A Sunday miscellany

15 06 2014

*A while ago PPT linked to a set of news clippings on the coup posted by Michael Nelson. We have noticed that he has now posted a second set of clippings. They are useful.

*PPT has seen several YouTube compilations showing the Dictator General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s “song” for “reconciliation,” happiness and unity and parodying them. One of the most revealing we have seen is this one:

*TIME magazine on truth or the lack of it: It’s not a coup says the dictatorship, but: “Since seizing power, Thailand’s military has crushed all forms of dissent, imposed a nightly curfew and imposed severe curbs on civil liberties, and taken over all government departments….. That’s pretty coup-like. So are the junta’s ham-fisted attempts at buying off the masses. The military has … unleashed a wave of populist policies…. Supporters of the coup long objected to the Shinawatra government for populist policies they considered tantamount to vote-buying…. Curiously, though, the military’s new ramped up infrastructure plans include a seaport, the expansion of the capital’s two airports and dual-track railways along six routes. And that’s just to start with. Presumably the junta will have another term for this than ‘vote-buying,’ just as it shrinks from the word ‘coup.’ But with apologies, gentlemen, the c-word really does suit you.” We guess they mean “coup,” but we can think of others.

*A very interesting article at the Bangkok Post has some revealing information on several items. One item is the denial of an earlier statement on extradition of people overseas accused of lese majeste. Previously official sources said Rose Amornpat was subject to extradition. Now it is reported that “Spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said at this point, the NCPO has not yet asked foreign governments to extradite fugitives who are on the list of summonsed people.” A second item in the story states that “[m]ore than 500 people have been summonsed to report to the regime. Of them, 214 have been detained and 25 are facing charges.” We had not seen the number of detentions elsewhere. And, a third item provides figures on the number of lese majeste cases: “the most recent figures available indicate that 1,414 lese majeste cases were sent to trial between 2005 and 2012, an average of 177 per year. Judgements were handed down in 469 cases.” While international agencies sometimes refer to 6-7 persons held on lese majeste charges and convictions, these data suggest that there are perhaps hundreds held. The malicious royalists of the current dictatorship are sure to lock up many more.

*A reader advised PPT to search นคร สุขประเสริฐ in Google and see what we came up with. This is Major-General Nakorn Sukprasert, who turns out to be quite a favorite at the deeply yellow ASTV/Manager. He turns out to be a military commander in Roi-et. Now, let’s think, who else comes from Roi-et. None other than นายวิพุธ สุขประเสริฐ. That’s Wiput Sukprasert the serial lese majeste complainant, who most recently, after some 14 or 15 other complaints, had his accusation against Sombat Boonngamanong taken up by the military dictatorship. Maybe these two just have the same family name by coincidence? Maybe not.

Sombat charged with lese majeste

14 06 2014

As the military dictatorship rolls out its lese majeste dragnet, Prachatai reports that jailed democracy activist Sombat Boonngamanong has been charged under an Article 112 complaint lodged by serial lese majeste complainant Wiput Sukprasert.

The report states that police from Roi-et Province arrived in Bangkok to charge Sombat on Friday. Roi-et is where the monarchy lusting Wiput, said to be a yellow-shirt businessman, lodged the complaint in January 2014.

Wiput is a crazed ultra-royalist who throws around serious charges for political impact and to boost his own persona as a mad monarchist. Prachatai reports that he has “filed at least 15 lèse majesté cases against prominent academics and journalists, including Pravit Rojanaphruk, a senior reporter at The Nation, Surapot Taweesak, an academic and columnist for Prachatai, and Prachatai director Chiranuch Premchaiporn.”

The ultra-royalist accuses Sombat of “disseminating a doctored image defaming the monarchy.” That material is a “doctored image of the 2006 coup makers.” Prachatai states:

In the image, the photos of Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of the anti-election People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), and a woman replace those of … the King and Queen, while the faces of the then Army Chief, Navy Chief, Air Force Chief, Police Chief and Supreme Commander are replaced by those of key figures of the PDRC and the Democrat Party.

Sombat says he did not create the photo and that he has always been “very careful with the issue of the monarchy…”.

When crazies like Wiput are taken seriously it is a clear message that politics in Thailand is at its most base level.

Pravit’s lese majeste allegation under investigation

2 07 2012

Lisa Gardner at Siam Voices has a brief article that confirms the lese majeste allegation against journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk is being investigated by the police. No charge has yet been laid.

The allegation apparently relates to articles written for Prachatai, The Nation and even a tweet. PPT has posted all of them (see one, two, three, four, five, six and seven). The accusation is made by serial lese majeste accuser Wiput Sukprasert, an ultra-royalist based in Roi Et.

Pravit was questioned by police, as was the editor of Prachatai.

Pravit accused of lese majeste

25 05 2012

Multiple lese majeste accuser Wiput Sukprasert, an ultra-royalist based in Roi Et, on 16 May 2012 has “filed a lèse majesté complaint against Nation reporter Pravit Rojanaphruk, for his contributions to Prachatai.”

Read the Prachatai story here.

An update on Suraphot’s lese majeste case

15 02 2012

Readers may recall a case lodged in Roi-et, by a yellow-shirted serial lese majeste accuser, against academic and Prachatai contributor Suraphot Thawisak.

Suraphot is accused, along with others, of lese majeste related to posts at the independent media outlet Prachatai. Prachatai reports that Suraphot has had his police summons delayed until 17 February 2012.

Meanwhile, an investigating police officer has appeared before a panel at the National Human Rights Commission. When yellow shirt activist Wiput Sukprasert lodged his complaint, Pol Lt Col Sukhit Phetyotha stated that:

police practice in handling complaints under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, police investigators are obliged to forward all cases to the regional and then central police for consideration, including even the cases they have already decided not to pursue.

So Roi-et police established an investigation with its team “interrogating those involved in the case and checking IP addresses with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.” The outcome was a meeting “chaired by the Regional Police Commander [that] decided that Suraphot and an unidentified Prachatai reader should be prosecuted as alleged.”

Suraphot was then issued with a summons. If he fails to appear before police, an arrest warrant will be issued. It is the summons that he is expected to answer in a couple of days.

This is yet another case that makes Nitirat’s case for it. More, it makes a case for abolishing a law that is only used for political repression.

More on Suraphot’s lese majeste case

9 12 2011

In our initial post on the lese majeste summons to university lecturer and Prachatai columnist Suraphot Thawisak, PPT stated that the “case that appears to have been processed under the Yingluck Shinawatra government.” However, after reading the story at Prachatai, we are not so sure of this statement.

The Prachatai account states that Suraphot “has received a summons to report to the police in Roi Et province in the Northeast as a result of a local yellow shirt’s complaint against him for his comments on the Prachatai website. On 2 Dec, Suraphot received a summons from plainclothes policemen, issued by Roi Et police and dated 22 Nov, to report to Roi Et Provincial Police Station on 7 Dec to answer accusations of lèse majesté.”

The report states that the police complaint “was lodged by Wiput Sukprasert, a local yellow shirt in Roi Et who uses the alias ‘iPad’ on the Prachatai website.”

According to this account, the summons relates to comments Suraphot made on Somsak Jeamteerasakul’s article “How will we situate the monarchy in Thai society and politics?” that was published by Prachatai on 10 August 2010. Apparently police first made inquiries on 6 October 2010. And nothing more happened until he received the summons.

It seems this case has a longer history that began under the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime. It is notable, however, that the case has been processed under the Yingluck government.