Fine for bopping royalist Srisuwan

2 05 2023

Coconuts Bangkok recently reported on the outcome to Weerawit Rungruengsiripol’s October 2022 punch-up with self-promoter and royalist Srisuwan Janya. He was fined 1,000 baht.

The 62-year-old red shirt activist “was  fined by the Criminal Court for socking Srisuwan Janya this past October as he was on his way to file his 80,000th legal complaint, which concerned a comedy special that he didn’t like.” Weerawit. who said he was sick to death of Srisuwan’s antics, assaulted him. Weerawit said he had could no longer tolerate “Srisuwan’s frequent and frivolous legal complaints against those with different political stances.”

Clipped from The Nation

Coconuts says: “While we deplore violence in pursuit of silencing or stifling even the most annoying people – Srisuwan provides a study in the gadfly’s descent from truth-chaser to narcissist – the nation was so happy to see him punched in the face  that people donated millions of baht for Weerawit’s legal defense.”

Naturally enough, serial complainer Srisuwan filed an assault complaint with the police.

Coconuts explains that “Srisuwan once fought against government corruption and for environmental causes” and that he was once “detained by the military after filing a complaint about the disappearance of a plaque commemorating the 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy.” Interestingly, it is said that, since then, Srisuwan has become “known for taking ultraroyalist and nationalist positions, filing complaints against those who dissent against or pose a political threat to the ruling government and monarchy.”


Delicate royals need “protection”

28 04 2023

Of course, Thailand’s royals are, so think the ultra-royalists and several dinosaur political parties, in need of Article 112, to “protect” them.

Clipped from Bangkok Post

It seems they also have delicate eyes in need of protection from the political kaleidoscope that is election campaigning on Thailand’s streets. Despite the fact that – as several regimes have endlessly bleated, Section 2 of the 2017 constitution affirms that “Thailand adopts a democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State,” that “democratic” bit does not mean that royals can be exposed to electioneering or even see it.

Thai Newsroom reports that “Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt … posted on his Facebook page to explain that a few dozens of Pheu Thai campaign posters had been removed from the sidewalks of Aksa Road in Thawi Wattana district straddling northwestern outskirts of the capital city by officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration because they were not legally allowed in the royal premises.” Who knew a public road was “royal premises”?

The of the roadside signs “bewildered many people on social media … since they only advertised the Pheu Thai campaign and none was found to belong to any other contesting camps.” Even more bewildering is the fact that the so-called Thawi Wattana Palace is empty of royals.

This raises issues, again, about royal land grabs but also about rules for royals that seem to have little basis in law.

Along similar lines, Prachatai reports that the Rayong city municipality office decided to remove all election posters “because they lined the route of a royal motorcade.” That motorcade carried Princess Sirindhorn.

In this case, a municipal authority decided that the royal should not and would not see election campaign posters. Law? Nope. We suspect it is just the usual royalist nonsense. Or is it? Is the palace making these demands? Who knows? But what of the “democratic” bit in the constitution? As far aw we can tell, royals that that as nonsense and so do their minions who wish to “protect” them.

More on R10 lese majeste complaint

26 04 2023

The case of a 112 complaint against Yan Marchal got some attention in the Thai Examiner.

The significant point for PPT was this:

Last Tuesday, it is understood that the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) agreed to take up the case against the French national and three to four Thai nationals living abroad who are believed to have participated in his 41-second video singing a song about waiting for a pizza delivery with lyrics that the royalist activist group believes is harmful to the monarchy and a clear breach of Article 112 of the Criminal Code which courts and Thai case law have widened in scope to encompass allusions, innuendo and indirect messaging with criminal convictions and jail sentences being handed down on this basis.

The loathsome Anon Klinkaew, self-appointed leader of the ultra-royalist group the so-called People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy, was also mentioned. Allocating to himself great power, the thug “took the opportunity to warn the Thai public last week to simply ignore the clip and not to, on any account, post, repost or share it, something which would constitute a serious criminal offence in Thailand…”. He added that his vigilantes continues to what it calls “the offensive and dangerous content and to report any attempt to share or repost it in Thailand.”

The ultra-royalist fear

20 04 2023

We are pretty sure that the recent uptick in reports of ultra-royalist activity and threats is related to two things. First, they fear another Shinwatra party election victory. And, related, they are preparing the ground for activism to unseat such a regime should it gain power.

There are three stories on this that are worth considering.

First, at Prachatai, ultra-royalist threats of violence. The thug doing the threatening is Anon Klinkaew, self-appointed leader of the ultra-royalist vigilante group the so-called People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy. He was the person responsible for the police complaint under Article 112 that resulted in the arrest and later detention of Thanalop (last name withheld), also known as Yok. He has now threatened to kill the now 15-year-old “because she refused to take part in the judicial process: associated with the 112 charge.

By some counts, the People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy is responsible for at least 16 lese majeste complaints. The few who claim allegiance to it are thugs and bullies, apparently feeling threatened by children and free speech.

To get a feeling for Anon’s mental disarray, read about his rant against a child:

In a 10 April live broadcast on his Facebook page, Anon said he will continue to file charges against critics of the monarchy, including 15-year-old activist Thanalop. He also said he was told that Thanalop and an activist known as “Comrade Sleepless” is the same person, and that he will kill her if this is true.

“Don’t you fucking hope that I’ll stop. I won’t stop no matter what happens,” Anon said. “That fucker Yok or Comrade Sleepless, if they’re the same person, they’re dead. Just wait and see.”

Anon also threatened to beat up Thanalop and kill her if she doesn’t agree to participate in the judicial process. “I will fucking kill you. Don’t tell the police, then,” he said on the broadcast. “I will beat you up, don’t you fucking complain.”

Second, also at Prachatai, the very same “Centre” has gone ballistic over a foreigner in France: “ultra-royalist group People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy has filed a royal defamation complaint against French TikToker Yan Marchal over his latest online video.” This relates to the video clip at his Facebook page posted on 12 April. It is also at Facebook:

The third story is at the Bangkok Post and refers to the wealthy “songs for life” hypocrite Ad Carabao and his new song “Prachathipatung” which “revives the myth of vote-buying and ignorance in rural society.” It is an article well worth reading as it is reprising this claim just in time for the 2023 election, allowing an opposition victory to be denigrated and opposed.

As we said, there’s a fear sweeping the conservatives. It will deepen and the efforts to swing voters will become increasingly fiendish.

A 2-year-old sedition charge

17 04 2023

Thai Examiner reports that Progressive Movement secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has been “charged this week with additional sedition charges two years after the complaint was filed.”

The complaint was lodged by Nathaporn Toprayoon, a former adviser to the Ombudsman, who has also filed a petition to dissolve the Move Forward Party for seeking to amend the lese-majeste law and for supporting the youth-led pro-democracy movement.

Nathaporn might be dismissed as another ultra-royalist nutter, but he’s had previous success with complaints, most notably having the Constitutional Court agree that monarchy reform movement was trying to overthrow the state.

Nathaporn (clipped from The Nation)

Piyabutr observed:

“I do not want to believe that this summoning order…is politically motivated and it was probably a coincidence that it came while I was helping the Move Forward Party with their canvassing campaign,” he said sarcastically.

“The investigators took over two years to consider the case before issuing the summoning order and I want to see which of my previous statements were considered as sedition,” he said.

The complaint relates to a discussion where Piyabutr commented on the lese majeste law. He denied all wrongdoing.

Just another example of the state seeking to tilt the election to the conservatives.

The past seeks re-election

16 04 2023

A report on the upcoming election by The Nation finds its way to the Asia News Network. As ever, PPT was interested in how the military-backed parties of the past are using the monarchy.

The report begins by noting that Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has ditched efforts to be a newly-born and cuddly democrat, apparently for two reasons. First, political “moderation” had “failed to improve popularity ratings” Prawit and his Palang Pracharath Party, causing Prawit to leap “back to the conservative camp.” Second, Prawit “learned that the result of the 2019 election was a victory for the conservatives.” The alleged switch involves making “it clear that it [the military party] would not join hands with Pheu Thai and Move Forward, as the two parties have policies to amend, if not abolish, the lese majeste law, or Article 112, of the Criminal Code.”

Gen Prawit and Gen Prayuth in an earlier photo

We think this is exaggerated. For one thing, the notion that the 2019 election was a “victory” for conservatives is fudging. It was only by rigging the constitution and the election, and with last minute rule bending and breaking by the Election Commission that the “conservatives” managed to scrape together a ruling coalition. And second, Prawit is still seeking “moderate” votes. As we said recently, the plan for the 2023 election seems to be for Pirapan and Prayuth to represent the extreme right for royalist voters and maybe a few military types, banging on about monarchy. Prawit’s party represents the “cuddly” royalists, rightists, and military, appealing to a “middle” of voters, sprouting (new) words about reconciliation and democracy. The hope may be that they can get sufficient seats to form another coalition, drawing in some of the parties-for-sale.

What the royalists, rightists, and military-backed dinosaurs are doing is making the monarchy their main platform. By doing that, they are laying the ground for party disqualifications, protests, and military coup should the opposition win.

The report then assesses the conservative camp.

Prayut is firmly in the conservative camp and has clearly announced his opposition to the liberals [PPT – not really a useful term]. He has vowed to defend the monarchy and prevent any amendment to Article 112.

As a former Army chief, Prayut is imbued with a spirit of loyalty to the monarchy. He rose from the line of command in the 2nd Infantry Division, Queen’s Guard, so he has been on the forefront to protect the monarchy.

As a result, Prayut is seen as the No. 1 politician in the conservative camp and many pro-monarchy voters are expected to pour their support for his party.

Prayut’s staunch pro-monarchy stand is expected to win a lot of votes for his party, but it is yet to be seen whether the number of votes will be enough to allow him to retain his prime minister’s seat.

As we said in our linked post above, this is obvious.

The Democrat Party is looking weak, and the report says this: “Several core members of the party, candidates and party financiers are pro-monarchy elites, so the Democrat will retain its conservative stand and continue to receive sizeable support from royalists.” Because the party has splintered, several of its high-profile ultra-royalists have gone elsewhere, and former Democrat votes will likely follow.

Turning to the Bhum Jai Thai Party, the report ignores the dope party image and looks at Anutin Charnvirakul as a “defender of the monarchy. Bhumjaithai has made it clear that it does not want to see the monarchy used as a tool in political conflicts.” Except that he’s prepared to do it and so are his partners…. At least the report explains that being pro-democracy is not the party’s strong point. The report reckons that anti-democrat party built around patronage politics is still “expected to win some support from royalist voters.”

What we get from this report is that these parties of the past have little to campaign on in terms of policy or achievements and so must rely on the monarchy and the votes of royalists. Those votes look likely to be highly contested among these parties and thus are probably going to be splintered.

Fault line politics

13 04 2023

It was only a few days ago that PPT posted that while it is the ultra-royalists who are quickest to bemoan any “politicization” of the monarch and monarchy, it is ultra-royalist parties that regularly use the monarchy as a political piece. That post was about the inaptly named United Thai Nation Party.

Earlier we had a post on the Chart Thai Pattana Party, owned by the Silpa-archa family, set one of its conditions for joining the next coalition government as a “promise not to touch the lese majesty law.”

This has become the refrain of military-backed and a gaggle of splinter parties seeking to benefit from elections while backing the incarceration of children for lese majeste.

In recent days, Thailand’s so-called health minister and prime ganja promoter Anutin Charnvirakul of Newin Chidchob’s Bhum Jai Thai Party has declared he is “open to working with any party and would be prepared to be prime minister if the opportunity arose.” But this claim of willingness to be sucked into any coalition turns out to be an untruth. He reportedly “explained” that as a “staunch monarchist [he] draws the line at any suggestion of amending a lese majeste law.” Apparently, “for Anutin the monarchy is sacrosanct” and this includes Article 112. He solemnly declared: “Protecting the monarchy is an inspiration for the party…”.

So Anutin is either prepared to only work with rightists – a good fit for himself and his party – or he thinks he can get Puea Thai to leave Article 112 untouched.

Likewise, Palang Pracharath leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has also been talking about allies after an election where his party is looking like failing. He said his military party “could form a government with any other party, including Pheu Thai, provided they share similar policies, in particular being opposed to amending the lese majeste law.”

This is recognition of Puea Thai’s likely election and the losers are drawing a line in the coalition sand. Clearly, the lese majeste ball is now in Puea Thai’s court. Can they be clear on 112??

Updated: Military party ultra-royalism

9 04 2023

A couple of weeks ago we posted on hick party royalism. Today we post on one of the military parties and its ultra-royalism.

Recall that it is the ultra-royalists who are quickest to bemoan any “politicization” of the monarch and monarchy. Yet their military-backed parties regularly use the monarchy as a political piece. This is because for decades the royalists have been promoting and “protecting” the monarchy as a national shibboleth and the keystone of the conservative ruling class.

Pirapan. Clipped from

In their latest use of the monarchy for political advantage, in its electoral campaigning, the leader of the inaptly named United Thai Nation Party, Pirapan Salirathavibhaga has “vowed to take action against ‘nation haters’ if his party forms the next government, saying Thailand is a land for patriots and those who don’t like it can live somewhere else.”

Predictably, “nation haters” are defined by Pirapan as anti-monarchists: “Thailand is a land for patriots and the land is holy with the monarchy serving as the pillar of the country.” He babbled on:

“If you don’t like it, you have no right to change it because the entire nation wants it,” he added.

“If you don’t like it, please go to another place. No one is stopping you. Go now. Any country you like, you can go and stay there. But Thailand will be like this forever.”

“Under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart (the Thai name of UTN), we will not change,” he said. “If the UTN is a core party that forms the next government, we will get tough against chang chart (nation haters) and those who want to overthrow the institution.”

Apparently Pirapan sees no contradiction in the “United Thai Nation” excluding those who do not subscribe to mad monarchism. But he wouldn’t, because the very wealthy like him tend to defend their pile.

And, of course, as a former judge, Pirapan reflects the judicial bias against those who do not bow to ultra-monarchism. As a mad monarchist, he has defended the king’s extraordinary powers, hunted down lese majeste suspects and blocked thousands of websites when minister, claiming that “Offences against the King, the Queen, the Heir-Apparent or the Regent are considered offences relating to the security of the Kingdom…”. Unsurprisingly, Pirapan was an extreme opponent of Thaksin Shinawatra and the red shirts.

Added to all of this, while Pirapan spouts loyalty when it comes to the monarchy, he has had little loyalty to the various parties he’s joined. Of course, his lack of party loyalty is not unusual among royalists. Back in 2021, when was in the ruling, military-backed Palang Pracharath Party, he was an “advisor to powerful party leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.” Now he’s touted as number 2 to Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha in the new UTN and Prayuth reckons he should be prime minister after Prayuth’s ludicrous extended term is over.

When Pirapan sprouted his hate declaration it was “during the party’s first major campaign rally at Benjakitti forest park in Klong Toey district…”. Supporting his extremist monarchism were a gaggle of rightists: Gen Prayuth, ML Chayotid Kridakon, ultra-royalist Rienthong Nan-nah, who is now “chairman of the party’s committee on quality of life improvement,” and party secretary-general Akanat Promphan, stepson of Suthep Thaugsuban, who “paved the way for the military coup led by Gen Prayut” in 2014.

Pirapan said the UTN “will live forever under the policies of Uncle Tu (Gen Prayut’s nickname) and the heart of the party is the nation, the monarchy and people…”.

But there seems more going on within what Thai PBS called an “old boy network.”

Gen Prawit, who is also deputy prime minister, revealed recently that he has maintained close ties with Pirapan since the time they served together in Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Cabinet from 2008 to 2011. Prawit served as defense minister and Pirapan as justice minister.

However, their relationship actually began long before they entered politics.

Apirat back then. Clipped from Khaosod

Both studied at the all-boys Saint Gabriel’s College. Though Prawit was Pirapan’s senior by many years, both were part of an alumni network that also included former Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong, who is now a deputy to the Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household Bureau, which oversees day-to-day operations of the Palace.

Rumors have it that Apirat helped get fellow alumnus Pirapan his advisory job at Government House after the latter left the Democrat Party in 2019.

The plan for the 2023 election seems to be for Pirapan and Prayuth to represent the extreme right for royalist voters and maybe a few military types, banging on about monarchy. Prawit’s party represents the “cuddly” royalists, rightists, and military, appealing to a “middle” of voters, sprouting (new) words about reconciliation and democracy. The hope may be that they can get sufficient seats to form another coalition, drawing in some of the parties-for-sale.

Update: According to the Bangkok Post, Rangsiman Rome of the Move Forward Party has responded to the ultra-royalist Pirapan’s hate speech.

Royalist response

30 03 2023

After the arrest of the graffitist Suttawee Soikham, who sprayed his anti-112 message at the Grand Palace, Thai Newsroom reports that “an anti-bullying centre called on members of an ultra-royalist group to rally…”. The newspaper should not have used this term – anti-bullying – as this group of royalists are vigilantes. In other words, they are the bullies.

The report continues:

The anti-bullying centre at King Prajadhipok Institute said in its online message “111 (referring to the three-finger salute) has done too much” and Anon Klinkaew, a member of the ultra-royalist People’s Centre to Protect the Monarchy group, cannot accept it.

The message added that an army of protesters should gather at 1 p.m. and rally at all Metropolitan police stations where the ultra-royalists had filed reports to pressure for speeding up of all cases against three-finger-salute activists.

Out of hospital and (still) campaigning I

25 03 2023

Tantawan Tuatulanon and Orawan Phuphong were only discharged from Thammasat University Hospital on Thursday. It had taken 12 days for medicos to nurse them back to health after their 52-day fast.

Yet, as the Bangkok Post reports,

Within hours they were in Ayutthaya, attending a Pheu Thai Party campaign event for the May 14 general election. Carrying a large placard, they began to circulate through the crowd, asking party faithful to mark down whether they favoured repealing Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the royal defamation law. A second question asked whether freedom and economic prosperity were possible at the same time.

Clipped from Bangkok Post

The two women approached the party’s campaign stage, and were “eventually allowed onstage. Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the face of the party and presumptive prime ministerial candidate, made some general remarks about freedom of expression and the moment passed without incident.”

The Post gleefully writes: “Like most parties campaigning for the May 14 poll, Pheu Thai does not want to make lese-majeste an issue, or even mention it at all, beyond saying that is open to discussing possible amendments.”

It then seems to want to attack Move Forward:

On Friday evening, Ms Tantawan and Ms Orawan — Tawan and Bam to their supporters — took their campaign to a Move Forward rally in Chon Buri, where they found an enthusiastic reception. Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat even invited them onstage and expressed support for their efforts.

It adds:

Only Move Forward has an explicit policy proposal to reform the law to reduce the current harsh punishments. The party also says that only the Bureau of the Royal Household should be allowed to file criminal complaints. Currently, anyone can file a lese-majeste complaint against anybody else and the police are obliged to investigate it.

Tantawan and Orawan have said they will “visit all the parties, even the ‘dictatorial’ ones, on the campaign trail to find out where their leaders and supporters stand on the lese-majeste issue.”

The Post suggests potential violence if they show up at the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) party “fronted by the acting prime minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the reception might be less than warm. One of the big names who joined the party this week is Dr Rienthong Nanna, a ultra-royalist vigilante infamous for inciting supporters to go after reformist activists.”

This reporting is lop-sided, but at least the report includes available data on lese majeste cases long-missing from the Post’s reporting. We can probably thank Tawan and Bam for that!

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