Anti-democrats and twisted justice

24 01 2019

We are not lawyers. However, we do think that some of the odd legal decisions emanating from Thailand’s courts would baffle the best-qualified lawyers.

The Bangkok Post reports that the Supreme Court:

upheld the suspended one-year jail sentence and 50,000-baht fine handed down to three Democrat [Party] politicians for defaming former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra during their TV programme.

In February 2012, on the anti-democrat Blue Sky Channel, run by the Democrat Party, Sirichoke Sopha, Chavanont Intarakomalyasut and Thepthai Senapong, all MPs, accused then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of missing parliament to engage in an extra-marital affair at a Bangkok hotel.

Of course, there are the usual double standards involved in suspending a sentence for these misogynists. Those on the other side of politics have quite often spent periods in jail for defamation.

The Supreme Court ruled that the comments “were unfair.” But then the tremendous bias of the courts was revealed:

The court suspended the jail term because Yingluck, as a national administrator, should have shown transparency but had never explained the matter to the public. Only during the trial did she reveal she had a business meeting with a property developer.

If true, there was no reason to keep the activity secret and raise suspicions, the court ruled. The court saw the three men had good intentions and therefore suspended the jail term for two years.

The courts have effectively confirmed that misogyny is an acceptable political weapon. That’s to be expected as both the civilian anti-democrats and military misogynists have been comfortable attacking Yingluck as a woman and women in general.

Justice in Thailand is riddled with and twisted by politicized injustice.

Libel, defamation and double standards

4 06 2016

Remember this from the Bangkok Post on 25 May?

The Appeals Court on Wednesday upheld the Criminal Court’s acquittal of former Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut of a charge of defaming former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in comments about her meeting with businessmen at the Four Seasons Hotel in 2012.

Chavanond’s claims were meant to imply several things and all were meant to denigrate Yingluck.

The Criminal Court dismissed the suit against Chavanond. An appeal was lodged and the “Appeals Court ruled that in his press interviews Mr Chavanond had not accused her of disclosing official secrets, but rather had made an honest criticism of her.”

Then what about this?

The Appeals Court on Thursday upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a defamation suit brought by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra against Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leader Sondhi Limthongkul and his two media businesses, and ASTV Co.

Thaksin alleged Sondhi defamed him while addressing PAD supporters at a rally at Government House on Oct 14, 2008. Sondhi accused Thaksin of infringing on the monarch’s powers, buying grass-roots voters, taking control of the police and bribing certain high-ranking military officials to weaken the royal institution.

His speech was broadcast live on ASTV News 1 satellite TV channel and also published on the website of the Manager daily newspaper.

The judge declared that while Sondhi’s words “were defamatory towards Thaksin, the defendant argued that there were other suspicious individuals who had political ties with the former premier as well as his close aides and henchmen such as Robert Amsterdam, Thaksin’s former lawyer who was accused of violating lese majeste law.”

The court decided that “Sondhi’s suspicions about Thaksin were genuinely felt and not therefore deemed an act of defamation.”

And what about this?

The Supreme Court Thursday reversed a ruling by the Court of Appeal and upheld the lower court’s ruling sentencing red-shirt co-leader Jatuporn Prompan to six months in jail, suspended for two years, and fining him 50,000 baht for defaming former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Jatuporn made some remarks “accusing the then prime minister of wrongfully sitting in a chair that put him on the same level as His Majesty the King during a royal audience.” He accused Abhisit of failing to show due respect to the king.

The Criminal Court “ruled in Mr Abhisit’s favour, finding Mr Jatuporn’s remark was not made in good faith as it violated Section 328 of the Criminal Code.”

Jatuporn appealed and was acquitted by the Appeal Court, which “ruled his remarks were not defamatory.” Abhisit appealed to the Supreme Court. That court has decided that “Jatuporn had the intention to defame Mr Abhisit” and “reinstated the lower court’s ruling” and the jail sentence.

Readers might notice some similarities in these cases. Like a sore thumb, it sticks out that one side wins in each case.

Democrat Party extremism

8 05 2014

Democrat_Party_logoThailand’s Democrat Party is lost in its own extremism. The following quotes, drawn from Khaosod, indicate that its politics is so extreme that it has lost touch with common decency. Or perhaps they simply display the incapacity of elites to understand anything that could be construed as decent or common.

In commenting on the demise of Yingluck Shinawatra via yet another judicialized putsch, someone who is said to be a “senior legal adviser” to this sorry lot, Wirat Kalayasiri stated that the government should resign to accept responsibility: “According to social courtesy, now that the court has removed the Prime Minister, the rest of the Cabinet should also resign to show responsibility for the country and society…”.

Such a statement might be expected from the opposition. However, Wirat then stated: “Look at South Korea. Their leader resigns just because a ship sank…”.

Wirat clearly cares not a bit for human life. The Korean prime minister offered his resignation not because a ship sank, but because of the criticism resulting from the deaths of almost 200 people in the ferry disaster. But then it was the Democrat Party-led government that launched crackdowns on red shirt protesters, resulting in the deaths of almost 100, and none of their leadership took responsibility.



This inhumane attitude is taken even further by Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut issued a threat to Thailand’s voters and to the government. He demanded the government resign, stating: “If they still want to have an election in this situation, I believe the Thai population will decrease by hundreds…”.

Clearly, Chavanond and the Democrat Party are threatening violence and deaths should Thailand ever get to an election that was tentatively scheduled for 20 July.

Not making it up

13 04 2014

In our last post we vented some frustration with poor and spineless reporting that allowed royalists to appear as something other than political animals intent on saying anything that can bring their side advantage in their struggle to maintain political and economic power and privilege. In this post, we refer to material that could not possibly be made up, but which uses falsified and misleading information as if it were legitimate.

Chavanond being a spokesman (a Bangkok Post photo)

Chavanond being a spokesman (a Bangkok Post photo)

In a report at The Nation, the failed Democrat Party’s loudmouth-in-chief, rants on about Wuthipong Kachathamakul, who has been forced to go into hiding for apparently declaring that the king is and has been an enemy of democratic reform in Thailand. The Democrat Party, acting as judge, chief prosecutor and police detective, declares that Ko Tee is “hiding under the protection of an influential figure in the Northeast.”

Chavanond babbled that “it was time police proved that they were law enforcers and not servants of politicians.” He reckons the police “would be able to nab both Wuthipong and Ekkapob Luara, aka Tang Acheewa, who is wanted for alleged lese majeste offences following a speech he gave at a red-shirt rally last year.”

Recall that this is from a party that when in government ranted about “men in black” but produced no evidence of any worth about them and seemed unable to locate any even with the support of the Army. Recall that this is the party that when in government committed gross acts of violence against protesters and threw hundreds in jail. Recall that this is the party that when in government implemented a vast censorship campaign against political opponents.

Chavanond, as spokesperson for this party then resorted to complete dishonesty and nonsense when he “called on the police to get information about the plot to topple the monarchy from Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director-general Tarit Pengdith, saying Tarit had knowledge of the plot and links within the Pheu Thai Party.” Further:

He said police should start probing the alleged plot against the monarchy by looking into the case of Wuthipong. “If police are reluctant to take necessary action for fear of negative consequences to vested interest groups, the country will continue to face political conflict,” he said.

PPT imagines that the royalist party refers to the crazy diagram it drew up when Suthep Thaugsuban was in government, and which was meant to be a central element of a witch hunt against even more of the royalists’ political enemies. It was a concoction and nobody except diehard and foolish royalists took it seriously. Chavanond was one of them.

Chavanond is a genuine article, making nonsensical statements he must believe, but using concocted and recycled trash. What next? The Finland plot?

The anti-monarchy plot diagram

The anti-monarchy plot diagram


Updated: More on the Ko Tee lese majeste case

12 04 2014

Over the past week there has been a flurry of stories about lese majeste. PPT has posted on some of these stories about Thailand’s residual feudalism. In this post we focus on a clutch of news stories associated with Ko Tee or Wuthipong Kachathamakul ( โกตี๋ หรือ วุฒิพงศ์ กชธรรมคุณ).

The lese majeste junkies at the Democrat Party were fast out of the rat hole on Ko Tee’s case, using it in the best of the worst traditions of the Party, smearing all their political opponents. Party loudmouth/spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said the party’s toady “leader” Abhisit Vejjajiva:

had assigned the party’s legal team to lodge complaints with caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order director Chalerm Yubamrung and Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdit to consider taking legal actions against Ko Tee for his controversial interview with the foreign media which were deemed lese majeste.Ko Tee

The party was also lodging “a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division police and to file lawsuits against Ko Tee with the police throughout the country.” Lodging the complaint nationwide is evidence that these hopeless and failed politicians haven’t had a new political idea since the 1940s. Shouting in the cinema, Chavanond bleated that:

Ko Tee’s conduct reflected the negative attitude of several red-shirt leaders and followers towards the Monarchy. Such attitude, he said, is a security threat that authorities concerned cannot just sit idly by but have to take actions to deal with it according to the law.

Abhisit has regularly sought to use the monarchy against political opponents.

The savageness of the attack on Ko Tee, in part, reflect the directness of his comments. It also reflects the fact that Ko Tee is radical in his politics, challenging not just the royalists but sometimes the official United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.Indeed, the official red shirts have been quick to dump Ko Tee, with Jatuporn Promphan – himself accused of lese majeste several times – disowning him. In the next report quoted below it is stated: “He has said that his group operates on its own and is not loyal to the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.”

Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha hates Ko Tee, and was once said to have set assassins in search of him.

Getting Ko Tee has considerable benefits for the royalists and their anti-democrat movement. At the Bangkok Post it is reported that the police have come under pressure to get him as quickly as possible.

National police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew met with army chief Prayuth and “other senior government and security leaders met at a project launch in the far South on Thursday. They agreed on the need to take action against Wuthipong Kachathamkul, alias Ko Tee, during sideline talks.” The event was some kind of Prem Tinsulanonda-initiated interference in the normal work of government. It was reported that “Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda. Gen Prem was not involved in the talks” on Ko Tee. No one believes that little lie.

The Post also reported another lese majeste case “involving Ekaphop Luera, also known as Tang Acheewa,” was discussed by the royalist military bosses.

Thailand’s politics in recent years has seen lese majeste cases spike when the royalists are in power or seeking to topple an elected government. This is clearly another of these situations. PPT’s guess is that the royalist elite is taking the opportunity to de-fang the more independent and threatening of red shirt leaders prior to the conclusion of the creeping judicial coup.

It is reported that: “Pol Gen Adul promised he would take serious action against the two and direct immigration authorities across the country to watch out in case they try to flee the country.” Apparently an arrest warrant is out for Ekaphop, who is “believed to have already fled the country.”

The Democrat Party demanded that Prayuth “go after Ko Tee.” The irony of this is that “Democrat deputy spokeswoman Malika Boonmeetrakul insisted in an interview with the radio programme that security authorities could arrest lese majeste suspects…”.

Of course, it was Mallika who criticized a princess for being an indulgent waste of taxpayer money just a few days ago, but nobody amongst the double standard-toting royalists is going after her because she thought she was criticizing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Faithful royalists can drag the monarchy through the political dirt with impunity because they are somehow “protecting the institution.” The political battle is about shoring up the political and economic system that has the monarchy as its keystone, so the monarchy can be used by the royalist side for its political purposes without a peep of complaint from the palace.

According to the report, Ko Tee’s “whereabouts are unknown.” The dopey Democrat Party claims Ko Tee is “under protection of a two-star police officer.”

The Post then makes this remarkable claim: “Ko Tee is also accused of leading red-shirt members in a bloody clash with People’s Democratic Reform Committee members at Lak Si intersection on the eve of the Feb 2 election.” What is the newspaper’s point? Ko Tee did indeed lead red shirts on that day, but it was the anti-democrats who opened fire and were responsible for the bloodshed. The Post appears to being politically biased in the most base manner.

In another report at the Bangkok Post, police are said to have “approved an arrest warrant for the red-shirt hardman on charges of lese majeste.” They reckon he is still in the country. The court that quickly approved the warrant – probably the same one that has repeatedly rejected warrants for royalist anti-democrats – claimed “it had thoroughly considered the evidence submitted by the Crime Suppression Division…”. The police reckon they have a “substantial case…”. In most lese majeste cases, the evidence usually doesn’t matter in the slightest, so all this huffing and puffing is for political impact.

The interview with Ko Tee was widely circulated, causing the government’s Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order to renew “a warning to the public that anyone distributing or forwarding the video would face criminal charges.” They mean people circulating or “liking” the interview can end up in jail on lese majeste charges for 15 years.

The anti-democrat monk Buddha Issara got in on the lese majeste sycophancy by holding a “rally at Kukot police station and offered a cash reward of 500,000 baht for anybody who could arrest or locate the suspect.”

In yet another of many reports at the Bangkok Post, Army chief Prayuth “confirmed that army intelligence is assisting in the search for the suspect.” Remember when Prayuth claimed that it was not the Army’s job to arrest Suthep Thaugsuban for “treason.” It seems that the double standards run exceptionally deep.Prayuth and Suthep

Prayuth acknowledged that “it would be difficult to arrest Mr Wutthipong if he had left Thailand. He said lese majeste offenders usually flee to other countries which view lese majeste as a domestic matter.” Other crimes are domestic too. What the general might have said is that other countries view lese majeste not just as domestic but as a bizarre feudal leftover that is taken seriously pretty much only in Thailand.

Extending the reign of lese majeste terror, Prayuth added that the “army was also in the process of filing complaints with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology against radio stations and radio hosts who offend the monarchy.”

PPT looks behind this action, and sees that this lese majeste repression is just another part of the attempt to crush parliamentary and representative politics, just as much as herding the anti-democrats onto the streets was. Watch what the courts do next.

Update: Readers may be interested in Asia Provocateur’s take on these events:

This Thai fascist bloc, who’ve murdered and killed Thai citizens with complete impunity, are notorious for perceiving words to be more dangerous than bullets. The Democrats can order troops to slaughter unarmed Thai civilians and rationalise this as “necessary”. The Thai Army can carry out that slaughter and claim, with a straight face, that it was nothing to do with them. The PDRC have repeatedly tortured, kidnapped and even murdered pro-democracy activists yet their leaders are never held to account or even properly investigated.

Updated: Chulabhorn dives deep into politics (again)

19 02 2014

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut has posted a picture at his Facebook page showing Princess Chulabhorn’s representatives meeting with anti-democrat protesters as she sends “royal dirt” for the funeral of the protester killed yesterday (ฟ้าหญิงจุฬาภรณ์ฯพระราชทานดินหลวงฝังศพแก่ คุณสุพจน์ บุญรุ่ง ที่เสียชีวิตจากเหตุการณ์ขอคืนพื้นที่ถนนราชดำเนิน). This is just one more example of her political sympathies being with the extremists. Clearly, Chulabhorn is also a political extremist doing her bit for the final destruction of the monarchy.

Princess dirt

Update: Thanks to a reader for this link to the royal-sponsored funeral for the anti-democrat protester, complete with video:

สมเด็จ พระเจ้าลูกเธอ เจ้าฟ้าจุฬาภรณวลัยลักษณ์ อัครราชกุมารี พระราชทานพวงมาลาวางหน้าหีบศพ “ธนูศักดิ์ รัตนคช” วีรชนคนกล้า กปปส.กระบี่ ที่ถูกยิงเสียชีวิตเหตุเจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจสลายการชุมนุมสะพานผ่านฟ้า ท่ามกลางความปลื้มปีติของญาติ และกลุ่ม กปปส.กระบี่ ที่ร่วมในพิธีศพ ณ วัดเขาคราม อ.เมือง จ.กระบี่ ด้านภรรยาเปิดใจไม่รู้จะทำอย่างไรหลังจากนี้ เพราะสามีเป็นเสาหลักของครอบครัว

Collective cerebral and political dysfunction

20 10 2013

Worachai Hema, a Samut Prakan Puea Thai Party MP sponsored the amnesty bill that went to parliament for discussion. It was a proposal that had the support of the official red shirts. As PPT posted back in early August, of a plethora of proposals on amnesty, this was the version that had widest support.

It was supported because it was rooted in the struggle for accountability and justice that red shirts led following the murders of April and May 2010. The proposed bill did not spare the military or leaders of political factions, seeking to pardon only low-ranking members of these groups. Thaksin Shinawatra, backing down from previous statements that saw him angling for a pardon, publicly supported Worachai’s proposal.

Thaksin’s about-face was to shore up his alliance with red shirts and to moderate opposition to the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

All that amounted to political good sense. But by an act that is amnesiac, self-destructive or gross political arrogance that good sense has been undone, with Puea Thai politicians and the party’s leadership appearing to have suffered a collective political brain failure as the amnesty bill can now be branded as being a bill for Thaksin. This is because the committee reportedly expanded the definition of “amnesty to include people found guilty by groups or ‘organisations set up after the military coup on Sept 19, 2006’.” Reportedly, it “also seeks to absolve all people involved in political unrest, including soldiers, protest leaders and authorities.” It means no accountability and impunity.

The only group left out of this blanket amnesty? You guessed it: “those found guilty of lese majeste offences under Section 112 of the Criminal Code would be excluded from the revised section’s coverage.” Yes, lock people up for supposedly “dangerous speech” but let the state’s murderers go free.

As demonstrated by the Bangkok Post, the revision to the Worachai proposal allows opponents to justifiably claim that the amendment is “clearly intended to help fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.” While Worachai “attempted to placate opponents, saying MPs could always make further changes when it comes back to the House for second and third readings,” considerable political damage has been done.Homer-Simpson-Doh

In another report, Worachai “said he stood by his original version of the bill. He said when the revised bill reaches parliament for a second reading, he will ask lawmakers to stick to his version.” The process and decision-making involved appears a Homer Simpsonesque political moment.

The political damage includes allowing the anti-government alliance currently led and organized by the Democrat Party a cause for mobilization. It also damages the links with red shirts, both with the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and with rank-and-file red shirts. Nothing could be worse for the Puea Thai Party.

The bill was approved on Friday in a Puea Thai-dominated parliamentary committee and already the Democrat Party and its allies are laughing all the way to the political bank.

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut really has been given something to mouth off about, saying “all party branches would be directed to mobilise members to show their opposition to the bill.” His statement focused on the bill being crafted for Thaksin.

At The Nation it is reported that the Democrat Party is already planning to “lead an[other] anti-government rally once the government-sponsored amnesty bill is passed by Parliament.” That may be a way off, but why is the Puea Thai Party so keen to hand their opponents a battle cry and to provide Abhisit Vejjajiva with instant credibility? And, it would let Abhisit and his former deputy, Suthep Thaugsuban off murder charges. Puea Thai brain failure or arrogance?

In putting red shirts offside, another Bangkok Post reports the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship “leadership said yesterday it was unlikely they would accept the revised amnesty bill offering a blanket reprieve.” Showing good sense, “UDD chair Tida Tawornseth insisted that the UDD still adhered to the original version of the bill…”.

Thida said “she believed most red-shirt supporters will oppose the revised version if it grants amnesty to authorities responsible for the crackdown on red-shirt protesters in 2010, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and … Suthep Thaugsuban.”

Clearer political thinking is required from Puea Thai and Thaksin needs to once more support the original Worachai proposal.

Judicial action I

27 09 2013

The Nation reports Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana lambasting the Constitutional Court for accepting petitions from royalists over the proposed constitutional amendment on senators.

The court has done this as a warning to government party MPs, implicitly threatening them with banning and party dissolution.

We have sympathy for his complaints, but the Constitutional Court has been a royalist political tool for some time, so its shenanigans are to be expected. Puea Thai has yet to fully challenge the bias of the court.

The threat is made explicit by another royalist tool, the so-called Democrat Party. Its official loudmouth Chavanond Intarakomalyasut threatened the government on the third reading of the amendment bill, “warning that it could lead to the early demise of the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.”

Just for good royalist measure, unelected  senator and card-carrying yellow shirt Kamnoon Sidhisamarn invoked the king, implying that sending the bill to the monarch before the kangaroo court’s ruling on the amendment’s constitutionality, risked having the aged and interventionist king refusing to sign.

Of course, in the past, the king has held bills up and sent them back when displeased, making a public statement of dissatisfaction or simply protecting his own interests.

Democrat Party floundering

13 08 2013

The Democrat Party has always relied on “old elite” methods when it comes to international image. It figures that international allies will forever consider it democratic simply because it uses the name and considers that all of Thailand’s old men at the top provide the “right” links for it in getting international support. It also feels that as it has a couple of lads who speak good English and have old elite connections in England and supporters knitted into the royalist fabric of the U.S. alliance, that it will always do well.

Hence, when it supported the military, became very royalist and unleashed murderous attacks on civilians it felt that claiming all of this was “democratic” and under the “rule of law,” old friends would understand. They didn’t. And Abhisit Vejjajiva’s forays overseas to “explain” all of this were dismal failures. When he was supported by the usually ill-prepared Kasit Piromya, farce usually resulted.

Making things worse for the floundering Democrat Party, Yingluck Shinawatra’s election landslide saw her electoral legitimacy sanctioned by international leaders. More galling for the toffs at the Democrat Party, Thaksin Shinawatra seems to have been adroit in getting access to international leaders.

When the Puea Thai Party government invited “several international figures who have played prominent roles in promoting democracy and reconciliation” to a meeting in Bangkok, the Democrat Party hastily responded. At the Bangkok Post it is reported that the Party “plans to counter the government’s move to invite international figures to join a unity forum.” It is rushing to see “former British prime minister Tony Blair and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to try to dissuade them from becoming ‘tools’ of the Pheu Thai-led government,”

Chavanond being a spokesman (a Bangkok Post photo)

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut lamented that Blair and Anand “might be used as tools or presented as a stamp of approval for the government-sponsored amnesty bill…”. He added that their presence would “whitewash the crimes of those who vandalised Bangkok buildings in the 2010 red-shirt rallies, and those who insulted the monarchy…”.

It seems that Abhisit has assigned Kasit, Korn Chatikavanij, and party MPs Ong-art Klampaibul and others “to meet ambassadors and submit open letters to international organisations based in Thailand to explain to them that the government is abusing its power by pushing for an amnesty bill.” In addition, the Party “will translate the reports by the Truth for Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the National Human Rights Commission into English to distribute to foreign agencies.”

Is anyone listening to them?

Real amnesty?

19 07 2013

A few days ago at the Bangkok Post it was reported that relatives of those killed in the April-May 2010 crackdown by the Army and the Abhisit Vejjajiva government on red shirts are to submit an alternative amnesty bill to parliament, which has six other amnesty bills to consider.

Phayao Akkahad, whose daughter Kamolkade was killed at Wat Pathum Wanaram on 19 May 2010, said the relatives’ bill meant that: “People from all colours will be absolved of any offence they committed or had committed against against them, except for core leaders…”. The relatives’ bill will “seek to bring to justice those who made the decision” on the crackdown. It would also “allow judicial lawsuits to be pressed against persons or groups that killed people and/or damaged private property” and “does not prevent private entities whose properties were damaged in the unrest from launching civil suits against vandals or arsonists…”. Importantly, the relatives have specified “which actions, not persons, will be granted an amnesty…”.

The relatives have now submitted their draft bill to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

PPT thought this proposed bill made sense. Hence, we were somewhat surprised when, at The Nation, Democrat Party leader Abhisit was reported as being “prepared to back an amnesty bill proposed by relatives of the victims of the 2010 crackdown, provided the government withdraws all previous versions of the amnesty bill proposed to Parliament.”

But at the Bangkok Post, it is reported that the reprehensible royalist added an important caveat: “the bill needed to make sure that those involved in corruption and offences against the monarchy are not included under the amnesty.”

Everyone knows that the corruption bit refers to Thaksin Shinawatra. But the monarchy bit is part of the never-ending project to re-energize a declining monarchy that royalists consider central to their world.

PPT wasn’t alone in its surprise, for the Democrat Party immediately came under heavy criticism from red shirt-hating royalists.

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut was quick to dismiss “criticism that the party has supported an amnesty aimed at exonerating those involved in instigating public disturbances during the 2010 political violence.” He pointed out that his reading of the relatives’ bill was that it “clearly separates offences in violation of the emergency rule and minor offences during the 2010 unrest.”

Bright yellow unelected Senator Kamnoon Sidhisamarn attacked the Democrat Party and called for it “to clarify its stance on the people’s amnesty bill.” His reading of the bill is that it is “modelled on an amnesty bill proposed by the Nitirat group” and “seeks to grant an amnesty to offenders who violated Section 112 [lese majeste] and to those who set fire to government buildings.” Oops, the royalist whip has been cracked.

Chavanond had Abhisit and the Democrat Party immediately in reverse, saying “the party will not support an amnesty for these violations…”. In other words, Abhisit is not (now) supporting any reasonable amnesty bill, and neither is the Democrat Party.


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