The junta head has said that if the Constitutional Court rules that the controversial Referendum Act is unconstitutional, the August referendum might be postponed.
For the first time, the junta has arranged a so-called attitude adjustment session outside a military barrack.
Weakening elected government officials, enhancing bureaucracy, and increasing relations with influential capitalists is what the military is trying to do to secure its legitimacy after “the transition”, says Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist from Thammasat University.
Thai academics and activists have announced that they will deactivate their Facebook accounts as a protest against Facebook Thailand for its compromise with the junta on censorship.
The latest order by the junta replaces elected local councillors with appointed government officials and gives the junta head the power to directly dismiss ‘corrupt’ councillors. This will allow the junta to take total control of local administrative organizations across the country within four years. On Thursday, 5 May 2016, the Royal Gazette published NCPO Order No. 22/2016 on the selection of local administration councillor.
Thai human rights are in free fall; the ruling junta perceives human rights as a threat to national security. NCPO Order No. 13/2016 is the junta’s attempt to establish a full military regime, says Sunai Phasuk, advisor to Human Rights Watch Thailand.
An abducted critic of the junta charged with lѐse majesté has warned that private Facebook chat is no longer safe under the military regime. On Monday, 2 May 2016, the Facebook page of a citizen journalist titled ‘Fahroong Srikhao’ published an interview from jail with Harit Mahaton, one of the eight junta critics abducted by the military on 27 April.
The Military Court has rejected bail for the eight junta critics abducted by the military on Wednesday, citing the authority of a junta order and the severity of the crime. On Friday, 29 April 2016, the court rejected the offer, by lawyers and relatives of the eight junta critics abducted by the military on Wednesday, of 100,000 baht as bail for each critic, ruling that the eight committed serious crimes as a network.
The junta’s lawmakers have unanimously decided to increase penalties under the Computer Crime Act and establish a committee to handle cases under the Act, bypassing the courts. On Friday, 29 April 2016, BBC Thai reported that the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), the junta-appointed legislature, gave the green light to amend the Computer Crime Act. In an urgent meeting, the NLA voted 16
Update: The BBC Thai reported that the military have abducted five persons, including Harit Mahaton and Nithi Kooltasnasilp in total on Wednesday morning. The name of another detainee among the five is Supachai Saibutr, 30. According to Supachai’s father, soldiers arrested him from his house at 5:30 am in Bangkok, citing national security. The father added that Supachai was taken to the 11th Military Circle in Bangkok.