Giles Ji Ungpakorn
As some prisoners are released under a traditional amnesty on the occasion of Thailand having a new king, the jails continue to fill up with political prisoners.
Latest victim is Jatupat Boonpatraksa, better known as “Pai Dao Din”. Naturally Pai is merely “guilty” of opposing the blood-stained Generalissimo Prayut and his junta. A well-known student activist and member of the “Dao Din” student group from the north-east, Pai has long been a thorn in the side of the soldiers who destroyed democracy and who are now busy helping themselves to wealth and more power. The Dao Din group joined up with the New Democracy Movement student group from Bangkok to protest against the junta and its new authoritarian constitution. These students also highlighted military corruption.
The barbarians in uniform have been out to get Pai for a while. The opportunity came when the BBC Thai language website posted a truthful biography of the new king Wachiralongkorn. When Pai “shared” this post on social media he was selected for the special treatment: a lèse-majesté charge. Others sharing this post have not been charged and anyway, Thai citizens have a right to know about the man who has been forced upon them as the new king by the military. Ironically most politically conscious Thais already know that Wachiralongkorn is an unintelligent play-boy thug.
Pai’s hearings in court were held in secret and he has been repeatedly denied bail even to sit his final examinations, which could deny him his university degree. Added to this is the disgusting anal searches that he has to endure “because he might smuggle drugs into prison”. It all amounts to gross bullying, victimisation and a total lack of justice.
Three thousand six hundred people signed a petition for Pai’s release and groups of activists have made solidarity visits to the prison. The authorities tried unsuccessfully to sabotage their train journey. Unfortunately we are yet to see the building of a mass social movement that can actually force the junta from power and release the political prisoners.
When a group of activists lit candles outside the court to call for Pai’s release on bail, a junta flunkey Seup-pong Sipongkun, Spokesman for the Courts, warned the young activists that they were “in contempt of court”. So the junta’s crack-down on freedom of speech includes banning any comment about Thailand’s contemptable kangaroo courts!
Of course, Pai should not just be released on bail. The false charges against him and all the other political prisoners, such as Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and those whose names are not well-known by the public, should be dropped. Somyot sent Pai an open letter from prison to boost Pai’s morale.
Meanwhile the leadership of the UDD, or what was known as the Red Shirts, have been sentenced to jail terms for various non-offences including leading a peaceful protest outside Privy Councillor General Prem’s house ten years ago! Not only is there a lack of justice in Thailand, but the wheels of injustice move at a snail’s pace. Of course, none of the whistle blowing and airport blocking yellow shirts are in jail. Nor is Prayut’s favourite fascist monk, who disrupted the last elections, in jail either.
Generalissimo Prayut has stated that so-called “reconciliation” should take place without the release of prisoners. Yet, the existence of political prisoners is a mark of a barbaric and uncivilised society. Prayut’s rants are known for being stupid and erratic, more so even than those of Donald Trump. It’s almost as if he is on hallucinating drugs. In a recent rant he said that he believed that the Thai language could become the international language of the world as Thailand became a super power. Perhaps he was dreaming of being the dictator of the world!!
Reports from across the border in Burma indicate that Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is also keeping up the pace of jailing political prisoners who dare to criticise her political team and her close friends, the barbaric generals. Social media in Burma faces restrictive laws just like Thailand. It is good to see the two despotic regimes working in harmony after centuries of warfare between the two countries!
Just to add to the barbarity, the “hang-em and flog-em” brigade in Thailand are calling for the death penalty for politicians who cause serious loss to the treasury through corruption. Naturally the corrupt generals who forced their way into power at gun-point and then set themselves, their friends and relatives up in multiple lucrative state jobs, will continue to enjoy impunity. So will those generals and royals who squander state money on weapons, tanks and lavish life styles.
The country is being ruled by barbarians.