A soldier in Thailand’s Deep South has died a few days after he was reportedly tortured at a military base for committing disciplinary offences. The Manager Online reported on Monday, 4 April 2016, that 23-year-old Private Songtham Mutmat from Phayak Military Camp in Bannang Sata District of the restive Deep Southern Province of Yala, died at the provincial hospital.
The Thai military has prohibited a seminar on the controversial draft constitution in the northern province of Chiang Mai as the public referendum on the draft is drawing near. Matichon Online reported on Saturday, 2 April 2016, that Sunai Phasuk, a coordinator of Human Rights Watch (HRW), tweeted on his Twitter account that military officers from Kawila Military Camp in Chiang Mai ordered the cancellation of a seminar on ‘Reading the Constitution as Literature and Art’.
Military and police officers have searched the offices of Pheu Thai party politicians in northern Thailand and confiscated red bowls inscribed with Thai new year greetings from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Matichon Online reported that at 10:30 am on Saturday, 2 April 2016, soldiers from the 15th Cavalry Squadron in the northern province of Nan and police officers searched three offices of former Members of Parliament from the Pheu Thai party in Mueang, Pua, and Wiang Sa districts of the province.
Thai military summoned a villager in the northern province of Chiang Mai for posting a picture of a red bowl with the signature of the controversial former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on it and accused her of sedition.
Chiang Mai Provincial Court has dismissed charges against a Lahu ethnic minority activist accused of posting a video clip defaming the Thai military. According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the Provincial Court of Chiang Mai on Tuesday, 8 March 2016, dismissed charges against Maitree Chamroensuksakul, a Lahu activist and citizen journalist, indicted for offences under Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Code (importation of illegal internet content).
To question “What’s the point of having a military?” will certainly cause a problem. The problem, however, does not belong to those who are high-ranking soldiers. They might have a problem but it is minor. Even if we consider bribes from weapons transactions, it’s still a minor problem.
The Commander of the Royal Thai Army has announced that military students will be sent to stand at referendum polling stations to inform people about the draft constitution. At the event to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the Territorial Defence Command (TDC) on Thursday, 4 February 2016, Gen Teerachai Nakwanich, Chief of the Royal Thai Army, said that Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), students, high school and college students undergoing military training, will be deployed at polling stations set up nationwide for the public referendum on the draft constitution.
A military officer in northern Thailand has sued a Lahu ethnic minority activist for posting a facebook video clip, saying that the clip defamed him and injured the honor of Thai military.
A rally organised by civil society groups promoting land rights and land reform has been called off after the military invited rally leaders for discussions. According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), on Wednesday morning, 23 December 2015, Direk Kongngern, President of the Northern Development Foundation (NDF) and nine other participants in the rally organised by NDF and People’s Movement for Just Society (P-Move) were summoned for a discussion with the military.
While the Thai junta insists their primary mission is to reform the country, a year has lapsed since the National Reform Council (NRC) presented 505 reform proposals to the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA).