Nasty and stupid

12 12 2014

Military dictatorships are always nasty outfits. The nastiness is usually meant to make up for their general (and generals) lack of mental capacity. Socialized in hierarchical and authoritarian organizations, it is often only the dull posterior polishers who get to the top. This is certainly true of the current lot who took control of Thailand in May. They want to wind Thai society back to some “golden” age that never existed but which they think was better because people followed military orders. Repression will often get compliance, as it does at present.

They are certainly stupid men. Not necessarily lacking in IQ, but just as thick as short planks on the real world and real politics. This is demonstrated time and again in the daft things they do.

For example, at Khaosod it is reported that soldiers have dismantled a stall in Pai in northern Thailand that sold strawberry products “with a logo resembling the face of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.”

Jam

Five uniformed soldiers dismantled a roadside stall and “refused to identify their ranks, units, or the reasons behind their action.” They “confiscated all of the products with the [alleged] Thaksin logo, which included twenty jars of strawberry jam, eight bottles of strawberry wine, and six bottles of orange juice.” They also stole his stall.

The owner of the stall, a “local coordinator of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD)” is said to be “confused by the soldiers’ operation because his stall and products are properly registered, and the [alleged] Thaksin logo is merely a cartoon that bears no political statement.”

The owner said he would “file formal theft charges against the soldiers at Pai Police Station for ‘robbing’ him.” It probably won’t do him any good for under a military dictatorship, the military can do as it pleases, no matter how base or stupid the act. In this case, The Dictator is trying to erase Thaksin from Thailand.

Reports are of nastier interventions at Prachatai.Two family members of Kamolkade Akkahad, a nurse murdered by military at Pathum Wanaram Temple in the 2010 attacks on red shirts, “were arrested on Wednesday morning after they held a symbolic activity in response to the junta leader’s distortion of the facts about the 2010 killings in saying that the military did not kill anyone during the crackdown.”

The Dictator has repeatedly lied about these events.

Phayao Akkahad and Nattapat Akkahad, the mother and brother of Kamolkade,”were arrested by the police on Wednesday at 10.30 am and were detained at Pathumwan Police Station.”

They were arrested for having “distributed and read out the court’s ruling on the deaths of red-shirt protesters which concluded that they died from gunshots from the military. They then washed a soldier’s shirt as a symbolic gesture that the military’s uniforms were tainted with blood, let off firecrackers and said ‘People died here’.”

This was too much for The Dictator’s underlings and they sprang into action arresting the two.

As reported, when meeting media editors last week, military dictator and self-appointed prime minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha continued his lies and fabrication when he stated that “photo evidence used in court of a military sniper aiming a gun in the direction of the temple was actually intentionally posed for photographs.” This is a very large pile of horse manure. When he adds that “I know very well who was behind this, which group is behind it and who paid the media to attack me,” he is making himself look not only absolutely callous but hopelessly stupid.





Interview with released political detainee

27 05 2014

Andrew Spooner’s interview with detainee Nattapat Akkahad. It is one of the first insights into life inside the camps for the detainees.

Nattapat was grabbed on junta orders on 22 May. He is the son of Phayao Akkahad whose daughter, Kamolkade, was shot and killed by the Army on 19 May 2010 who was working as a medic.

How were you seized?

I was seized at the UDD rally at Aksa Road on the 22nd May. The Army were shooting in the air as they approached and they were fully armed. They took six of us away. First of all they put in me into an Army truck then transferred me into a van. They looked after us all quite well. I didn’t really feel scared as I knew we’d not done anything wrong. I cannot say where they took me because that’s a condition of my release.

Do you know the condition of any of the other UDD leaders?

No, they are all in different locations. When we were taken they were all ok but I can’t speak of how they are now.

Can you describe the conditions you were kept in?

It was in a very small prison cell. There was no bed, just a mat on the floor. No fan, so it was very hot, extremely hot. I had a toilet in the cell but it was in very bad condition. Food quality was ok. I was being held in an army camp. I wasn’t allowed out for any exercise. I was allowed to telephone my family over the weekend – only the one time. I didn’t ask to speak to a lawyer and was never offered access to one. I was also given a medical examination.

Was anybody mistreated in the prison?

To my knowledge, no. But I was there alone and so there was nobody for me to speak to.

What were the conditions of your release?

I’m not allowed to take part in political activity, not allowed to leave the country. These are the main two conditions. If I want to leave the country I have to ask for permission from the army.

How do you feel now?

I am not scared. I have done the right thing in calling for justice for what happened in 2010. I will now fight for those who are detained to be released. I want to speak to the diplomatic and international organisations about what happened.

Are you happy for your full-name to be used in this interview?

I’m not afraid. I can only speak the truth about what happened.