t succeed if they keep acting like this.

Media accounts of Lalita’s case:

Prachatai, 21 May 2021: “TikTok user charged with royal defamation over video clip