Snitching for the royalist elite

4 10 2014

It is well-known that lese majeste charges are thrown at political opponents in order to discredit and silence them. The most proficient at this political ploy have been the anti-democrat zealots associated with the Democrat Party. Watchara Petthong, a former Democrat Party party-list MP is particularly notorious for slinging lese majeste mud at his opponents and has been doing it for years.

Watchara with the "evidence"

Watchara with “evidence”

This time he has filed a lese majeste complaint against Thaksin Shinawatra, Tom Plate and Suranand Vejjajiva and the company Matichon for publishing Plate’s translated book, Conversations with Thaksin or Jub Khao Kui Thaksin Shinawatra.

PPT has not been a fan of the book, finding it lightweight and uncritical. But that matters little in these circumstances for not only has the book “been available in the local market for more than two years” but Plate was apparently careful about the lese majeste threat. The English original was published in 2011 by Marshall Cavendish. The Thai translation, completed by Suranand, was published in 2012 and was reprinted earlier this year.

As is expected of lese majeste monsters like Watchara he claims that “some parts of the book contained material harmful to the royal institution and had been quoted worldwide.” PPT has read the English version, and we didn’t see anything remotely like a slur against the king, queen or heir apparent. Yet the lese majeste crazies can always construe and misconstrue when they want to settle a score or create trouble.Thaksin Book

Watchara is to be condemned for his puerile and self-serving nonsense and for hiding behind the repressive law and the throne. He’s not the first, though, for another anti-democrat, Somkiat Onwimon, babbled about this book on the anti-democrat stage in January 2014. At the time, Somkiat seemed to mistakenly think the book hadn’t been published in Thailand, but was simply looking for yet another excuse to attack Thaksin.

Tom Plate is undoubtedly an enthusiastic supporter of Thaksin. For crazed ultra-royalists, that seems to be a”crime.” Watchara’s warped world is marked by fear that the royalist control may crash, worry that the aged and ill monarch is unable to hold the royalist world together, and the threat that popular and electoral politics offers an alternative to armed feudalism.





“Stupid foreigners”

23 05 2014

In an earlier post, PPT noted that the hardening attitude of anti-democrats to “outsiders” will probably lead to verbal attacks on these “stupid foreigners.” No sooner posted than one of Thailand’s leading anti-democrats confirms this.

“Veteran journalist”  Somkiat Onwimon, a deeply yellow anti-democrat, reacted badly to US Secretary of State John Kerry statement that the United States would cut aid to Thailand. Of course, Congress requires, by law, that military assistance be cut.

Somkiat seems unaware of this and says it “meant nothing.” He compared the U.S.’s $10 million cut  to “$800 million of the national budget that Thaksin regime has allegedly misused.” We doubt the rabid royalist said “allegedly,” for this is another anti-democrat concoction.

Somkiat then did something else that demonstrates the anti-democrat’s capacity for self-delusion. He claimed: “if the US is happy to support Thaksin corrupted regime, then so be it.” He means that any support for electoral democracy is equal to supporting Thaksin!

His next claim is bizarre, showing a remarkable lack of knowledge and education:

Someday the US will wake up and realise the difference between the authoritarian Thaksin regime in the guise of their own brand of democracy, and the full democracy as described by Alexis de Tocqueville 180 years ago….

One of the central observations Tocqueville made way back then, as an aristocrat looking at an agrarian society, was that the nature of American democracy was shaped by it general state of equality.

If the anti-democrats were really “fiercely fighting for full democracy,” then their focus would be on reducing inequality, double standards and elite economic and political dominance. Sadly, it is these features of society that Somkiat and his ilk fight to protect!

Just for good measure, Somkiat also attacked the BBC and CNN, “telling them that the situation in Thailand was beyond their grasp.” He added that: “Time and more education will improve your understanding of Thailand…”.

Arguing that every single person who disagrees with his politics, or makes statements he disagrees with, is ignorant is more a statement of Somkiat’s anti-democratic politics and his intolerance than a reflection of the reporting of others. Such statements flag a fascistic incapacity for a tolerant politics.





Updated: Same old yellow-shirted “academics”

30 01 2014

More on the tired and those who pose as “academics” but who are simplistic ideologues for royalist, yellow-shirted causes at the Bangkok Post where they have formed yet another group with a name that fools nobody:

A group of 194 academics, former cabinet ministers, community leaders, business figures, civil servants, members of the media and writers and artists have set up a network to push for reform through peaceful means.

Prominent academic [sic.] Thirayuth Boonmi yesterday announced the formation of the Network of Servants for Reform through Peaceful Means.

We know that Thirayudh thinks that the only problem for Thailand is Thaksin Shinawatra. It is that simple for him. He has long lived on his reputation as an “activist”, 40 years ago, and publishes books that are usually a bunch of pretty incoherent “thoughts.”

Other “members” of the so-called “network” are reported to include “former Bank of Thailand governor and former finance minister MR [joined at the hip to the junta] Pridiyathorn Devakula, former Siam Commercial Bank president Khunying Jada Wattanasiritham, archaeologist Srisak Vanliphodom and former public health minister Mongkol Na Songkhla.” Pridiyathorn and Srisak are long-standing anti-Thaksin activists. Jada headed the king’s bank.

Others are of the same ilk: Rapee Sakrik, rabid yellow-shirt ideologue Chai-Anan Samudavanija, “media guru” Somkiat Onwimon, and a bunch of singers and artists, all with long yellow-shirt connections.

Thirayuth, comes up with the obvious:

Thailand has been plagued with corruption, political crises, social disparity and injustice…. The education system is inefficient and media organisations use freedom of expression irresponsibly, which has contributed to social divisions….

Well, perhaps the latter isn’t the obvious, but suggests a chilling willingness for control and re-education. This lot have long had opportunities to address such issues, but they hardly seemed to worry about them until the “Thaksin revolution” which attempted to drag Thailand into the modern world.

Thirayuth says: “Unlimited greed and arbitrary power have led the country into an absolute catastrophe…”. He adds: “The last thing which has already started to collapse is morality and ethics as killings and violence now take place on the streets but many people appear to be indifferent, which is very worrying…”.

As Thongchai Winichakul long ago pointed out, these people promote a royalist notion of morality that damns all politicians as the fount of all of these problems. Not the conservative elite or the military or the police and Ministry of Interior. Not the feudal ideology the imbues most institutions. Not the monarchy and its anti-democratic ideology and not rapacious Sino-Thai capitalists, including those at the palace.

When “[a]cademic” and junta constitution boss Meechai Ruchupan said “he threw his support behind the move,” you know that this group is fake. No wonder there is no mention of elections. The slogan should be: Reform now! Change the rules to our rule! Maybe have an election!

The “Thaksin revolution” really did shake up the elite.

Update: Actually, we were wrong in our comment on Meechai. He has  been reported as encouraging people to vote. Why? He wants the anti-democrats to vote no. He explains that voters should:

… show their disapproval of the government rather than refusing to go to the polls….

He said social media campaigns have been launched suggesting that if the voter turnout is less than 50%, Sunday’s election will become null and void.

Mr Meechai said this is a misunderstanding because even if the turnout is only 10%, the poll is still legally valid.

Whether the election is made invalid does not depend on the number of voters. but on whether or not it can be held nationwide on a fixed day, he explained.

The caretaker government and the Election Commission (EC) must know this but it appears they have still not discussed the matter seriously. If the poll cannot take place nationwide on Sunday, the government and the EC must take responsibility and they could both risk having criminal and civil suits being levelled against them, Mr Meechai said.

If there are many no-shows at the poll, the outcome of the election could be interpreted in a way that suggests that 100% or nearly 100% of voters support the government, Mr Meechai said.

But those who disagree with the government could tick the “vote no” box to show their disapproval.

You get the picture.





Getting it badly wrong

28 01 2014

The appearance of Somkiat Onwimon, said to be “a senior media expert,” on the anti-democrat stage recently caused quite a stir amongst the dwindling ranks of protesters.

Plate

Plate

Somkiat, and old anti-Thaksin Shinawatra activists from People’s Alliance for Democracy days, criticized Thaksin Shinawatra and “told the crowd that he intended to read to them his translation of a book called Conversations With Thaksin, which was written by an American author, Tom Plate.”

Somkiat claimed that the book contained “many issues that Mr. Thaksin has spoken that damage [or destroy] himself”. He went on to:

Thaksin Bookallege that the book is not available in Thailand, because Matichon Publishing holds the publishing rights of the book yet refuses to translate and print the books for Thai audience, implying that Matichon has conspired with Mr. Thaksin to hide the damaging parts in the interviews.

This claim is concocted. As Khaosod and Matichon have demonstrated, the book was translated and published: “Matichon Ltd and Matichon Publish would like to stress that [Mr. Somkiat′s] speech is completely false…”.

A quick search of PPT would have produced the announcement of the book being available and a picture of its cover. It would have also revealed that royalists tried to stop its distribution.

Somkiat played fast and loose with the truth.