- 28 Aug, 2009
Oh no!!!, I’ve got to keep my mouth shut!!!!!
I can’t see, hear or feel anything else but numb!!!
Royal disgrace? What did the royal family do to her?… Nothing at all. She’s the one who accused the King and his royal family of some craps. Well.. in my opinion she deserved the sentence. No parole or pardon..
Taro. In answer to your question what has the Royal Family done to her….. the point is no one can answer that, anyone who tried would get the same punishment as Da Torpedo
There are Lese Majeste laws around the world and all laws are to be respected in any land.
Torpedo would be executed in Saudi, quietly jailed in Spain, Netherlands or Norway. In Thailand people make a big deal.
They do not understand that free speech does not mean that you are free to lie and insult other people.
There will be wigs on the green yet.
In Ireland there is a saying ‘Tioce Ar La’.
Translated means OUR DAY WILL COME.
I agree totally with these sentiments by FONZI. I believe that the silence will be deafening. NOT A BEEB WILL YOU HEAR FROM the American hypocrites.
Eighteen years in prison for a political speech? Unbelievable. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any instance in the modern era where a person has gotten 18 years in jail for making a political speech, even in the most authoritarian countries.
I guarantee all the western countries that make a big stink about saving journalists and advocating for free speech for political dissidents will be stone silent over this case.
I can’t still get my head around it. Eighteen years of life stripped away just for expressing political views. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.
Posted by Fonzi at 2:00 PM
Actually, this Thai lese majeste case involving “Thailand’s Aung San”is even more outrageous than the kangaroo court that convicted Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma.
Daw Aung San got 18 months of house arrest in a trial that was open at times to foreigners and reporters and the nature of the charge, albeit contrived, was known to all.
Compare that to the Thai lady, Daranee, who got 18 years in a jail cell after a secret trial in which nobody knows what happened or what the accused said or did to supposedly insult the monarchy. It sounds like the 14 century Inquisition, doesn’t it ?
For the Thais’ sake, they had better hope that the international press doesn’t pick up on the label: “Thailand’s Aung San.” If they do, this is going to be a bigger PR disaster than the Thai autocrats orchestrating these lese majeste witch hunts ever imagined.
Taro, such an ignorant…
Ash what did Da do to them????
What..they have eveything in the world, the wealth…the power,,,and now they want a loyalty…ha ha …..
long live Kim jun mentally ill ……
THis is a disgrace. Why is Thailand so primitive? Where is freedom of speech? Why aren’t we allowed to say what we think? Real Gold does not fear of fire! What are you scared of? The truth? Do we live in the dark age of 19th century or something? Shame on you – Thailand’s (in)justice system!
sad for Darunee
disgusted and ashamed that the Thai justice system is so perverted!
I hope the King is still alive enough to grant a pardon soon
I assume Prem, the Queen and the Prince are so scared of the Thai people that they support this legal atrocity
DARUNEE CHARNCHOENGSILPAKUL – More commonly known as “Da Torpedo,” she delivered an exceptionally strong speech last year criticizing the 2006 coup and the monarchy. Her trial on lese majeste charges was closed for reasons of national security.
JAKRAPOB PENKAIR – A spokesman for ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Jakrapob had to resign as a minister in the pro-Thaksin government in May 2008 after being accused of slandering the king in a talk at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) in 2007. Prosecutors are yet to decide whether to press charges against Jakrapob, whose whereabouts are unknown. He is also accused of inciting violence during anti-government protests in April.
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS’ CLUB OF THAILAND BOARD OF DIRECTORS – Police are weighing up whether to investigate the 13-member FCCT board, which includes journalists from the BBC, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal, after receiving a complaint from a staunch critic of Thaksin in July. Freelance translator Laksana Kornsil said the FCCT’s sale of a DVD containing Jakrapob’s disputed speech was an attempt to undermine the monarchy.
GILES UNGPAKORN – A leading leftist commentator and respected academic at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, Giles fled Thailand in February 2009 after being charged with lese majeste for a book criticizing the 2006 coup. Giles fled to London, claiming he would not receive a fair trial and accusing the military and current government of using lese-majeste laws to silence dissent. A Thai court issued an arrest warrant for him in March.
SUWICHA THAKHOR – Suwicha was jailed for 10 years in April 2009 for posting comments on the Internet that were deemed insulting to the monarchy. His sentence was reduced from 20 years after he pleaded guilty. His arrest in January came during a government crackdown on thousands of Web pages considered critical or disrespectful of the palace.
HARRY NICOLAIDES – An Australian author, English teacher and long-time resident of Thailand, Nicolaides was sentenced in January 2009 to three years in jail for defaming the crown prince in his 2005 novel ‘Verisimilitude’. Only seven copies of the book were sold. He received a royal pardon in February.
SULAK SIVARAKSA – A leading academic and long-time critic of the lese-majeste law, Sulak was taken from his Bangkok home late one night in November 2008 and driven 450 km (280 miles) to a police station in the northeast province of Khon Kaen. There he was charged with insulting the monarchy in a university lecture he gave in December the previous year.
CHOTISAK ONSOONG – The young political activist was accused by police in April 2008 of insulting the monarchy for refusing to stand during the royal anthem that precedes all movie screenings in Thailand. Prosecutors are still considering charges against him.
JITRA KOTCHADEJ – A union activist and friend of Chotisak, Jitra was fired by bosses at her clothing factory in August 2008 for appearing on a TV panel discussion wearing a T-shirt saying “Not standing is not a crime,” a reference to Chotisak.
OLIVER JUFER – The Swiss national was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2007 for spraying black paint on huge public portraits of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was pardoned and deported after serving four months.
Eighteen years in jail for a political speech? And you think that’s justified?
How utterly contemptible.
At least we can have confidence that the ones insulted have such compassion and benevolence that she will not serve a day more than is absolutely necessary.
It makes my stomach turn, especially after having listened some weeks ago to conservative royalist Thai academics (who hold nice-sounding positions here and there) and how they see the Thai political world (with brains closed by their ideological stubbornness). It is a tragedy…
You can, as long as you’re not in Thailand.
She did not just express her opinion, did she? She accused the establishment of things they never did and even threatened and incited violence against the head of state. I suppose it is ok to say that you would guillotine someone as part of free speech in some countries? Even so, I still think the sentence is a bit harsh (not).
This is the Thai Aung Kyi case. Shame you Thailand
First : people have to know what Da Torpedo actually said.
Second : the politicians who are toying with lese-majeste law… are making a big mistake… they attract light… and with such INSANE verdict, they put a HUGE WEIGHT on the King’s shoulders…
Because, now, the burning issue will be : will the King pardon her ?
Yes ? Or no ?
So again, even a child could understand that the first rule of lese-majeste law is that : you don’t use the lese-majeste law.
But all those maniacs don’t understand this basic principle.
They pretend to defend the monarchy. But actually, they are the hotest destroyers of the monarchy.
For that matter : it’s a double shame.
Somkiet at #4 is wrong about Europe – this has been pointed out many times in the past. On Saudi Arabia – not sure. Any references?
Kira at #16: “She did not just express her opinion, did she? She accused the establishment of things they never did and even threatened and incited violence against the head of state.” Yes, she did express her opinion. Did she incite violence against a head of state? Actually, that is not the issue. She is convicted of insulting the monarch and the queen. That’s different. Did she incite violence? That would seem a matter of opinion. We’ll never know if the court even considered the question as it was a closed court.
Tragic and and unjust, but I’m not sure we should call her Thailand’s Suu Kyi. She’s not the legally elected leader, as Suu Kyi was. Torpedo is an agitator, a courageous but prickly exception to the Thai rule of compliance and silence. That doesn’t make her a Suu Kyi or a Mandela, not nearly. She’s more like a Patrick Henry-type, a one-note symbol. Not a leader of state.
Lets not ruin two important things with sloppy parallels.
This is truely a shame for Darunee (along with all others facing this draconian trial) and a disgusting blight on Thailand.
Where are those thugs who closed two airports for eight days, obstructed government and police from going about their duties, shot at, with fatal and injurious results, the police and civilians?
Where is that young chap, from very wealthy family, who intentionaly drove his Mercedes into innocent by-standers, causing death and disability?
The Land of Smiles and gross injustice.
She did NOT JUST make a political speech. Shame on her for making accusation like that. She deserved more than 18 years in jail.
Taro: what do you suggest? Perhaps now that Thailand is again executing people, then having her sent to the lethal injection room might be enough to quench your royalist thirst for punishment of people who say things in public that you think are damaging to the king and queen.
I would not mind seeing her being stoned by the crowd bearing in mind what she said. I do not think it was acceptable for her to theaten to guillotine anybody, let alone the person that is the head of the state. Who cares if she made a political speech, but she dug her own grave by making rubbish, vicious statements. Still, I don’t think she should have been sentenced to 18 years in prison for her stupidity. I want to see her out of jail as soon as possible to face her punishment in a variety of other ways. That would be even better.
News coverage of political prisoners in Southeast Asia usually means Burma (Myanmar), which is rightly excoriated for keeping opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi behind bars.
But when it comes to the taboo topic of royalty, neighboring Thailand is starting to catch up. Dozens of activists, bloggers, and other citizens have fallen foul of a criminal law on royal libel known as lèse-majesté. Censors have stepped up surveillance of the Internet and snooped on chatrooms.
On Friday, a court in Bangkok sentenced Daranee Charncherngsilapakul to 18 years in jail for offending the royal family. Ms. Daranee, a political activist, was arrested last July after making a series of rabble-rousing speeches. She has said she will appeal the sentence.
In April, an engineer was sentenced to 10 years in jail for posting video on YouTube that was deemed offensive. In January, an Australian author was convicted over a passage about a Thai prince in an obscure novel, but was later pardoned and released. Other similar cases are under police investigation.
Thailand’s constitutional monarchy has long been held in high esteem by its subjects. But a protracted political crisis has begun to erode taboos against frank discussions of royals and the palace’s role in public life.
In response, authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce the draconian lèse-majesté law. The crisis has been exacerbated by concerns over the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-serving monarch, and a possibly destabilizing succession.
Daranee belongs to the red-shirt political camp aligned to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a military coup in 2006. Opponents accuse Mr. Thaksin of plotting against the crown, which he denies.
Daranee’s speeches were delivered at a public park where political rallies are often held. A red-shirt rally is due to take place this weekend in Bangkok, prompting the government to invoke a tough security law.
In deference to the law, Thai media have been circumspect in reporting on what Daranee actually said. One report said her remarks were “laced with offensive references to the monarchy.”
In fact, her most inflammatory speech was a wide-ranging attack on the 2006 military coup makers and their conservative allies. It drew parallels between Thailand and the fate of royal regimes in France and Nepal.
By the standards of Thai political rhetoric, it was extremely strong stuff. Enough to turn Daranee into Thailand’s latest political prisoner. She probably won’t be the last.
WIGS ON THE GREEN I TELL YOU !!!
I am so indescribably sad and angry that I find myself unable to write. I just want to point out that anyone wants to read the judgement, can find a substantial report here (in Thai):
Notice in particular the following sweeping statement by the judges:
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On this criteria, at the mement, hundreds if not thousands of people who’re criticizing Prem are all in jeopardy. Also, even newspaper (Mandala included?) that reported the Queen presiding over a PAD funeral and saying (according to the dead girl’s father) that she “р╣Ар╕Ыр╣Зр╕Щр╕лр╣Ир╕зр╕Зр╕Юр╕▒р╕Щр╕Шр╕бр╕┤р╕Хр╕гр╕Чр╕╕р╕Бр╕Др╕Щ” would be at risk too. (Remember the Matichon Weekly cover with picture of HMQ at the funeral with the caption “р╣Ар╕вр╣Зр╕Щр╕ир╕┤р╕гр╕░р╣Ар╕Юр╕гр╕▓р╕░р╕Юр╕гр╕░р╕Ър╕гр╕┤р╕Ър╕▓р╕е”?)
It should be noted also that one of three judges of this case is Miss Sutpratthana Neelaphijit, daughter of the missing lawyer Somchai Neelaphijit. It is well-known fact that her family (herself included) is highly critical of Thaksin. And Da Torpido is of course a staunch Thaksin’s supporter, the speeches she made and are convicted for were in essense pro-Thaksin speeches more than anything else. I would have thought that, in other western countries, such possible “connection” (in antagonistic sense) between the judge and the defendant would not be allowed.
A law is a law and subjects in a sovereign state must not perform against thw law. In Thailand they are told not to criticise the royal family; in france muslims are told not to put hijab on in public. That is the same issue.
18 years is a very long time for words.
Taro Mongkoltip, You might someday find yourself at the end of such hate you so gleefully wave around.
And may I ask will you gladly accept 18 years of jail as a byproduct of that hate?
The point is that in any system the punishment must FIT the crime.
To think otherwise is simply a barbaric notion of an undeveloped and uneducated brute from 10 centuries ago.
Feeling hairy lately? Taro?
There are ways of expressing loyalty to the monarchy. However THIS is not it. By doing so, you slapping the hate caused by your actions to the paragon of virtue you worship. That HATE will accumulate, and once reach it’s peak….
Ignorant doesn’t covers it. Retarded might barely.
“A law is a law and subjects in a sovereign state must not perform against thw law. In Thailand they are told not to criticise the royal family; in france muslims are told not to put hijab on in public. That is the same issue“.
Sattahibo: About the only similarity is that its law, and that they are both basically victimless ‘crimes’.
I’d be interested to see the reaction if someone in France was sentenced to 18 years jail for wearing a hijab on in public.
I think there would be outrage if they even got 18 minutes jail time.
/anyone who like to sent a postcard to her to cheer her up,please do.
Daranee Charnchoengsilapakul, Room 1/3 Petch Building, Women’s Detention Centre, Klong Prem Central Prison, Ngamwongwan Rd, Lad Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok
Note: Please do not include any political comments on your postcard, as prison guards will retain them.
1. Given the laws of Thailand this woman was pushing her luck based on what little I have read of her speech.
2. Nonetheless the punishment is out of all proportion to the crime.
3. It would be a major service to the ideal of reasoned discourse if some agency could undertake to provide English translations of speeches and articles such as this.
The Lese Majeste law and people like Taro are more damaging to the Monarchy than all the red shirts put together.
“3. It would be a major service to the ideal of reasoned discourse if some agency could undertake to provide English translations of speeches and articles such as this.”
Is it correct that anyone who made available such a translation could also be subject to a LM charge?
(and another secret trial – on & on it goes)
The title of this thread is most appropriate: it is a disgrace, a bare-faced insult that this law is being used in such a tacky and disgusting way. Is the government & its agencies for law enforcement so pathetically moronic that they can’t see the damage they are doing to the institution they say they are trying to protect? What is their real agenda?
This is simply one more item on a rapidly-growing list that shows Thailand to be a country in which there is no fundamental respect for human life and the freedom of individuals to say what they think. Indeed it is the opposite.
Q: How does the world know Thailand right now? A: From the evidence, which shows, in case after case, that this is an increasingly unsafe place. A place where the law is applied on a far from impartial & often ad hoc basis, and a lawless place. It is a disgrace.
“Torpedo would be executed in Saudi, quietly jailed in Spain, Netherlands or Norway. In Thailand people make a big deal.
They do not understand that free speech does not mean that you are free to lie and insult other people.”
This kind of drivel is atavistic at best. Lying and insulting other people had nothing to do with what Da Torpedo said. It may be deemed that she told the truth – heaven forbid! – since I have heard some Thais say she was wrong to speak like that but she spoke the truth. These same Thais said they were afraid to say anything like she said.
We should all recall that the king had a few years back asked that lese majeste cases not be so stringently created and that he be criticized, yet we have a Mad Hatter (at least 50,000 including the PM) still going hell bent for leather to make sure no one “insults the royal family.” People enforcing this law have done their part in insulting everyone and everything, common sense and human decency included. Shame, disgust and stench are all being spread far and wide because of this barbaric treatment of fellow human beings.
I truly agree with redrobin – The Lese Majeste law and people like Taro are more damaging to the Monarchy than all the red shirts put together.
Unless the Monarchy is doing something to mend the situation, it’s going to fall hard and fast.
Good luck Thailand – land of the blinds!
I used to ask PEOPLE LIKE YOU to clarify how to amend the LM law to make thing better. No one can answer it properly apart from “It’s about me me me me I want to be able to talk and bark whenever I feel like. Me me me me idea is better for human life, me idea is better than yours all”
Until anyone can give me a good reason including academic research to back up your reason, well, until then PEOPLE LIKE ME think that PEOPLE LIKE YOU and PEOPLE LIKE Da torpedo deserved 18 years rotten in jail. Enjoy barking… pfft..
Where was the truth in what she said except for her flawed assumptions and her malicious statements against ‘the figurehead’? Anybody who understands Thai language can tell you that what she said was totally wrong and untrue. No one would have given a monkeys about her accusations of any wrongdoings by Prem. Neither do I care if she and her group and the opposition, like the PAD, beat the cr@p out of one another. She inflicted her misfortune on herself by going beyond Prem with her ferocious, unjustifiable accusation and her verbally aggressive statement. Nonetheless, I want to see her out of prison as soon as possible so that she can experience justice in the wider community. That will be an even greater punishment.
Taro seems very angry but never clearly explains why. But let’s do this. Let’s ban him from New Mandala on the basis that PEOPLE LIKE HIM/HER just want to be able to say what they want about whatever bugs them. Yep, get rid of Taro and his/her voice.
[of course, this post is a nasty trap]
“They do not understand that free speech does not mean that you are free to lie and insult other people.”
How do you know what did Dar said “is lie”? when you or anyone on earth still truly do not know, is it true or not especially the person who sent her to jail.
I do believed if one of your family is sentenced for 18 years because of this. You would say differently.
You might say in return ” Do you know?”. My answer is I really don’t know.
Kira #24: “I would not mind seeing her being stoned by the crowd..I want to see her out of jail as soon as possible to face her punishment in a variety of other ways. That would be even better.”
In some countries we call people who think like that ‘the lunatic fringe.’ Do you think there will ever be peace in Thailand while red-necks like you are dominant? Yes, Torpedo’s speech was a bit stupid (although it didn’t, apparently,have the effect of inciting violence – as the judges stated), but what you are suggesting is more so, because what you are recommending is public vigilante-style violence.
Perhaps it would be better for Thailand’s quest for democracy under the King as Head of State, if people like you were removed from society, in order to be ‘re-educated’ to see that the rule of law, if it is adhered to and administered fairly, honestly & justly, is vastly superior to mob violence.
It would be better if you put your energy into urging a clean-up of the agencies by which the law is administered, so that people no longer have the view that if they want justice, they have to take the law into their own hands.
I have reasons to be angry, Ralph. If you actually read every single word of each comment, you will know why. especially stating that “people like me” damaging the monarchy.
What did “people like me” do to you and “people like you”? We’re just quiet observers watching are you going to say next about my country. Most of the times, I read, I accept or I just let it go because everyone is free to their opinions. But it crossed the line too much, of course, I and many people here are going to defend the right, the truth with our opinions occasionally.
But hey, “People like you” seems to keep coming to lots of topic to spark the controversy. Is it about attention seeker? I do not know.
One thing that I know about you Ralph. You seem not like to accept someone else’s opinions. In many topics here, you have to come back with something to everyone else’s opinion against you. you have to be the last person who givin out the last comment. Having a bit of OCD? I think so. Let’s check every topic here in New Mandala, I have my proof.
And seriously, I do not care if you ban me from New Mandala. But I stand by my opinion. Da Torpedo deserved 18 years in jail. Telling lies is one thing, definition of character is another. So yes, she deserved it.
Dear Taro and Kira – Nobody is beyond criticism. It is improper to curb open debate, especially in matters which are of public interest. (And, of course, the Monarchy is always of public interest.)
Lese Majeste law has no place in the modern world. It should not be amended. It should be canceled. (Even the King himself said so.)
A healthy society relies on the participation of the people. Freedom of speech/expression is the key instrument in how people contribute to their society.
With the discussion having taken the nasty turn it has, with some wanting Da Torpedo to be stoned in public, perhaps harassed, and even a public execution, to those who are using this opportunity to poke and make fun of The Royal Family.
I speak first to the likes of “Taro” who is very angry at Daranee and the people who hold those views, I ask:
What about General Sondhi? What about the coup of 2006? What about the Privy Council? What about PAD? Why are you not angry at them? Was it not them who initially involved the monarchy in politics? What need was it for them to parade the monarchy from the night of the coup on September 19th 2006 with imagery of the King, hints of “doing it for the father” and using the image of HMK and the Royal family to no end. Call me a layman or whatever, but it seemed to me (at the time) and even now that their idea was to show the Thai public at large that the coup was ‘blessed from above.’
The truth is, we won’t know if hte coup was blessed from above. But that they made it appear so, shouldn’t they be labelled with LM for making it seem that the Royal family had taken sides in politics? Should you not then be putting your anger that way?
What Daranee said is a ‘reactionary’ statement from having believed the imagery she was seeing and venting out her anger at the perceived ‘death’ of democracy that she was witnessing, right or wrong being another thing for now.
Knowing that her reactionary comments were fueled by imagery portrayed to the general public at large by the perpetrators of the 2006 coup, don’t you think that they too should take some responsibility for the mess that is currently destroying the image of the Royal institution?
31 August 2009
Those who pretend to be either God or portray someone else as near-divine need to have a session with the couch doctor. Da did not get what she deserved – some would say a standing ovation… Taro’s little xenophobic commentaries will do little to absolve the insane actions of state tht put people in prison for mere speech. As repulsive as it is, no human being on the face of the earth has a right to imprison another for speaking. The idea that this is not a Thai value as well would mean that Thais are not Buddhist – and believe it or not, according to Hoyle most are not.
What people think about you and your opinion is that it comes from the dark ages. We live in an enlightened world for the main part. In the west most people can express an opinion, without being locked up for 18 years. That’s TYRANY. And the SAD part is that, it’s not His Royal Highness doing it. It is his Privy Council abusing their power and weakening the Monarchy by doing it. Thailand becomes by these actions just another Asian ‘Banana’ style Repor in the news media. The Lese Majestee Law is being abused by these people to threaten and intimidate people. History shows that these actions only go to strengthen peoples resolve.
I passionately oppose all criminal convictions for people who exercise their right to speak freely. I’m just a little surprised that the New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby have developed a new found passionate interest in human rights. This is a to be congratulated of course. Can we now hope to see an outpouring of anger and revulsion in relation to the issues of the drug war killings, the Tak Bai and Krue Se massacres, the disappearance/murders of Somchai Neelaphaijit, shipping Moo and others, and the many thousands of cases of torture, brutality and political intimidation perpetrated by the Thai Rak Thai regime? Let’s hope so. And while we’re at it how about a campaign to free the Rohingya refugees currently suffering appalling mis-treatment in detention?
Incidentally I assume that New Mandala contributors were also vehemently opposed (as I was) to the conviction in Austria 2006 of British historian David Irving http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4733820.stm . His opinions are repugnant and deeply offensive to the overwhelming majority of Austrian population and indeed of Europe and the world. But never the less he was convicted for expressing his opinion. I am not attempting to excuse the conviction of Daranee it is unnecessary, unjust and counter-productive. But it should be remembered that the opinions she expressed are deeply offensive to the overwhelming majority of Thais, whether we foreigners “understand” the Thai’s love for their monarch or not. I suspect that the anger expressed by Taro and Kira would be felt by 90%+ of the population were they were aware Daranee’s apparent threat to send the Monarch to the guillotine.
Instead of begging the question about lese majeste laws in barbaric societies, why not cite the freer societies where such laws do not exist and where people are not thrown in jail for saying what they think?
This sentencing of poor people to prison is hellish and atavistic in the extreme.
my reading is that Darunee was striving to protect the monarchy by describing events and history from other countries whose royal families failed to heed the wishes of their populations, obviously wishing the Thai royal family is not led into similar situations.
the way the privy council, Thai military and their associates have and are using the Thai royal family to preserve their wealth and power is shameful and detrimental to the reputation and continued position of the royal family in Thai society.
those that love and respect the King and wish for his family to continue in their high position should heed the warnings by Khun Darunee and others brave enough to speak out.
#49 Mungo you are quite right about the Thaksin HR violations for which he should go on trial not Da Torpedo
You are also correct to evoke revisionist historians who would erase the truth genocides massacres ethnic cleansing with lies just like Thai’s who can act just like Nazi’s in the name of defending M R N …No wonder our colonial forbears talked of oriental despotism and ‘exterminate the brutes’ of course funded by the CIA…Thai Civilization what a good idea!
#49 Mungo: What do you mean by asserting that NM as a blog and its reader-posters have not been interested in human rights when you say: “I’m just a little surprised that the New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby have developed a new found passionate interest in human rights.”?
You then say: “Can we now hope to see an outpouring of anger and revulsion in relation to the issues of the drug war killings, the Tak Bai and Krue Se massacres,…” and add more.
Maybe you should Google just a bit before making such outlandish and false claims. For example, just on a simple search by term, this on 29 Nov 08: “The violence at Kru-Se and and Tak Bai were appalling acts by the Thaksin government. The war on drugs represents an equally appalling legacy of violent repression.” A commentator on 3 July 08: “Thaksin’s administration clearly presided over numerous human rights abuses – Tak bai, kru sae and the war on drugs. For these crimes, they should be held accountable.” Another on 7 July 08: “The fact that Thaksin and Co. have not been made accountable for Tak Bai, Kru Sae, war on drugs, and have gotten away with corruption, abuse of power, tax evasion, etc is overwhelming evidence of a democracy that wasn’t functioning.”
On the war on drugs, from a NM post dated 1 July 09: “Why did so few people in Thailand condemn the 2003 “War on Drugs” at the time?” A poster’s comment from 27 Oct 2006: “Thaksin violated the very rule of law he was elected to uphold when he directed the extrajudicial slaughter of 2,500 defenseless villagers merely because they were on some policeman-hick’s blacklist.” The post on 1 Dec 06 has lots on extrajudicial killings.
etc. etc. So what’s the point of your cheap shot?
Taro, unless he floats in the air and resurrect himself. I see no reason why even HM the king is above reproach.
Men are created equal. He might be the most important man in the country, and we are greatful for his deeds.
Still that doesn’t give him immunity from humanity. And making mistakes are a HUMAN QUALITY.
What kind of man do you see the king? An omnipotent GOD, or a benevolent human being?
Or perhaps you doubt his ability to defend himself, and that saw the need to throw a fence of steel around the man?
There is fear in your heart, fear breads hatred, hatred breeds more hatred. which will lead ultimately to REVENGE.
You are hurt, because you lack understanding to conquer that fear.
As I said.
How do you see the king as?
This will be the most important step towards understanding.
And with understanding, brings clarity.
unless he floats in the air and resurrect himself. I see no reason why even HM the king is above reproach.
No kidding. Just a few years ago, many royalist people on the Net (there’re lots of them) actually believed that He foresaw the damage a big storm coming from Burma would cause this country and ordered the making of the ‘Royal Rain’ which effectively blocked that storm at the border!
It’s not floating in the air or resurrection, to be sure, but pretty impressive, don’t you think?
Sorry, I should add a few more words of explanation, least folks here who’re not sufficiently ‘scientific’ mind won’t understand how ‘Royal Rain’ work on the said occassion.
At the time, a big storm hit Burma causing a lot of damage, but it didn’t much enter Thailand. Then story began to surface on the Net what’s the ‘secret’ of Thailand’ miraculously surviving: HMK was supposed to order the Royal Rain being made at the borders between the two countries. The Royal Rain successfully acted as a ‘(rain/water) wall’ preventing the storm coming into Thailand. A good many royal subjects actually believed the story for a while until some more clear-headed among them began to question it.
The more these Draconian sentences are passed down in the Kings name the more the people will become disenchanted the the monarchy. I also suggest that people who cheer the sentences are doing the Monarchy a disservice.
#52 Ralph Kramden -What do you mean by asserting that NM as a blog and its reader-posters have not been interested in human rights when you say: “I’m just a little surprised that the New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby have developed a new found passionate interest in human rights.”?
I quite clearly did not assert that NM as a blog in its entirety has not taken an interest in human rights. My comments were quite clearly directed towards the “New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby” i.e. the people who have posted the comments that I have read here at New Mandala calling for the immediate return to power of Thaksin.
As Thaksin is an acknowledged human rights abuser of the worst kind, and is widely recognized as being complicit in the murder/torture/disappearance of his opponents, it strikes me a profoundly hypocritical for these same people to then express moral outrage at the conviction of a seasoned political agitator who, for whatever reason , made an informed decision to break the law (as stupid as it may be, it is currently the law in this country) in full knowledge of the probable consequences.
Wasn’t the cheap shot your rather weak attempt to misrepresent what I actually said?
Mungo: No, I did not “misrepresent” your statement “I’m just a little surprised that the New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby have developed a new found passionate interest in human rights.”
That is not a misinterpretation. In your latest reflection you clear this up by expressing a position which appears to correct what might now seem like just poor expression in the original post.
At the same time, it has to be said that if we applied your claimed standard of right to comment on human rights, then there’d be few who could comment on Thailand. The pro-Thaksin lobby ignores his human rights abuses, so they’d be out. The PAD/royalists lobby ignore the monarchy’s abuse of human rights, so they’d be out. The pro-coup lobby would also be out for ignoring the human rights abuses by the military.
who “acknowledges” that Thaksin is a human rights abuser?
does the same people/person/organisation also “acknowledge” that the Thai military are serial human rights abusers?
the human rights abuses by the Thai military include their frenzied use of lese majeste to punish any that threaten the wealth and power of their patrons and themselves.
@ Mungo Gibbins (57)
My comments were quite clearly directed towards the “New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby” i.e. the people who have posted the comments that I have read here at New Mandala calling for the immediate return to power of Thaksin.
Who here is calling for the immediate return of power of Thaksin? The general tone of most posters here seem to desire reform (or scrapping) of lese majeste laws, restoration of the 1997 constitution, and free and fair elections w/o the intervention of the army. Some here have mentioned amnesty for politicians (including Thaksin), but it’s hardly a theme of the blog or those who post comments here. I think your so-called “New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby” is more a figment of your imagination than a serious comment.
You have reasons to be angry. You have the right to express your opinion.That is right. But you have no right to used your own beleive to just somone ” lie” while you really don’t know the true. Please clarify yourself first,who are you?
“Who here is calling for the immediate return of power of Thaksin?” “ I think your so-called “New Mandala pro-Thaksin lobby” is more a figment of your imagination than a serious comment.”
Having struggled to find the quote I was looking for where a regular New Mandala contributor called for the immediate return of Thaksin to power, I have to concede that you may well be right, and that this may well have been a figment of my imagination. After all, who would be foolhardy enough to believe that returning Thaksin to power would be anything other than disastrous for Thailand?
#59 David Brown
“who “acknowledges” that Thaksin is a human rights abuser?
does the same people/person/organisation also “acknowledge” that the Thai military are serial human rights abusers?
the human rights abuses by the Thai military include their frenzied use of lese majeste to punish any that threaten the wealth and power of their patrons and themselves.”
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but it is my understanding that the overwhelming majority of New Mandala contributors “acknowledge” that Thaksin is a human rights abuser. And of course the world’s major human rights organisations, the United Nations, and the overwhelming majority of overseas commentators, journalists and academics also seem to be in agreement. Can I take it from your statement that you do not believe that Thaksin was complicit in human rights abuse?
I can’t speak for anyone else with regard to human rights abuses by the Thai military and police, but I would certainly condemn them in the very strongest terms for all rights abuse including the recent horrific treatment of the Rohingya refugees, recent and historical incidences of torture and murder in the South, collaboration in all the abuses of the Thaksin era, and any involvement they may have in the enactment of the unjust lese majeste laws.
# 58 Ralph Kramden
Please accept my apologies if I didn’t express myself clearly in my initial post, I’m just a poorly educated country boy!
“At the same time, it has to be said that if we applied your claimed standard of right to comment on human rights, then there’d be few who could comment on Thailand. The pro-Thaksin lobby ignores his human rights abuses, so they’d be out. The PAD/royalists lobby ignore the monarchy’s abuse of human rights, so they’d be out. The pro-coup lobby would also be out for ignoring the human rights abuses by the military.”
Is it really necessary to identify oneself with one of those particular groupings to be able to express an opinion on the political situation in Thailand? Forgive me if I struggle to make a choice.
What are you now? Internet Police? What a stupid question to ask. My full name is there. Google it.
And to reply to your comment. Da Torpedo doesn’t know the truth either. Therefore, speaking out in the public to convince innocent people to misunderstand about someone else is completely wrong. It’s called defamation of Character which is existing in many democratic countries. But somehow that person is the King. And by Law in Thailand, whoever try to defame the King and his family will be prosecuted. Loud and clear.
Da torpedo knew exactly what she was doing. The speech that she gave that day not just a political statement. It’s a public speech that she aimed to create a chaos for a bigger purpose. It’s not just against LM law, it’s also part of National Security as well.
And if You K.Lek actually followed New Mandala, I already said it once that I agreed that LM laws has to be amended somehow. but not without any research, and to my opinion, now it’s not the right time when we don’t know exactly what is the actual purpose for Red group’s leaders. Some fight for Thaksin. Some fight for communism. Some fight for their own power.
Will you risk your beloved country to be destroyed by them?
And no. I’m not one of the Yellow shirt either.
Clarify myself, my arse..
NEVER MIND THIS BS. This is the story from Phuket. Can they be serious. This me thinks will be the straw that does break the Ferangs back in Thailand………………….Good bye golden goose!
PHUKET: – A fact-finding effort is underway in Phuket to compile information about local businesses in which Thai people are hired by foreigners as their nominees – a practice considered suspicious and possibly illegal.
Provincial governor Wichai Phrai-sa-ngob, who ordered the investigation, said he was not discriminating against foreign investors, but guarding against illegal nomination which exploited loopholes in Thai laws for personal gain.
Under the business nomination law, foreigners can hold no more than 49-per-cent ownership of any business they jointly invest in with Thais. An ongoing practice is that foreigners later gain control over Thais illegally, and enjoy a lower tax burden than when holding a minority ownership.
To scrutinise foreign businesses, the local revenue office is checking on their tax payments, while the treasury office is scrutinising ownership of condominium space. Immigration police are checking visa and residence status.
Local authorities and the Interior Ministry will look into all information and decide on what to do if the fact-finding reveals illegal business nomination activities, said the governor.
There are now 19,653 joint Thai-foreign businesses in Phuket, which have invested around Bt62 million.
Patong Municipality mayor Chairat Sukbhal dismissed reports most hotels on the island resort were owned by foreigners, saying most were operated as joint ventures, or under management staffed by foreign executives.
The provincial business and trade office said a regulation requiring joint Thai-foreign businesses to produce bank accounts with a high minimum amount of money deposited had been revoked, because it could not effectively serve as proof of substantial business funding.
“In most cases, the money was withdrawn immediately from bank accounts once they were offered to Thai authorities as proof,” office head Weerachai Tantiwatthanawallop said.
The provincial land office said legal action would be taken against any businesses found to have been operated illegally with a majority of foreign ownership, because Thai land laws imposed strict sanctions on foreigners owning land plots in Thailand.
I love the word “complicit” it sort of means that he didnt do it but didnt try to stop it either (like Bush .. if you arent with me you are agin me)
my point about human rights abuses in Thailand is:
its the military (including the BPP) that commit them, before Thaksin, during Thaksin and after Thaksin
its fair to say that some governments before and after Thaksin were appointed/proxy for the military but I assume we can agree that Thaksin was not aligned with or partnering with beholden to the military (although he would have to be careful of assassination by them)
so logically I think Thaksin was less “complicit” in the atrocities committed by the military than most other governments
therefore I on a personal level dismiss attempts to “blame” Thaksin for human rights abuses during his time in government as naive arising from misunderstanding of the forces he was required to balance
I do not absolve Abhisit because he has knowingly (unless he is very dumb) permitted himself to be dependent on the military for his political power
For people seeking more clarity about how the elevated status of the king came about, and how it conflates with notions of Thai democracy and identity:
The full sixth chapter (Citizen King Embodying Thainess ) of Michael Kelly Connors book ‘Democracy and National Identity in Thailand’ have been made available at NIAS homepage:
Link through Connors blog:
NIAS (click excerpt)
What a pathetic show… Taro is using the classic cheap rethoric…
You’d notice that he never answers on the substance, but always on the side, and using the mirror technique (sending back your question).
(Hey Taro, as westerners we have studied the greek philosophers…. You can fool your fellow country men, who are usually mesmerized by such techniques. But you can’t fool us).
His only answer (definitive), linked to the topic, is : “Da Torpedo deserved it”. Voila. Case closed. Eat it raw, and send a postcard for the details. 😉
Since 2007, I debunk on my blog, on a daily basis, this kind of rethoric, used by thai officials, bureaucrats, politicians… So really, It makes me laugh.
Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that it’s pointless to try to exchange ideas with such people…
Taro will never understand the bottom line of the issue : there is only one word for a sentence of 18 years of jail for a speech. This word is “insanity”.
Lese-majeste or not, Thailand or not, King or not King… this is totally irrelevant.
I repeat for the deafs : 18 years of jail for a speech, whatever the speech is, is insanity.
And another time, for those who have a weak brain : you can not justify a sentence of 18 years of jail for a speech. Never. Ever.
It’s adamantine. It’s a flawless inference. Irrefutable. Hard as a diamond.
Taro will break his teeth on it, over and over again. He is and will remain wrong.
So now it’s not about LM laws anymore? Make up your mind you people.
If Da Torpedo said something else and somewhere else, then NO She doesn’t deserve 18 years in jail. But what she said, and when she said, and where she said was at the wrong place and wrong time. She should not have spoken to the angry crowd at that moment, when she knew it could lead something uncontrollable at all. What a smart b….
so YES she deserved 18 years in jail. I stand by my opinion.
Maybe we should all just wait and see if a certain higher authority thinks it is advisable for her to even serve 18 months.
Wrong place and wrong time? Twenty first century, planet Earth. Since when does one class of people demand superiority over others, and since when do still others have a legitimate right to enforce this class division?
The entire LM issue, as ugly and atavistic as it seems, somewhat pales in comparison to the overall issue of man’s inhumanity against man. That is the issue. Being royally magnaminous to excuse such wrongful sentencing is a poor excuse for humanity.
How come you still have not answered my question….
why are you not angry at the coup makers, the Privy Council, and the *nudge nudge wink wink* complicit elites that were behind the 2006 Coup in September that brought the image of the monarch front and center, giving the impression that this coup was ordered by the Palace.
And why are those people not being charged with LM? Though they didn’t mention the King and Queen as being behind the coup, the soldiers tied “yellow” ribbons on their weapons….
Yes, reg, let’s wait for a geriatric to decide if he has any mercy left in his heart. It’d be a waste of time campaigning against the law. See what happens to Darunee in 18 months. Or do you mean in 6 months – after all, she’s already been in jail more than a year.
Then compare her case with Boonyuen Prasertying, who was charged with lese majeste for speeches she made at a pro-Thaksin rally at Sanam Luang. She turned herself in to the police on 15 August 2008. She confessed to the charges and on 6 November 2008 was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Her sentence was reduced to six years as a result of her confession. Maybe she’ll be let out soon? She’s done more than a year.
Or compare with Suwicha Thakor who was arrested on 14 January 2009 and has been in jail since, serving the 20 year/reduced to 10 for pleading guilty, since early April. He’s done almost 8 months.
Cases are at http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/decidedcases/ and at http://lmwatch.blogspot.com/
Da Torpedo’s 18 year sentence for Lese Majeste: Thailand back to the Dark Ages
Please consider writing letters to support her case
By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Last month Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul (known in Thailand by her nick name “Da Torpedo”) was sentenced to 18 years in prison for “lese majeste” after a secret trial in Bangkok. The press were excluded from the trial and we have no way of knowing how the case was conducted.
Da Torpedo never committed an act of violence. She never killed anyone or destroyed anyone’s property. She is a pro-democracy activist who made speeches in public. She has been jailed for 18 years for making these speeches. In Thailand, army officers and state officials who commit violent crimes against the people are free to enjoy power and privileges. The worst crime in the eyes of the Thai ruling elites, is to think for oneself and to express those thoughts. This is why Da is in prison. This is why Suwicha Takor and others are also in prison on lese majeste charges.
What is also shocking is the way that there has been complete silence from so-called “human rights activists” or NGOs and academics in Thailand about what has been going on. This can only be described as shameful. Amnesty International’s long term policy of turning its back on Thai prisoners of conscience, jailed over lese majeste, is also appalling. It throws into question the role of this organisation.
What you can do
In my view, there is little point in writing letters to the Thai authorities about this.
However, what would be more useful is to write to Amnesty International and demand that they start taking up and campaigning for lese majeste prisoners in Thailand.
You can also send Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul ( “Da Torpedo”) a post card:
The Central Women’s Prison, Klong Prem,
Ngarm Wong Wan Road,
Lat Yaow, Chatuchak
For further details please go to: http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/
р╣Гр╕И р╕нр╕╢р╣Кр╕Зр╕ар╕▓р╕Бр╕гр╕Ур╣М Ji Ungpakorn
David Brown #65
“its fair to say that some governments before and after Thaksin were appointed/proxy for the military but I assume we can agree that Thaksin was not aligned with or partnering with beholden to the military (although he would have to be careful of assassination by them)”
Would you then suggest that in the aftermath of the Tak Bai massacre that Thaksin was under duress when he gave his full support to the military and contemptuously suggested that victims had died merely “because they were already weak from fasting during the month of Ramadan.”? To my knowledge he has never apologized for this stance, and has not expressed any regret for the deaths even from the ‘safety’ of exile.
I notice that you are careful to avoid any reference to the police in your attempt to absolve Thaksin of guilt for the atrocities committed during his tenure. Do you therefore assert that the police were not involved in the murders of almost 3,000 people during the war on drugs? Or that they too were a law unto themselves and beyond the influence of the benevolent Pol. Col. Thaksin? Strange then that, from exile, Thaksin should gleefully take credit for Thailand’s bloodiest atrocity of modern times- “Everyone who benefitted from the Bt30 healthcare scheme for all, or those who got their children back after I waged a war on drugs,……” I hear no expression of regret for the deaths or of any sympathy for the children and families of those killed.
In my opinion your attempt to whitewash Thaksin in this regard smacks of dangerous fanaticism and is akin to the holocaust revisionism I mentioned in an early post. You should be deeply ashamed.
Your opinion is truly abhorrent, Taro, though you have every right to express yourself as free speech is valued in a democratic society… Foul language is just matter of a bad taste, one cannot get jailed for swear words, nor should get jailed for the content of his/her pronouncements. It is just not civilized…
oh come on Mungo. Holocaust revisionism – really, truly?
Thaksin’s role in Tak Bai is hardly clear. Recall at Kru Se that themilitary acted against the orders of politicians.
This is not to say that he didn’t say the abhorrent things you say. However, we have to admit that the techniques used by the military before. The stripping, kicking and so on looked similar to 1976 and 1992. Under the Democrats, the military has used similar techniques – recall the Rohinga. There have been tons of atrocities in the south over the years.
The war on drugs was one of the policies that the Bangkok middle class loved. Recall the huge opinion polls in his favour. The king called for the war on drugs and he never apologised. Nor have the police or the military.
The military, police and palace have not apologised for atrocities of the past, and there have been plenty.
None of this is to absolve Thaksin of his actions in these reprehensible actions during the time he was in charge. However, it is necessary to see this neglect of human rights and the violent use of the state’s repressive forces is not a Thaksin trait but one of the elite more generally, often supported by the fearful middle class.
Holocaust revisionism, jeez….
thanks for your contribution … I confess I was not watching Thailands news so closely in those days so your more informed comments are helpful in confirming my instinctual feel for the real situation at the time
wrt the involvement of the police in the atrocities I wasnt being careful, its just that it seems to me its the retired (privy councillors) and active military that (literally) call the shots in Thailand
and also I understand that the Border Patrol Police were part of the events and my reading indicates that they are an element of the military rather than police per se.
I am open to be educated further in the relationship of the police and military and whether the police have some or any independence of action in these (ongoing) sordid events
wrt Thaksins involvement, I believe he was rightly attempting to bring both the police and military under control of his civilian democratic government and his efforts were a motivator for the 2006 coup
for stable democratic government in Thailand it will be necessary to eliminate the involvement of the serving military in business and reduce them to subservience to the orders of the government. This will require the mass of the Thai people to reject myths built up over many years by retired military operating under cover of “protection of the monarchy”
I know this is a long delay since your comment
you said it would only be an issue to comment on what the King had done against Darunee from inside Thailand
but, note that the Thai law does not differentiate whether the LM “offence” is committed in Thailand or not
its unlikely that an attempted extradition from outside Thailand would succeed but if someone commits an LM “offence” outside Thailand (and it is noticed) then they should be careful about visiting Thailand as they could be arrested while visiting
Well worth noting however, Ralph, that the old-timer is probably far more likely than Taro to show compassion. Which makes a huge mockery of Taro’s hardline stance. In fact, I don’t have much confidence in the institution either. Indeed, why should I have confidence in something is as human and as fallible as the rest of us? Indeed, so fallible that every General Tom, Dick and Harry with a gun, a goon squad and an assumption of grandeur finds it to be the ultimate excuse for bad business as usual.
I have no reason to doubt that Thais are learning fast these days when internet and other channels of communication are handily available. Changes are inevitable, free speech will eventually prevail in Thailand as well. What had taken decades in the former Warsaw pact countries would take here perhaps several years. Thai people who work for their daily bowl of rice should not be afraid of their own shadows.
Ralph Kramden #76
“None of this is to absolve Thaksin of his actions in these reprehensible actions during the time he was in charge.”
It’s amazing how many times I’ve read little disclaimers such as this at the bottom of internet posts regarding Thaksin’s record in office. The “albeit with a poor record on human rights” is the classic. Did adding it make you feel less uncomfortable with what you’d written?
I’m comfortable with my assertion that David Brown’s stated views are akin to holocaust revisionism. My understanding is that he is attempting to “absolve” Thaksin of guilt in this regard. In my view any attempt to whitewash an individual who was instrumental in the murder and torture of thousands is vile & repulsive. If I have misunderstood David, and he does believe that Thaksin was culpable to a significant degree in the abuses committed during his tenure I will gladly apologize.
I assume you have read the following article before-
Or maybe you couldn’t be bothered, or just didn’t want to know?
Have you ever read any articles on holocaust revisionism by the way? They make fascinating reading- http://www.codoh.com/info/infoihr/ihr2problem.html .
Mungo: If you had read holocaust literature (not the holocaust denial literature) you would know better than to make the kind of comparisons you have.
Your comment on my not absolving Thaksin of reprehensible actions suggests that you don’t get the point. I was making a point about the neglect of human rights and the violent use of the state’s repressive forces being something beyond one person and being about the ruling elites more generally and over time. Thailand’s governments and the leaders of its major repressive agencies have regularly abused human rights and killed people. Arguably, this has been the main role of the Thai military and the police are worse.
relax, there is no need to apologise
but for consistency of your position please use the language you have just used for Thaksin also, individually at length, for every Thai Prime Minister from Pibun to Abhisit as there were and are atrocities committed in Thailand (by the military) throughout this period.
Why single out Thaksin for special treatment compared to say Pibun, Sarit, Thanom, Krappy (did he apologise when Sarayud stepped on the dead and dying protesters), etc, etc and Abhisit (how many Rohingas died at sea? did Abhisit repudiate the actions of the military? did Abhist in fact support the actions of the military?)
I agree with Taro, the red shirts are a mixed bunch there are Royalist in there too. What they all have in common is they all want real democracy not PAD/Abhisit version of democracy.
David Brown #83
I would never shrink from criticizing Abhisit, the military or (within the law) any other influential figure for any failure to observe people’s fundamental human rights. Please see my comment below this recent article in the Bangkok Post – http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/22589/utter-despair-in-detention.
If you can provide an even remotely credible argument to support the view that Abhisit’s actions in office are in any way equivalent to Thaksin’s personal involvement in orchestrating, and subsequently taking great pride in, a campaign of mass murder I would be very interested to hear it.
Also, if you can find someone who wants to resurrect Field Marshal Pibun after 50+ years in the grave, absolve him of guilt for the abuse he was involved in, and campaign for his immediate return to office, I will be happy to condemn them in the very strongest terms.
And just for the record, I firmly believe that it would be of great benefit to Thailand (and the monarchy) if the country’s highest institution, and those in the immediate service of that institution, could be stringently protected from all involvement in politics.
Ralph Kramden # 82
“Mungo: If you had read holocaust literature (not the holocaust denial literature) you would know better than to make the kind of comparisons you have. ”
The crimes of the 3rd Reich are quite obviously of an entirely different order of magnitude to those of the Thai Rak Thai regime. I was not attempting to draw a direct comparison between Thaksin and Hitler. My point was that an attempt to diminish the significance of, or to absolve the perpetrators of guilt for, serious crimes against humanity in order to further one’s political argument is abhorrent. The moral outrage expressed by David Brown #10 to the jailing of one of ‘his own’ is hypocracy of the highest order considering his desire to completely whitewash ‘a human rights abuser of the worst kind’.
“Your comment on my not absolving Thaksin of reprehensible actions suggests that you don’t get the point. I was making a point about the neglect of human rights and the violent use of the state’s repressive forces being something beyond one person and being about the ruling elites more generally and over time. Thailand’s governments and the leaders of its major repressive agencies have regularly abused human rights and killed people. Arguably, this has been the main role of the Thai military and the police are worse.”
I would agree that human rights abuse has been depressingly common in Thailand and indeed in many cultures both historically and in recent times. Please don’t get me started on the CIA! In my view rights abuse should be challenged vigorously at every opportunity regardless of ones political allegiance. “All those other guys were murderers too” is not a justification for pledging ones allegiance to a political movement which is dominated by a particularly vicious human rights criminal (whether many of the grievances of it’s followers are justified or not).
I have been searching for references to the inflential UNHCR sanctioned HRW report “Not enough graves” -(http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/type,COUNTRYREP,HRW,THA,412efec42,0.html) but have been unable to do so through google searches. If anyone could provide a link to previous debates about this report I would be grateful.
Political Prisoners in Thailand has a link to the HRW report and a bunch of other useful stuff at: http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/commentary/general-political-background/
Mungo says: “All those other guys were murderers too” is not a justification for pledging ones allegiance to a political movement which is dominated by a particularly vicious human rights criminal (whether many of the grievances of it’s followers are justified or not).
Did I do that? By the way, Thaksin is not yet convicted of any human rights abuse. And that is, again, my point. Not to absolve Thaksin of what are his alleged abuses, but to contextualize them and to understand why it is that the Thaksin foes currently in government and its agencies have not gone after him on human rights abuses. They are compromised, and they don’t want to blow their covers as human rights abusers. Remember when the military junta got a group to look at the war on drugs murders and included the most vociferous critic on this? Kraisak Choonhavan was beside himself with justified anger, but the investigations came to nothing. You have to know why that is.
Ummm, the Rohingya? Presiding over a regime where people are prosecuted and jailed solely because of statements or their beliefs? These are violations of fundamental human rights too. I don’t think we should downplay these either.
The drug war was inexcusable. Thaksin must accept responsibility, but Thaksin alone wasn’t responsible, it went much higher up than that. Including those who now support the current gov’t (sorry I can’t get too much more specific, but that’s the nature of the beast in Thailand still with touchy matters).
Absolutely!, I wholeheartedly agree with Taro.
Having read the judgement, I ADEQUATELY conclude that this terribly rude woman deserves this 18-year sentence (personally she should hang till death) as the yellow shirted and light-blue shirted she mentioned in her speech can SOLELY AND EXCLUSIVELY refer to ONLY our GREATEST king and queen. Additionally, our GREATEST General, Admiral, and Air Chief Mashal Prem cannot be accused of anything as accusing him is also subject to LESE MAJESTE laws.
I think in Thailand, we, including me, as a Thai don’t need any rationale behind WHAT we’ve been encouraged to what and being
informed “24/7 “. In other words, according to this CONSTITUTIONAL laws we don’t need any other choice rather than accepting this kind of dogma.
In fact, our king and queen don’t need to be accountable to anyone but being revered as they are like god and goddess who’ve done all the things for themse… oops! I mean for solely THAI PEOPLE, NOT for THEMSELVES. Thus, no wonder if they won’t do anything WRONG.
Last but not least, this’s why I can adequately say that I undoubtedly love and revere for my king and queen 🙂
Now she is thrown into solitary and forced to wear an identifiable name tag that says she’s a nasty royal cursing lady. 18 year seemed like a long time, but now she is to be harassed in several ways. What a great bunch the royalists are. Given the hullabaloo over Stephen C.I.A. Young and the comments he made – Hitler, Stalin – and earlier comments on this blog about holocaust denial, maybe it is not too much to link to this: http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/yellowstar.htm (it is yellow…). This treatment of the woman is truly disgraceful.
The royalists are sure making Da Torpedo pay and making her a high profile warning to all others who want to attack them and their buddies. It is now reported that that Daranee has been convicted in the Criminal Court and fined Bt50,000 for defaming a bunch of generals and coupmakers during a red shirt rally in 2007. These were figurehead leader of the 2006 coup General Sonthi Boonyaratklin, one of PAD’s best buddy generals Saprang “I’ll die for the king” Kalayanamitr, Privy Councilor (when he’s not being PM) General Surayud Chulanont and Privy Council president and, of course, the chief coup booster and palace go-to man General Prem Tinsulanonda.
How can a coup leader be defamed???
More than that, nganadeeleg, according to today’s Bangkok Post, the “prosecution said Daranee verbally attacked the CNS by saying the military coup had caused great damage to the country.” Now that must be defamatory! Maybe the court agrees that it is defamatory because they agree that the palace organised the putsch?
She also used bad words….
Not sure what she said, for this isn’t the speech available on the clips I think, where she calls Prem a katoey and makes accusations of fratricidal regicide.
Anyone know for sure?
I guess coup leaders cab be defamed because their pursuits are noble and their persons unassailable. Case closed.
As to comments like “I’ll die for the king,” they are often made by people with hatred in their heart and guns in their belts, people who have determined how you and I should behave and are willing to “die” (AKA ‘kill’) for their zest.
It’s no wonder aliens are avoiding this world! Barbarity is legion.
There is a question of culpability when asking what someone did to someone else. It is not a matter of being so elevated that one is removed from moral and ethical responsibility, but of remaining aloof and permitting (perhaps through concerns for personal safety) things one does not agree with. When it comes to culpability, no one can excuse anyone from genuine involvement in wrongdoing. In law, perhaps, but not in moral human convention.
There is a supposition that those around the monarchy are acting in its best interests, in the best interests of the country and of the people. That supposition is being forced on everyone by hook and crook, and by gun when those don’t work.
Moral and ethical culpability are often not raised as a public issue until the restraints that keep them off are removed – through revolt, through change of heart, through guilt. Thailand has tried to ignore this reality all along, and surrendered sense to nonsense, altruism to greed, love to hate and independence to conformity.
To those apologists who seem to think the punishment was somehow justified/excusable on the grounds that one should not be free to insult others then why is it that that there are no comparable prison terms for those who insult myself, you, or anyone other member of the general public?
Think about it for a moment: Why should not the same remedies for slander or libel apply to all? And if there is a reason why there are such draconian lese majeste laws what exactly are they? What mischief are they designed to prevent? The laws apply even if the ‘offensive’ remarks are genuine expressions of the truth.
I would add that Abhisit’s silence on the these laws is a disgrace.
To finish on an optimistic note, I don’t believe the Thai people will stand for all this nonsense much longer. They are ever more educated, informed and savvy to the ways of the world. More and more are willing to stand up and speak out.
Mariner: Abhisit is quiet on these laws precisely because his position currently depends on support from the palace.
19 September 2009
I’d also like to remain upbeat, but from observing global political and social degradation for over four decades, it seems as if Thailand – lock, stock and barrel – is headed south in terms of democracy and opening up of civil and human rights protections where they matter: before the abuses occur.
Having recourse in the courts to violations is not sufficient. Protection has to involve prevention, and that is a process that Thais are not overly fond of adopting. Almost anything suffices both state and citizen as long as it involves talking it out and not getting too set on actually punishing someone for something they may have done – up to and including mass murder – but who then pretend to be sorry for it. Chalerm’s son, Chavalit and Muu Ham are only three obvious instances in this regard.
My pessimism originates from a growing readiness by Thais to accept ludicrous illusion after ludicrous illusion. When they don’t voluntarily accept it they are forced or brainwashed to. Is this any cause for optimism?
Just keep your mouth shut while you are in Thailand. Only one place in the world that Royal family had law to protect them form criticized and sue. Not all of Thai people love royal family, recent Military coup in 2006 make it clear, who is big and important in Thai no matter how many people love you will be kick out of country or go in jail so easily.
Example : PAD close 2 international airport and get charge with Terrorist act. PAD was support by Thai queen royal family so charge was drop and nothing happened.
I ask what is your opinion about this. Justice is not serve in Thai?
Today is the anniversary of the disgraceful sentence.
Spare a though for a brave lady, who so far has refused to crawl.
Naganadeeleg #103 :
Yes – we should honour and remember Da Torpedo, for having the courage of her convictions and the inhumane injustice of her brutal, barbarian sentence.
But she should also apologise for what has deeply, harshly offended and hurt the feelings of huge numbers of Thais.
It has often been noted that Thai culture is a strongly-feeling oriented culture. She knows this. An apology would help the country towards genuine reconciliation.
Well put Nganadeeleg. I notice that Political Prisoners in Thailand has a post on the anniversary and a note from Ji Ungpakorn about a recent visit by an activist to her in prison: http://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/anniversary-of-da-torpedos-sentencing/
Do the King’s words actually count for anything? “If they get sent to prison, I pardon them. If they don’t go to prison, I won’t sue them, because those who violate the King and are punished are not the ones who are in trouble. It would be the King who was in trouble. It is strange, but the lawyers like to send people to prison (for allegedly violating the King).” http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2005/12/05/headlines/data/headlines_19334288.html
A prosecution and verdict such as this does put a burden on the Palace. It seems to me more concretely troublesome to the King, given his own words- “If we hold that the King cannot be criticised or violated, then the King ends up in a difficult situation”- than any allegations made by a rabble-rouser possibly could. To even suggest that a beloved King requires the protection of such a petty, harsh, thought-stifling law is in itself disrespectful.
The problem with the Thai lese majeste law is that anyone can lodge a complaint. If Thailand needs or wants such a law, lodging such a complaint should be restricted to the Royal Household Office (or whatever its official title is
Re: “They do not understand that free speech does not mean that you are free to lie and insult other people.” (Somkiet)
Actually, Somkiet, that’s exactly what free speech means.
As for “lies”, lese-majeste isn’t intended to protect the monarchy against slander: it protects them against all forms of criticism, including–or especially–the truth.
“Re: “They do not understand that free speech does not mean that you are free to lie and insult other people.” (Somkiet)
Actually, Somkiet, that’s exactly what free speech means.”
I see I’m veeeery late on this post, but I’m just now learning about this issue. It’s strange to come to live in a new country and then discover something abhorrent about it. I’d always thought of the royals as a rather kindly bunch, but I can’t help but see dark undertones to my adopted home.
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