As most readers will be aware, the Dictator and his military junta will brook no inference as they suppress and threaten their way to “royalist reconciliation.” Their latest stunt is a claim that anti-coup activist and one of the leaders of the Organisation for FreeThais for Human Rights and Democracy, Jakrapob Penkair is a gun runner. Yesterday, the military dictatorship issued a further arrest warrant for him, claiming “possession of war weapons…”.
The claim is considered a fabrication for at least two reasons.
First, Jakrapob has recently been in Cambodia and Hong Kong, setting up the Organisation for FreeThais for Human Rights and Democracy, and it is this which causes the charge. The junta is merely seeking a pretext that “makes it possible for authorities to seek the extradition of Mr Jakrapob from any country with which Thailand has a criminal extradition treaty. The other charges against him of lese majeste and failing to report to coup authorities are not extraditable offences.”
The senior policeman making the charge is the now notorious junta lackey Somyos Pumpanmuang, who is running a mission for the junta that includes quite ridiculous extradition warrants against Rose Amornpat, and suppressing peaceful demonstrators with massive police “rallies.” He also recently led a “police taskforce is investigating recent discoveries and seizures of war weapons and arms caches in Bangkok and other provinces to identify who supplied them.”
A second reason for considering this charge fabricated is related to the “seizure” of weapons. PPT has previously expressed skepticism regarding the remarkable “finds” the police and military claim to have made. We have also posted several times on how many of the military’s own weapons go missing and are traded.
The Bangkok Post reports on one of the biggest finds. Police proudly proclaimed that a “haul of war weapons seized in Nakhon Ratchasima on Monday will be expanded to locate the source of money used to procure them.” The “haul” included “firearms, including assault rifles, magazines and various types of ammunition,” and grenades. The weapons were “seized” on “a house belonging to Noppadol Petchmadan, 42, in Nakhon Ratchasima.” The diligent cops proclaimed that they were investigating “the red-shirt linked ‘Khon Kaen model’ armed network, which the suspect is allegedly connected to.”
The so-called Khon Kaen Model is quite possibly just one more military concoction. That aside, what did suspect Noppadol have to do and say?
The “raid” netted “four M-16 assault rifles, six other automatic rifles, including one AK-47, two machine guns, a shotgun, a firecracker launcher, an M-79 grenade launcher, two bulletproof vests and various types of ammunition,” all said to be “brand new.”
Noppadol “denied any involvement with the ‘Khon Kaen model’ armed network.” In fact, he stated that “he was well-known among many people in the weapons trade, including soldiers, police and government officials.” He admitted “procuring weapons…”. Of course he did. That is is way of making a living, and as he has stated, the police and military “trade weapons” and know him.
We simply do not believe the claims made by the military dictatorship. They are self-serving and altogether too convenient.
Meanwhile, as might be expected, at Asia Provocateur, Jakrapob Penkair, the Executive Secretary of Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FT-HD) has denied the claims made by the military dictatorship.
The charges levelled against me today by Thailand’s illegitimate coup regime reveal, once again, the desperation of the Generals and the Establishment they represent. The false claim that I am behind some kind of “armed element” is not only a fiction but yet another example of the injudiciousness of the fraudulent Thai junta.
Let me be clear – there is simply no evidence whatsoever to connect me to the junta’s seizure of arms and I would challenge them to produce such evidence. Of course, even the seizure of said arms has more than a whiff of suspicion about them. There has been no independent investigation regarding these arms’ seizures, no chain of evidence has been preserved and the kind of claims the junta are putting forward are so flimsy they would be washed away very quickly when subject to proper cross-examination.
As for any attempt to “extradite” me on such charges, the junta must know that no government on earth would succumb to their threats and that I would be given full access to any evidence they have concocted and also the platform to challenge such evidence.
For the record, I must state that I have no involvement in any kind of “armed” struggle. I believe fully in a political, social and cultural struggle secured in reality by the democratic will of the Thai people. The Generals and their Establishment masters know very well that if the democratic will of the Thai people is expressed, power will be removed from them and returned to more accountable and legal forms.
It’s only two days ago our organisation was being dismissed as “irrelevant” by the junta. Now we face allegations of being behind a regime-concocted “armed struggle” along with attempts to curtail our rights to travel via the revocations of passports. These actions by the junta reveal only one thing – their increasingly obvious insecurity – something which will only grow in the days and weeks to come.
That’s why the only “judicial” vehicle they could use to expedite their false charges would be through their own military-run “courts” where due process and the rule of law have long been abolished in favour of despotism. It must be said that any and all cases coming before the military “courts” exist in the context of a form of jurisprudence that is little more than a theatre of the absurd, such is the lack of any form of legal rights.
At the moment the military and the forces they represent are the only agents engaged in any kind of illegitimate “armed” struggle against the will of the Thai people. Those who believe in democracy have no need to use force of arms as we are fully confident that the moment the franchise is returned to Thais the junta will be little more than an historical aberration.
I should add that the revocation of passports by the junta is not only another grotesque repressive act it also turns any Thai citizen who stands against the military regime into political refugees. Such revocations will further expose to the global community that the junta are little more than petulant tyrants operating far beyond the norms of international law.
We ask our supporters to remain steadfast and not be distressed or disheartened by the junta’s threats and games. The only action the junta have available to themselves is to attempt to crush the hopes and aspirations of ordinary Thais. Yet, with each turn of the repressive screw, the junta just further seal their own fate and will strengthen your resolve to return sovereignty to the Thai people.”
Update: Junta flunkey Pol Gen Somyos said “police did not need to ‘make up’ evidence as alleged by Mr Jakrapob to make it possible to seek his extradition from Hong Kong or elsewhere.” Somyos is playing catch up on this because he simply can’t produce any evidence for the claims he makes. But why does he say that they don’t need this well-crafted “evidence” to extradite Jakrapob? It is Jakrapob’s “alleged criminal offence” associated with his alleged “involvement in leading red-shirt supporters to stage a violent protest at the home of Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda on July 22, 2007…”. Yep, something that happened seven years ago, and following the period when the Abhisit Vejjajiva military-backed government was in power. Why didn’t they think of this? No prizes for a correct answer.