More on Pravit I

16 09 2015

The Bangkok Post has a different take on Pravit Rojanaphruk’s departure from The Nation.

It states that it was not “audience” that demanded the departure of Pravit from The Nation but pressure from royalists in the newspaper and its business group. The report states that Pravit “quit the newspaper after being heavily criticised by a group of staff members led by well-known TV host Kanok Ratwongsakul who works for the same firm.”

Rightist and royalist Kanok is reported as stating that “there was a movement by a large group of staff members at his company calling on management to distinguish between Pravit’s personal opinions stated in his personal capacity on social media and his professional opinions.”

In the worst fascist tradition, writing on Facebook, Kanok demanded censorship:

“Why does the company have to always protect him in the name of media freedom?” Kanok wrote on Facebook. Kanok described Pravit as a person with cynical views whom the majority of the people at The Nation could not agree with.

“Why hasn’t The Nation tried to stop him [Pravit] as he has always expressed his opinions in a way that insulted the consensus on issues among the majority of people in society, especially when he made opinions critical of the monarchy?” Kanok added.

“I wonder if the scope of media freedom is that broad?” he wrote.

Fascists in Thailand are always prepared to use the name of the monarchy when attacking those they view as opponents.

Of course, it is Kanok who mixes his “journalism” with his rightist political views on a regular basis. His call for censorship of alternative views is indicative of the cynicism and intolerance of Thailand’s royalist fascists that has so often led to military-instigated massacres of those they cannot tolerate.

The Post publishes a picture of Kanok embracing royalism and fascism with anti-democrat Suthep Thaugsuban, clipped below.

Royalist fascism

Clipped from the Bangkok Post

Royal propaganda and lese majeste

20 06 2015

The propaganda associated with promoting the monarchy and royalist ideology is intimately related to the lese majeste law. This may seem obvious to many, for one of the points of lese majeste is to prevent any questioning of the propaganda. At the same time, those who wield this blunt instrument attempt to separate the monarchy from the law, as in the specious reference to the king’s speech on lese majeste that was, in fact, an attack on Thaksin Shinawatra.

Three recent reports at Khaosod illustrate this important intertwining of propaganda and lese majeste.

The first may seem relatively innocuous in the pattern of royalist propaganda and repression. It is a story about Prince Vajiralongkorn and a cycle ride to “honor” his aged and infirm mother, Queen Sirikit.

Titled “Bike for Mom 2015,” the event is said to have been “conceived” by the prince for his mother. If she gets there, she will be 83 on 12 August. It is announced that the prince “will lead [the] mass bicycling event.

This is surely propaganda, for the event was announced by the military dictatorship. More than this, the cycling event is from the so-called “Royal Plaza to the 11th Infantry Division headquarters in northern Bangkok on 16 August.” That military base has been politically significant in recent years as a center of the Army’s planned attacks on red shirts.

It is also a part of well-established palace propaganda that has designated Thailand’s Mother’s Day to be the queen’s birthday, as Father’s Day is the king’s birthday. These designations are attempts to establish a paternalistic hierarchy that is critical to royalist domination.

The military dictatorship builds on this, basing its propaganda and rule on hierarchy, paternalism and royalism. Its announcement brings all this together, claiming that this event will “reinforce unity” and states it is an “open opportunity for all groups of people across the country to join the event to express their loyalty to the monarchy, express their love for their mothers and the Mother of the Land…”. the statement says, using a common epithet to refer to Queen Sirikit.

The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, announced the prince’s involvement, saying that the prince “has … ordered officials to take care of the participants’ safety. The important thing [for him] is that the people are happy.” We are not sure which laws give the prince the power to give orders to officials. Prayuth also reveals that the military dictatorship receives constant messages from the palace as a matter of course. In other places, such actions by a constitutional monarchy cause problems. But, then, Thailand’s constitutional monarchy has been transformed over many years into something that is highly politicized.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej

In a second report, Khaosod tells us that The Dictator considers “Thainess” and being “Thai” to be associated with uncritical support for the monarchy.

Prayuth was commenting on the constant efforts to extradite those accused of lese majeste who have fled the dictatorship and threatened incarceration in Thailand. Of course, if any returned, they would be convicted. Indeed, in recent days, as in the 30 or so lese majeste cases initiated through Prince Vajiralongkorn, all victims have been forced to plead guilty and their “trials” have been perfunctory.

Prayuth states that Ekaphop Luera, now living in New Zealand, is no longer ‘Thai.” He declared: “Since he fled this country to another, it shows that he is no longer a Thai person and he cannot stay in Thailand…”.

This links directly to the prince’s cycle event in the sense that Ekaphop is defined as being outside the norm of royalist Thailand that makes the monarchy central to any definition of “Thainess.” Hence, Prayuth considers it his “duty” to jail those who reject the royalist norms: “We are not neglecting this duty. We simply cannot neglect it. The Ministry of Justice is working on it, the Royal Thai Police are working on it [extradition]…”.

The third story at Khaosod links notions of duty and lese majeste to the enforcement of hierarchy and authoritarianism through lese majeste repression. Prayuth, is described as “a hardline royalist,” and the report reminds us that he has declared that “defending His Majesty’s authority” is a top priority for his military junta.

He has received a communication from a “group of ultra-royalists in northern Thailand” who have declared their gratitude to The Dictator for “defending” the monarchy through “his strict enforcement of the country’s lese majeste law.”

These royal fascists have a “local association called People Who Love the King, [and] submitted the group’s thank-you letter through Phrae province’s governor…”. They assert that they “are impressed by Gen. Prayuth’s ‘dedication’ to enforcing Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Codes, a law known as lese majeste that criminalizes insulting the king, queen, heir-apparent, and regent with up to 15 years in prison.”

The fascists believe that, “In the past, officials responsible for law enforcement have neglected their duties, and there were many serious insults and accusations against the monarchy, both in open and secretive ways…”. They believe that this led to more attacks on the monarchy because “there was no fear of committing the crime…”.

Such a claim makes a nonsense of the history of lese majeste, but the point is that these ultra-conservatives appreciate Prayuth’s efforts to roll back electoral politics and reinforce royalist hierarchies. They prefer the old order and many laud a military dictatorship as a faux absolute monarchy. Royal and palace propaganda and the extreme implementation of the feudal lese majeste law are essential for the maintenance of the social, economic and political rule of the royalist elite.

Eliminating human garbage

5 05 2015

Some time ago PPT posted on a group of fascists bent on cleaning Thailand of persons they deemed insufficiently royalist. The leader of these royalist fascists named his group the Rubbish Collection Organisation.

It seems that The Dictator and many of his cabal have sipped from the same fascist cup.

Matichon reports – only in Thai – that at a recent event, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand’s self-appointed prime minister, has babbled not just about the “hard work” his junta has been doing, but took the opportunity to lash out at elected politicians by seeming to criticize Abhisit Vejjajiva. Abhisit had made comments about both draft constitution and Prayuth’s regime, suggesting the potential for failure. (By “failure” Abhisit seemed to refer to the possibility that Thaksin and the “Thaksin regime” would not be fully eliminated.)

While PPT has no time for the reprehensible Abhisit, Prayuth’s comments reflect a deep hatred of elections and elected persons and deserve scrutiny. Prayuth made some very 1960s comments about the need for all the people and the administrators to join hands in moving the country forward.

He added:  “เราต้องช่วยกันลดความขัดแย้งทั้งปวง ทำอย่างไรให้ลดขยะเคลื่อนที่ ต้องให้ขยะมนุษย์หมดไปจากประเทศให้ได้ วันนี้ผมบริหารราชการต้องฟังทุกคน ฟังทั้งคนด่า คนชม ฟังมากก็หงุดหงิดมาก…” (our rough translation: We have to cooperate in reducing all conflicts. What should we do to reduce the rubbish? We have to remove the human garbage from the country. As leader it is very frustrating to have to listen to everyone and to be watched by all).

Prayuth is not the only one who sees himself as eliminating human garbage. Apirat Kongsompong, a military officer who has been promoted rapidly for his murderous actions against red shirts, also refers to clearing the rubbish from the country.

It is exactly these kinds of comments that are reflected in a draft constitution that seeks to limit electoral democracy. These comments also indicate that this military dictatorship will not cede power to anything other than a puppet regime, “elected” or not; fascists don’t cede control to anyone.

Spades and shovels

5 03 2015

PPT has routinely referred to General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the man who directed murderous attacks against citizens in 2010, who mutinied against the legal government in 2014, led an illegal coup and is responsible for a widespread repression of political opponents, as The Dictator.

We fear that that description, while calling a spade a spade, is insufficient. We need to shout that this military spade is a fascist shovel.

The fascist general has “explained” that the media should not “be impartial.” He “explained:

“What they should say is, first, media should report news that is factual. Second, they should support the government’s efforts to move the country forward. And third, they should help reduce conflicts in society, and create understanding about the government’s policies that give clear results. Can you not do these three or four things together, dears?”

Thailand is in the midst of another dark political era led by a military leadership of fascist dolts.


Not a scholar, a fascist

12 02 2015

Long-time readers will know that PPT has little time for “scholars” or “academics” who prostitute themselves to various administrations.

They will also know that most of these “scholars” or “academics” usually have few of the accoutrements usually associated with university scholars such as research, publications and so on.

These readers will also know that we consider academic-for-hire Panitan Wattanayagorn an example of this kind of “academic” charlatanism. He has thrown himself at the feet of various royalist and military regimes, licking their boots, benefiting from salary and privilege, while maintaining the benefits attached to his “academic” position at Chulalongkorn University.Panitan

Often the mainstream media facilitate Panitan’s chameleon role as academic/spokesman/adviser for royalist and fascist rulers.

The Bangkok Post reports that Panitan is a “government adviser” and adviser to the Ministry of Defence. That is, he is working for the military dictatorship.

It also says he is a “political science expert.” PPT guesses that his PhD from a third-tier US university is evidence of some capacity in political science, yet there is no “academic” neutrality or intellectual consideration for Panitan. His “expertise” is in “advising” fascists.

This is why he “has defended the continuation of martial law after a group of lawyers released a damning report that exposed violations of human rights and international obligations under martial law.”

None of this nonsense for the fascist Panitan, who states that “the political situation is not yet stable enough to lift martial law despite human rights concerns.”

We doubt Panitan has any conception of “human rights,” and if he does, he would prefer to trash them. Here’s how he justifies military dictatorship:

Under a country with martial law, you’d expect certain pressure on human rights just to keep peace, order and civility…. Of course the military realises that in the end, in principle, martial law is not good for Thailand because it’s a strong pill. If you take a strong medicine too long, it may destroy your internal organs….

… [But] Thailand is very sick….

PPT reckons the “illness” is the military itself. Panitan parrots military nonsense, not just because he is paid by the dictatorship but because he worships it.

Panitan justifies the military dictatorship that has imposed and maintained martial law summoned 666 people, arrested 134 for peacefully protesting, 362 for “other political charges” and at least 36 people “prosecuted for lèse majesté…”.

Royalists face the law

21 01 2015

Not in Thailand, but in a constitutional monarchy with rule of law and freedom of expression: Britain.

Several UK news outlets report on the case of monarchy critic Rose Amornpat and what they acknowledge has been a “campaign of abuse” against her. The abuse began when she “dared to criticise the Thai royal family…”. The reports say that her ordeal “is finally over.”

The reports include a video interview.

Given the craziness that infects Thailand’s royalists, we suspect there will be further harassment. However, it is great to know that some of her problems have been effectively dealt with.

The British government refused to deal with an extradition appeal from the military dictatorship in Thailand.

One of her royalist harassers, DJ Ken or Thitipan Rungrawd, has “pleaded guilty to criminal damage and possession of an imitation firearm.”

As would be expected in such a situation, “he was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, 200 hours unpaid community service and required to pay £200 compensation at Bromley Magistrates Court on September 16 2014.”

Earlier in this month, “two women aged 54 and 42 were cautioned for harassment, and a 41-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of harassment but released without charge.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is quoted making some excellent points: “The UK is committed to the freedom of speech and defends the right of individuals to express their views without the threat of intimidation or harassment.”

The spokesman added: “We have made clear to the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] in Bangkok and the Thai Embassy in London, that we will not tolerate attempts to enforce Thai military decrees in the UK that are aimed at preventing freedom of expression.”

We doubt Thailand’s royalists can fathom such statements of principle.


Letting the dogs out

15 01 2015

Lese majeste cases continue to pile up under the military dictatorship. At the end of 2014, PPT canvassed some reasons for the frantic use of lese majeste. At the time we wrote of the monarchist military dictatorship’s lese majeste war.

In understanding why and why now, PPT has mentioned the necessity of preparing for succession. We also pointed to the need to shore up a political, economic and social order that the elite of rich royalists, stupendously wealthy Sino-Thai tycoons (including the king’s palace), and numerous hangers-on, like the military brass, think has been under threat. We have also mentioned succession house cleaning.

The spike in lese majeste cases is a result of the military dictatorship declaring lese majeste war. It has actively sought out cases, some of which are trivial in all respects, others being political vendettas, and it has begun sifting through old cases to prosecute them more stringently. And, the military dictatorship has encouraged a lese majeste frenzy amongst royalist, resulting in vigilantism. They have let the lese majeste dogs out.

This is seen in yet another attack on lese majeste victim Surachai Danwattananusorn, reported at Prachatai.SurachaiSurachai has been subject to repeated lese majeste allegations, charges and convictions since 2008.

In the past few days, the odious Major-Generl Rientong Nan-nah, the leader of the ultra-royalist vigilante group known as the Rubbish Collection Organization, has filed lese majeste complaint against Surachai. He has asked that the whole royalist book of charges be thrown at the now aged Surachai: he is accused “of producing online programs attacking and defaming the revered Thai monarchy breaking Article 112 and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act for importing illegal contents to computer system.” He is also accused of rebellion and instigating rebellion.

More broadly, the military dictatorship yet again assert a broad anti-monarchy conspiracy and plot. According to Prachatai, the super snoop sleuths have “arrested a man for posting lese majeste on Facebook and said he was part of a movement to discredit the Thai monarchy on the Internet.”

The Technology Crime Suppression police arrested Jamroen S., “a middle age man accused of using the Facebook profile titled ‘Uncha Unyo’ to post and share [allegedly] lese majeste” materials.

Jamroen is alleged to have “admitted that he was the one who shared the alleged lese majeste contents online and cited that he had been doing it for a year.” The flatfoots assert that Jamroen “is connected to Pongsak S., another … suspect arrested earlier for posting lese majeste contents on … Facebook…”.

The police accuse Jamroen of compiling “lese majeste content before sending them to Pongsak through Facebook chat. Pongsak would then [allegedly] modified the content for publicizing on Facebook.”

The police believe these two are “part of a movement to undermining the monarchy on the Internet.” The plods are in search of others.


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