Fiction and lese majeste

28 10 2014

The lese majeste repression dragnet is cast and those trapped in it are increasing in number.

We have noted that arrests and charges against university student Patiwat and colleague Pornthi. The Bangkok Post reports on their recent court appearance. Interestingly most of the photos in the media strategically left out Patiwat’s leg irons. Feudal chains are usually used on males charged under this feudal law.

Formally charged on Monday, “they won’t enter a plea until December, but feel the play that sits at the heart of their alleged crime is being taken out of context.”

The play is, of course, the October 2013 performance of fictional drama about a fictional monarch entitled “The Wolf Bride.” It was performed for “a commemoration of the 37th and 40th anniversaries of the Oct 6, 1976 and Oct 14, 1973 pro-democracy student uprisings at Thammasat University.”

The “prosecutors cited nine passages from the pay’s scripts they claim insulted the monarchy in violation of the Article 112 of the Penal Code.”

Patiwat told the Bangkok Post his “first impression” of the charges laid was that the prosecutors had sliced and diced the script “and consider only certain paragraphs [the prosecutors consider] as insulting to the monarchy.” He says they “should look at the big picture and that this is a fictional play.”

The Post reports that “two [other] red-shirt activists, Watt Wallayangoon and Jaran Ditapichai, also face arrest on lese majeste charges for their roles in the play event.” PPT knew of Jaran, who is in exile in France, but not of Watt.





Jaran charged with lese majeste

16 10 2014

For a couple of days social media has been saying that the military dictatorship was charging former Human Rights Commissioner Jaran Ditapichai under Article 112.

Prachatai has now reported that Jara has indeed been charged by the royalist junta’s regime. In some ways, this is not unexpected. The Dictator and his junta have long wanted to punish Jaran. Indeed, since the military coup, the regime has filed four charges against Jaran. He is charged with lese majeste and defying the junta’s order to report to the military.

More revealing are the charges that Jaran breached the Emergency Decree during the red-shirt mass protest in 2010. Yes, that’s four years ago. The final charge relates to the red shirt protest targeting Privy Councillor President and coup plotter General Prem Tinsulanonda in July 2007. Yes, that seven years ago.

The most recent charge, of insulting the walking dead, the “veteran political activist” is accused of having organized the play “The Wolf Bride.” Two other activists remain in custody over this play that was performed in October 2013 in remembrance of the 14 October 1973 student uprising. The arrest warrant for Jaran was issued on 26 August 2014.

The others caught in this particular lese majeste dragnet are Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkhong.

Jaran is in exile in Europe.





14 October remembered

14 10 2014

Over several years, PPT has posted on 14 October, remembering the sacrifices made by protesters seeking democracy and electoral politics following some 16 years of military domination. Our earlier posts are: 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Sadly, we failed to post in 2011.

This year, we wish to remember the brave students and their supporters by pointing to some U.S. official documents that have been released on the period. One of the surprising things is that the documents evidence little concern about rising tension, giving most attention to U.S. interests. After the overthrow of the military regime, the attention is to “what happened.”

On our Commentary page, PPT has some further cables from the 1973-76 period, We list them here:

U.S. State Department, declassified cable on how the U.S. Embassy and the palace worked with the international media to ensure the king’s good image, 30 March 1973: palace_nat-geog_1973

U.S. State Department, declassified cable on protecting the king from criticism, 7 December 1973: king_sweden_1973

U.S. State Department, declassified cable on “creative” intervention, 22 December 1973: king_const_1973

U.S. State Department, declassified cable on attempts to censor negative reports on the queen, 11 February 1975: queen-1975

U.S. State Department, declassified cable on claimed links between the CIA and Palace Guards, 25 February 1975: palace-guards_1975

More interesting documents have been released on 6 October 1976. Some details of these are available in this report. On 18 October Ambassador Charles Whitehouse reports of a conversation with the King’s personal secretary, Mom Luang Thawisan Ladawan, indicating the king’s political views.





Protecting them

20 10 2013

PPT wants to draw attention to a report at Prachatai. It states:

The Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement and Measures for Protecting the Monarchy on Friday summoned all five organizations who sponsored the publishing of the book “Yamyuk Rooksamai” (Repeating the Era, Advancing the Generations) which was distributed free of charge to those attending Oct 14 commemoration week at Thammasat University at Tha Pra Chan.

The book is a collection of articles and interviews featuring prominent academics and activists including Thongchai Winichakul, history professor from Wisconsin-Madison University, Prajak Kongkirati, political science lecturer from Thammasat University and Somsak Jeamteerasakul, history professor from Thammasat University who is known for his open advocacy of reform of the monarchy.

The five organizations sponsoring the event and the book were:

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, PTT Thailand, the Department of Local Administration and the National Village and Urban Community Fund Office to meet with the Committee for further questioning.

The Committee wants to discuss the “current situation on defamation and disrespect towards the monarchy…”.

Predictably, the Committee is dominated by royalists like unelected Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn and seems to be intent on threatening, frightening and forcing censorship in the name of protecting a monarchy and its political regime.

The story might be read in conjunction with another at Prachatai on the event where the book was distributed.





Three views on 14 October

14 10 2013

Today is the 40th anniversary of the 14 October 1973 student-led uprising that brought an end to 16 years of the authoritarian regime established by royal favorite, General Sarit Thanarat. This was a momentous event that, for a short time, unleashed many of the struggles that had been suppressed for so long by Sarit and those who followed him. It is to be expected, then, that there would be commentaries and reflection on 1973 and contemporary politics.

PPT noticed three commentaries, and we thought we could highlight bits and pieces from each of these. Two are by heroes of the 1973 events and a third is by a young critic.

Seksan

Seksan

First, at the Bangkok Post, Seksan Prasertkul, a key leader of the student uprising who spoke at Thammasat University. Seksan has been reasonably quiet and conservative in recent years, engaging with aspects of Buddhism that do not necessarily promote social or political engagement. Unsurprisingly, he called on people to promote peace through democratic principles.

Reflecting on 1973, Seksan said “the October uprising created new, middle-class political groups – one urban movement concerned with natural resources and the environment, and a provincial group engaged in the representative parliamentary system.” That’s rather too simplistic, but let’s stick with his reported statements. He sees these as “capitalist groups of urban and provincial middle-class movements have been incredibly good partners in striving against the old capitalist and political forces…”.

He argued that “the capitalist political forces which have emerged recently have responded to the needs of the poor in a more substantial manner” than just calling for better wages. We assume he means elements of a broader social welfare system put in place since 2001. He went on to criticize the 2006 coup that overthrew the elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra “in an unconstitutional way.” He’s certainly right to observe:

“Ultimately, the coup ushered in forces that wanted to drag parliament back to the old days when it was dictated by authoritarianism…”.

Ironically, Mr Seksan said, many urban middle-class groups did not seem to uphold democratic principles and responded inappropriately to the mistakes of the Thaksin government.

Seksan called on red shirts to become more expansive in seeking democracy:

“The movement should be a tool of the struggle for democracy and not to serve a single government or political party, unless the plight of their preferred party and leaders directly affect the survival of Thailand’s democracy,” Mr Seksan said. He said the quest for sustainable and peaceful political liberalism needed to be developed along with democratic principles.

“Democratisation is a delicate and complicated process since we need to deal with authoritarian cultural notions and, above all, to build equity and human dignity,” Mr Seksan said.

… “Democracy releases people from exploitation and merges their collective power.”

Thirayuth

Thirayuth

Second, and reflecting a similar conservatism that many might see as deriving of age and others might see as developing from a lack of connection with current political struggles, another former student leader and self-styled deconstructionist political critic, Thirayuth Boonmee has had his say.

The report at the Bangkok Post states that Thirayuth “has broken his long silence to give his views on the current state of Thai democracy 40 years later.” To be honest, we hadn’t noticed that he had been quiet. In a post in 2012, we described him as an aging and often theoretically incomprehensible middle class “radical.” He has long been an outspoken critic associated with yellow-shirted intellectuals, being especially vocal in his criticism of “populism,” which he sees as being akin to “policy corruption” or vote-buying.

Thirayuth’s position seems to be pretty much standard for yellow-shirted intellectuals. Being rather lazy in researching historical events and struggles, Thirayuth claims that:

since the change of the country’s administration in 1932 from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy, only a handful of military and civilian personnel and some politicians had benefited from what is called “democracy”.

Even after the Oct 14 incident, students, intellectuals and middle-class Thais lavishly and wastefully exploited the state of democracy, opening the opportunity for groups of capitalists who were freed from military and police control to wreap [sic.] the benefits for themselves.

He is right to note that the military has “returned to be totally loyal to the monarchy,” although while he dates that as being since 1932, we’d date it earlier, from 1958 or perhaps 1973. He is also right to note that “Thai capitalist groups pay no attention to democracy, but cling firmly to the royal institution and the armed forces for their business interests.” Oddly, he right to be at one with Thaksin loyalist Jakrapob Penkair (look for his FCCT transcript) in being critical of “a society plagued by the patronage system or, in harsher words, a society of servants.” He is also right to observe that coups “had proved to be a mistake.” Well, maybe “disaster” would be a better word than “mistake.”

Thirayuth believes he has the answer for what he calls 40 years of “lost opportunities”: forget Thaksin , red shirts and yellow shirts and emphasize “good governance and proper mechanisms to get rid of corruption…”. And, look to decentralization. Hardly an intellectual bombshell, for he is essentially mimicking the royalist critic Prawase Wasi and a royalist mantra on the evils of politicians.

This rather boring and predictable stuff brings us to a third and younger critic, Prajak Kongkiarti. At The Nation, he is more realistic than the aged professors. He says that so much political reform is required that it may be another decade before it can be achieved. What needs to be done? He is clear:

Prajak

Prajak

To establish a truly democratic society, Thailand needs to reform all of its key political pillars, including the monarchy, the military, politicians, independent organisations like the Supreme Court and the news media….

The Thammasat University lecturer urges that Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law, be addressed first. But reform of the military, an issue far less discussed, is urgent as well, he says.

That sounds like a reasonable assessment to us, showing a keen awareness of the political issues that have been driving politics in recent years. He is reflective of that period, apparently being the only one willing to point out the very large gorilla that inhabits too much of the political space but which may not be spoken of or criticized for fear of repression or worse.





With a major update: Remembering the 6 October 1976 attack

6 10 2013

The Bangkok Post reports:

A ceremony to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the October 6, 1976 bloodshed was held at the historic park at Thammasat University on Sunday morning.

Assoc Prof Udom Rathamarit, deputy rector of Thammasat University, presided over the opening of the ceremony which was attended by relatives of those who died in the incident and some leading political figures who were part of the then student movement for democracy.

Thai Rath Newspaper

Thai Rath Newspaper

A statement was read out in memory of the “heroes” who sacrificed both in the October 6 event and the October 14 student uprising which took place earlier in 1973.

To be honest, that seems a pretty scant report for one of modern Thailand’s most significant royalist-monarchy massacres of democracy protesters. Perhaps the royalist nature of the killing and burning of protesters at Thammasat is the reason for so much silence. Should any reader think the king and palace were anything other than rightists bent on pushing extremists for murderous action, read this post from a few months ago.

The murders of 1976 were in the monarchy’s name and supported by the palace. The most dramatic and horrible event was the royalist-inspired attack on people – mostly students – damned as “disloyal.” Just days after the bloodshed, the crown prince distributed awards to paramilitary personnel involved. The massacre at Thammasat University has never seen any state investigation. Impunity was the rule because the state’s troops and rightist gangs were doing the work of the royalist state. The main perpetrators of the massacre are claimed to be the Border Patrol Police who trained many of the rightist gangs in the name of the monarchy and with considerable U.S. funding. The BPP was (and remains) close to the royal family.

The regime that was put in place following the massacre and a coup was headed by a palace favorite. Thanin Kraivixien remains a Privy Counselor even today, considered “respected” because of that. Yet the fact is that his administration was one of the most right-wing, repressive and brutal regimes in Thailand’s modern history.

In other words, the massacre at Thammasat University was intimately linked to palace political machinations.

Update: The Bangkok Post has a longer article about one of the remembrances of 6 October. PPT was aware that there was a split between “Octobrists” with some now red shirt activists with another group having continued to support the People’s Alliance for Democracy and its political progeny. The Nation reports that the 14 October Foundation is now “seen as part of the yellow shirts, as it is under Dr Wichai Chokwiwat.”  The latter is quoted as complaining that “capitalists have played a bigger role in Thai politics.” He explains his perspective:

Since the … [14 October 1976] uprising, people have become more aware of their rights. They fought [for] elections. But elections…are not the answer … as the representatives do not aim to solve the country’s problems, [they aim] to maintain their power and benefits. This is…not a real democracy…”.

The yellow shirt disdain for elected representation is clear.

At the Bangkok Post, the red shirt-related group is discussed. It is led by human rights activist and red shirt Jaran Ditapichai, who proclaimed that the “protests [of 1973-76] had paved the way for greater freedom of speech and assembly.”

Two recently released lese majeste convicts attended. Surachai Danwattananusorn was only released from prison last Friday but attended. Also there was Tanthawut Taweewarodomkul, released a couple of months ago. He praised the October Generation: “Without the courage and contributions of the October Generation, nobody else would have fought for democracy in subsequent years…”.

Writer Watt Wallayangkoon observed that “the victories earned by the … “October Generation” were short-lived and were counteracted by ultra-royalist elements and a fear of communism within wider society.” He added that  “The red-shirt struggle [for democracy] is not yet finished…”.





Updated: The king and 1976

17 03 2013

To conclude PPT’s “mini-series” on recent documents located by Andrew MacGregor Marshall, we now turn to some important British cables posted at Zen Journalist and which reflect on the mythology surrounding the events leading up to the bloody massacre of students at Thammasat University on 6 October. That mythology is that the king was supportive of the students who rose up against the military regime that had existed since 1958 and which had done so much to restore the monarchy.

As seen in a cable from 1963, the king, just 36 years old and close to the repressive military regime, seems to enjoy showing a “liberal” side to foreign guests. However, his comments on students are telling:1963 on students

Essentially, he sees student demonstrators as trouble. He is reported as saying that he “told the Thai students he would not allow them to demonstrate here.” The king sees student demonstrators as either paid or manipulated (with echos of how the amart speak of those who vote for pro-Thaksin Shinawatra parties). Indeed, Thai students as the sons and daughters of the elite, do remain reasonably quiescent until about 1972.

Without going into detail (see this excellent documentary), by October 1973, demanding constitutional rule, a student revolution brought down the military government. The king is usually portrayed in a positive light during these events, with the recent hagiography King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A Life’s Work manages to transform the king as supporter of the military regime into a political savior and democrat. It was the opening of palace gates to students fleeing the military’s guns that made the legend of the student-supporting king. But it didn’t take the king and palace long to abandon the students, reflecting the 1963 position, considering them communists or duped by communists. Almost immediately, royalists and the palace began supporting extremist and rightist military groups as they mobilized against the “liberal” forces unleashed by the student uprising. Lese majeste accusations began to mount and trials were held. As Ben Anderson (link opens a PDF) described the mounting fear for royalists and palace as communist forces made gains in neighboring countries,

Anderson

The stage was set for the 6 October massacre of students by royalist thugs and forces close to the palace such as the Border Patrol Police.

It is from this point that the British cables of 1976 become interesting and enlightening. The first of these is from 9 October 1976 (the link downloads a PDF) when the smell of blood and burned bodies had barely cleared at Thammasat, and British diplomat Malcolm Macdonald met the king and the Embassy reports on the meeting. It is clear that Anderson’s assessment of the king as a rightist is vindicated. He says the students were politicized and intent on overthrow the government and “the establishment.” We read this as a reference to the ruling class and the monarchy. He claimed they were influenced from “outside” and he feared the links the students had developed with unions and this challenge saw him state that he preferred a military government. The result was that, for some time, he had formed the view that a military government “was inevitable.” He explains that he knew of the coup in advance and had not objected. Thereafter he sets out the path of politics that was to be exactly as his chosen Prime Minister Thanin Kraivixien later expressed it:

No constitution

The next cable is from 13 October 1976, by British Ambassador David Cole. This file is so large that we are unable to load it so the originals will need to be viewed at Zen Journalist, which is often blocked in Thailand (Update: A version is available here).

The cable defends the military. Ambassador Cole makes the claim that the coup was not “premeditated by the military” is contradicted by the king’s statement cited above and by a later claim citing Kukrit Pramoj. His claims that the right-wing groups like the Red Gaur, Village Scouts and Navapol had nothing to do with the military brass appears contrived. However, the prediction that a far right government would be “disastrous for Thailand” seems reasonable. Interestingly, lese majeste is at the heart of the coup justifications, both in repeating the bogus claim that a student looking like the crown prince was theatrically hung by students. Lese majeste is also mentioned in military thinking:Lese majeste

Cole then turns to the role of the king and states: KingIndeed, from the cable of the 9th, we know that the king did more than acquiesce. Then Cole turns more directly to the palace and its involvement: QueenAs in 2006, when the role of the palace was clear, the king and the coup leaders tried to cover his tracks and those of other royals, even when they were obvious. While Cole predicts that the monarchy will be the biggest loser from the coup, this was be but a short-term setback as the king and his propagandists set about rewriting the history of this event.

The third cable is from about a month after the coup. On 5 November 1976, Cole writes about the current political situation. Again, this cable, reporting the Danish Ambassador, shows clear palace involvement, with the king planning for post-coup political arrangements well in advance of the coup: ThaninIn short, nothing changed all that much for the palace in deciding events in 1976 and in 2006. They were involved and were enthusiastic about being involved.





“Bizarre, slightly surreal, and somewhat Kafkaesque”

8 12 2012

Lennox Samuels at The Daily Beast has his take on the charging of former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban. His essential position is the most common amongst the commentariat in Bangkok at present, yet there is much in the article that is worth considering.

It is at once bizarre, slightly surreal, and somewhat Kafkaesque: The most recent ex-prime minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and one of his former deputy premiers, Suthep Thaugsuban, charged with the killing of a taxi driver during the political unrest that rocked the country more than two years ago. The charges were announced the day after the 85th birthday of the nation’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Part of the bizarre is the response from Abhisit, Suthep and the Democrat Party. Samuels talked to academic-for-hire and former Abhisit spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn who sees the “charges as politically driven.” PPT wonders what he says about the “charges against 295 red shirts.” No, we don’t ponder this, for we know that Panitan deals in double standards and would dismiss these red shirts as “terrorists.” Panitan does make one good point: “It’s unprecedented to charge two top policymakers, including the former prime minister, like this.” That’s true and deserves to be applauded, not denigrated as when Panitan “likened the situation to charging President Obama with crimes in connection with his lawful execution of his role as commander-in-chief.” Of course, in Thailand, the king is commander-in-chief, so the comparison is flawed.* Other Democrat Party members, like The Economist, argue that the driving force behind the charges revolve around Thaksin: “Thaksin wants to come home and he’s getting desperate as his surrogates in government gain their own power and become more independent…”.

Samuels recalls Thailand’s “long-running political tug-of-war … marked by coups, deadly protests, and the ouster of prime ministers for absurdist reasons like hosting a cooking show on television. And inevitably, a bogeyman lurks in the background—or foreground, depending on who’s telling the story.” The bogeyman is not Privy Council president General Prem Tinsulanonda, the king, queen, old military duffers or someone in the military brass. Of course, it is “Thaksin Shinawatra, the populist billionaire premier ejected in a 2006 coup who has lived in comfortable exile ever since.”

We agree with Samuel that:

In essence, Thailand is divided between reformist democracy activists who want a more open process, and traditionalists who are content with the centuries-long structure dominated by elites that regard the one-man-one-vote ideal as at best premature. The elites, personified for many by Abhisit and the Democrats, have resisted “reconciliation” efforts, loath to agree to anything that would dilute the status quo.

We also agree with a diplomat cited by Samuel who declares that: “The fact is, Thaksin has been convicted of a conflict of interest,” the Western diplomat said. “Barely a misdemeanor. There are several prime ministers in the past who have committed far more egregious offenses. Frankly, it is unsustainable in the long run that the de facto prime minister be barred from his country.”

Abhisit takes a different view and in announcing his impending martyrdom, declares (at The Nation):

I hereby affirm that I will not negotiate for anybody’s interest. I insist that wrongdoers must be brought to justice and will fight the case based on facts. I will not join the process to absolve people who cheated the country. I’ll accept my fate even if the judicial process lands me in jail or gets me executed, but I will not whitewash the wrongdoings of cheaters….

Frankly, the martyrs are those protesters murdered by the state in 2010, and in 1973, 1976, 1992, at Kru Se and Tak Bai and(to mention just a few instances) where no one has been held accountable.

The problem the autocrats have is that Thaksin is electorally popular but, as Samuels explains, “the former premier is anathema to establishment Thais, who regard his populist rhetoric and policies as threats to the societal order…”. They fear and hate Thaksin so the concoct conspiracies that see anyone who is not on their side as a mortal enemy and where proposed constitutional amendments amount to “a process they allege would result in the entire political system being jettisoned, including the monarchy.” That is bizarre.

The outcome is described in the article this way:

In the short term, the political gridlock is likely to continue, as neither side has the leverage to effect change—or the will to compromise. “A lot of people are in a prolonged conflict,” said one prominent political figure. “There’s more and more hatred and anger, and things get more complicated. So it is not possible for them to say, all of a sudden, we want to reconcile.” He added that both sides are “about even,” with Red Shirts having the government on their side while the Yellow Shirts can claim the military, judiciary, and “people in the palace.” … “Reconciliation basically has a better chance when one side dominates,” he said. If so, Thailand’s in for a long slog.

Interestingly, the government also has the majority of the people on its side, but then the autocrats simply can’t accept elections or their results (unless they were to somehow conjure a win). This is one reason why Abhisit always speaks of the rule of law and seldom about issues of democracy.

______

*While there are U.S. politicians who should be held responsible for atrocious acts internationally – think drones and Indochina bombing – we can’t think of a case of post-Civil War mass state killings in the U.S. that haven’t gone to the courts. The Kent State killings come to mind as a case that did go to courts, but maybe readers can remind us of others as we know little about U.S. history.





Cockeyed opinions on democracy

20 10 2012

For Ploenpote Atthakor, apparently a Deputy Editorial Pages Editor at the  Bangkok Post, democracy is something that can’t possibly include red shirts. This Deputy Editorial Pages Editor at the Bangkok Post has recently had what she describes as her “first encounter with the people in red in the flesh.”

While it might be astounding that a Deputy Editorial Pages Editor at the Bangkok Post has never, ever had an “encounter” with red shirts, we can well understand that a Deputy Editorial Pages Editor at the Bangkok Post probably only hangs out with the yellow-shirted lot that tend to inhabit the Post.

This Deputy Editorial Pages Editor at the Bangkok Post says she:

happened to find myself in the middle of a red-shirt gathering at the Democracy Monument on Sunday. It was Oct 14, and the people in red were celebrating an historic event associated with our nation’s democracy _ the student-led uprising in 1973 against Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn and his clan.

She was obviously in the wrong place for the site was a center of red shirt activism recalling the historical struggle for democracy against the military and its palace backers of 16 years.

We know she was in the wrong place because she found it odd that the “main message was … a blasting of the military and dictatorship repeated again and again.” She probably meant to type Thonglor into her satnav rather than Rajadamnoen…. Or maybe she meant to go to the non-Democrat Party’s “men in black” rally at Lumpini Park? Certainly she was out of place at a rally celebrating democratic activism.

She asks a rhetorical question:

Come to think of it, isn’t it ironic that the commemoration of such an historic event was dominated by just one group? Doesn’t the sheer absence of other voices highlight the dark side of Thai democracy nowadays?

Our answer is, no, there is no darkness, unless you mean the proto-fascist ultra-royalists or the old conservative rightists in the palace. The message is that the average people of Thailand have stood up again, even when they know the military and the conservative elite may well cut them down again.

Ploenpote Atthakor, a Deputy Editorial Pages Editor at the Bangkok Post, still has a long way to go before she understands the struggle for democracy in Thailand. Her current musings amount to an ignorant and pompous piece of self-delusional nonsense, made worse by a concocted attempt to appear tolerant when she simply hates red shirts.

This is one of the worst pieces of  “journalism” we have seen for a couple of years. Her claim that “we have not gone anywhere” since 1973 is infantile, hypocritical and ahistorical dribble.





14 October 1973

14 10 2012

The video below, part one of a series at YouTube, is a documentary made a few years ago at Thammasat University, bringing together what remains of the materials of the time. The short note under the video describes 14 October as one of Thailand’s “darkest moments.” That probably refers to the use of state forces to put down the student-led revolt. At the same time, 14 October is remembered as a rising against military dictatorship that sought to establish a democratic Thailand. The struggle continues.