Recent ‘witch hunts’ as Thailand mourns its late King are the consequence of hyper-royalism, a culture of impunity and political polarisation, says a Thai sociologist. He speculates the hunts will last until celebrations for the new throne are completed.
Recent ‘witch-hunts’ as Thailand mourns its late King are the consequence of hyper-royalism, an impunity culture and political polarisation, says a Thai sociologist. He speculates the hunts will last until celebrations for the new throne. The term ‘witch-hunts’ has been widely used on Thai social media since the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death on 13 October. It refers to acts of vigilantism against those accused of lèse majesté or those who do not comply with nationwide mourning regulations.
While Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha called for all 9,000 insurgents and their supporters in the South to be brought to justice (not the same justice that he applies to security forces committing extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and, if rumours are true, a whole raft of run-of-the-mill crimes like drug-dealing, smuggling, and gun-running), his deputy, Gen Dapong Rattanasuwan, was expressing the real fears that keep the military top brass awake in their beds at night.
Villagers of Pak Bang village in Satun expressed concern over their homes and livelihoods in the face of a huge government fuel depot project that will require 5,000 rai (2,000 acres) of land in their area. No one has told them anything or given them any information, they complained.