Updated: Trampling remaining freedoms V

11 08 2021

It has been a busy few days and PPT is catching up on some of the reports, in this case, from Thai Enquirer.

In one report, there’s an account of a “document that was leaked to the press on Monday evening purportedly show[ing] a government watchlist of dissidents that is under government surveillance and facing travel restrictions.”

The document, initially said to be “fake” by a military source, it listed “some of the most prominent anti-government protesters along with opposition parliamentarians and journalists.” Some of those included were “Move Forward Party Leader Pita Limjaroenrat, former Future Forward Leader Thanathorn Juangruangroongkit, protest leader Anon Nampa, and journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk.”

The report refers to “the list is real is a worrying escalation of the administrations war on civil liberties.” It cites political analyst Arun Saronchai who states:

Not only is the administration using continuous violence and arrest against peaceful protesters but this document is troubling because it includes members of the press and politicians as well….

That means to the government, they will paint anyone that opposes them with the same brush. What we need to understand now is what membership on this list entails and what kind of surveillance is being done against them….

A second report is of the police “seeking software that would help it monitor chat applications and social media private messages…”. The report states that the “Royal Thai Police have reached out to several companies selling software similar to the Pegasus software developed by an Israeli defense company.” The reason for this is that they want to digitally snoop on those using “popular chat applications like LINE, WhatsApp, and Telegram.”

Police want to “prevent political protest as well as go after members of organized crime and drug smugglers…”. We can guess that the main reason would be to crack down further on anti-monarchism.

This kind of news explains why protesters are targeting police. They are becoming the regime’s Stasi.

Update: The document mentioned in the first report above now seems genuine. The police’s Immigration Bureau seem to say it is their document but they did not release it. They seem to want to deny it is a political blacklist, saying it is an immigration blacklist. They say it is people who are watched on leaving and entering the country. But that lame claim fails to explain why, for example, a reporter with no warrants for his arrest is on the list or why political figures without warrants are also there. It is a political blacklist for harassing people and making their life difficult and to demonstrate the state’s arbitrariness and power.

Moving forward ever so slowly

11 02 2021

The Move Forward Party announced that, despite intense pressure and an internal nest of 112 traitors, “it will propose the decriminalization of defamation and reduction of penalties for acts of lèse majesté.”

Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat said the party “will propose a set of five bills to parliament, including one eliminating imprisonment as a penalty for defamation and another to put the lèse majesté law (Section 112 of the Criminal Code) into a chapter regarding offences against the honour or dignity of members of the Royal Family and the Regent.”

The reforms proposed are relatively minor but provoke intense opposition from rabid royalists and those with much to protect: the political and economic establishment.

Cranky yellow shirt and deputy leader of the regime’s Phalang Pracharath Party Paiboon Nititawan again became the voice of unreason, saying he will “he will file a court challenge if the opposition invokes the monarchy during the upcoming censure debate.”

The reforms proposed retain “the possibility of imprisonment being retained, but with the minimum sentence being removed.” We are sure that Paiboon trusts the royalists courts to do their assign protection of the monarchy job, even if there was no minimum sentence. But he frets about “chipping away” at privilege, wealth and power.

Pita even went to far as to reiterate that his party “has and does adhere to a democratic system with the King as the head of state and that the monarchy should be immune to criticism…”. The point of change, he said, is to ensure that “no one makes use of the monarchy’s status against their political opponents or the lèse majesté law to gag other people.”

That’s pretty timid and a long way from abolition of the draconian law, but this is what debate about the monarchy is reduced to in Thailand’s parliament.

Junta-style business (as usual) I

17 03 2020

While dithering and flip-flopping on anti-virus stuff, it is business as usual for the regime as its junta pedigree “shines” through.

The Nation reports that three members of the Future Forward Party have been charged with “organising a public rally at the Pathumwan Intersection Skytrain station on December 14 without seeking permission, blocking or interfering with train station services, organising a gathering without concern for the public, using speakers without permission and holding a public gathering within a 150-metre radius of the palace.”

We can’t help but see the last charge as definitional of junta style. The others are concocted to destroy the party – already kind of done – and to bury its star performers. It is another pile of junta-like buffalo feces.

How high can the junta pile it?

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, Pannika Wanich and head of the Future Forward replacement party, Move Forward Party, Pita Limjaroenrat had to show up at the Pathumwan Police Station and answer the political charges and be fingerprinted and so on. The police aim to have them in court on 7 April, but this case is more about harassment, so expect it to be dragged out.

The three denied the accusations and police aim to file a case in court on April 7.

Piyabutr said the Public Assembly Act caused several problems, including a limitation that did not allow police to grant permission in time. He also said he would continue efforts to establish a political group to campaign on politics.

Meanwhile, former heroin smuggler, alleged mask profiteer and deputy agriculture minister Thammanat Prompao has told reporters he will “spend the next 14 days in self-quarantine after he came in contact with a man who tested positive for the novel coronavirus strain…”. He didn’t seem to say who or where or when. We suspect this is more Thammanat male cow manure and he’s just hiding out. Maybe he could sell masks online?

Related, the embattled head of the Internal Trade Department has resigned “amid allegations that he colluded with the hoarding and profiteering of millions of sanitary masks.” We wonder how well he knows Thammanat and his aide?

He “maintained he had nothing to do with the alleged stockpiling and sales of 200 million face masks to China.”

While on the topic of dipsticks, there’s the fascist Palang Pracharath Deputy Leader Paiboon Nititawan, who is interviewed at Thai Enquirer. How’s the regime being doing on the virus. Better than anyone else he says. Whatever he’s drinking, we want some of it.

Business as usual for the junta-cum-hopeless regime.

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