Red shirt in Korat gets three years for lèse majesté

Papatchanan Ching-in has been found guilty of lèse majesté for her involvement in a red-shirt protest against the President of the Privy Council in Nakhon Ratchasima in April last year.

On 16 Dec, Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Court sentenced local red-shirt leader Papatchanan Ching-in to three years in jail.

According to the court, during a protest on 7 April 2009, Papatchanan and other red shirts brought a mock coffin with a message which read ‘Phra Ong Than’ in the top line, and ‘Gen Prem…’ and ‘Died 8 April 2009’ in the following lines.  Papatchanan poured gasoline on the coffin and burned it. 

The court said that the word ‘Phra Ong Than’ referred to HM the King who is most revered by the people.  The defendant, therefore, was found guilty under Sections 83 and 112 of the Criminal Code for conspiring with others to commit the crime of lèse majesté.

Papatchanan appealed the case and her bail request was granted by the court.

Police have not yet been able to find and arrest other red shirts involved in the protest.

According to news reports, Papatchanan and some 20 red shirts staged the protest at the Suranari Statue and burned the coffin bearing the message referring to Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the People’s Alliance for Democracy and the Abhisit government, as well as images of the faces of Gen Prem and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

In the message, they referred to Gen Prem by a royal prefix to mock what was believed to be PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul’s slip of the tongue when he routinely appeared on his ASTV programme on 3 Apr 2009, saying, ‘…the yellow shirts come out to protect Gen Prem, as Phra Ong Than is President of the Privy Council’. (see clip)

Col Weerapattarapol Bunchiaw, a military officer attached to Army Region 2 at the province, filed charges with the police on 9 Apr 2009.  On 10 Apr 2009, PAD members in the province also filed charges for lèse majesté and violations of national security under Criminal Code Articles 113, 114 and 115, and defamation under Article 326.

There is another copy of the

There is another copy of the video wherein Sondhi Limthongkul refers to Pram as "Phra Ong Than".

The prosecution is persecution in any case, Thai® Double Standard, but the fact that the red shirts were obviously referring to Sondhi's equivocation of Prem and Phra Ong Than rather than making that equivocation themselves adds to the dishonor the court has heaped upon itself with this decision.

Letter to a Discouraged

Letter to a Discouraged Progressive

This isn't a holiday cheer-up message. I'm a devout atheist with no faith in anything beyond the power of ordinary people to take collective action to change their circumstances. No, this is a blunt and urgent reminder that one of the most crucial weapons of the ruling classes of the world is their ability to disarm us—ideologically, emotionally and physically—by pounding into us a distorted and partial picture of our situation.

How else can a tiny class of parasites remain in control unless they convince us that we have no alternatives to the ones their barbaric system puts on offer?

Howard Zinn :

If we remember those times and places–and there are so many–where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of the world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

Online Censorship Triggers

Online Censorship Triggers Fear among Bloggers

BANGKOK, Dec 21, 2010 (IPS) - When he is not designing another house... a Thai architect in his mid-forties worries about another run-in with this kingdom’s cyber police.

This fear has been with him or the past two years... This is the price Soonthon Prueksapipat has to pay for refusing to be a silent bystander in the face of the political turmoil that has shaken up this South-east Asian kingdom since its last military coup, in September 2006.

His weapon for taking on the powerful military... was a website he launched with a team of Bangkok-based professionals – including doctors, engineers, bureaucrats and entrepreneurs – he had met in cyberspace.

"Our website has been shut five times because the people in power are not happy with the information we provide, but we managed to get back online using a new name or turning to a foreign server... The government’s censors are not happy with our mission to protect democracy and to keep the army out of politics... The government doesn’t inform us about the reason to close us down. It is always a surprise when we discover we are censored because access to our website is blocked in Thailand," says Soonthon of his widely read Thai-language political news portal (youtube), which has recorded 15 million visitors since it was set up in late 2006.

But Soonthon, at least, is daring to be public about the battles he has waged with this country’s growing army of censors, and even with his worries and fears.

Not so are other bloggers and web editors living in Bangkok and neighbouring towns who were interviewed by IPS. They are only willing to talk on condition of anonymity in the wake of their websites being shut by the censors.

"I am scared something may happen to me because of the information I uploaded on a website I launched four years ago," says a 32-year-old Bangkok resident, who makes a living as a graphic and website designer...

Activists are pointing an accusing finger at the current government and the military, which helped bring it to power in a backroom political deal struck in December 2008, for shaping a strategy aimed at silencing political dissent in cyberspace.

It think the sooner the red

It think the sooner the red shirts become more red the better....

the alternative is the current junta drags Thailand even further back into the Middle Ages.

Yes. Hobby asked, if I were a

Yes. Hobby asked, if I were a Thai and a red shirt and a politician, would I found a new party or work within Puea Thai. I replied that I'd start a new party, as Puea Thai is certainly loaded with opportunistic politicians and not at all dedicated to the red shirts' democratic agenda.

But I think that perhaps the thing to do is to recast the entire Thai political universe as the Puea Thai party, and then to start/join a faction within Puea Thai to work for the democratic ideals of the reds. In the event that the old opportunistic politicians remain they can, once elected, be denounced as betrayors of the people and replaced by more sympathetic, more genuine red shirts.

It is clear that all other political parties can be absolutely written off as far as the red shirts are concerned, and that the Puea Thai party, itself having enough corrupt elements to deal with, can be practically looked upon as the entire political spectrum.

It is vitally necessary to get a majority in the parliament after the next election and Puea Thai is the only possible means of doing so, so far as I can see.

PPT expands on the

PPT expands on the implications of Abhist's statement in a Nation article...

that in practice, public prosecutors, police and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) would not oppose bail applications for those reds facing misdemeanour charges. He stressed that the courts would, however, have the final say on whether to grant bail.

...wherein Abhisit admits that 104 red shirts have been in prison for 7 months, charged with misdemeanors.

The terrorist charges are just as absurd and politically motivated as the misdemeanors and what's required is release, not bail.

The readiness of Thida to play ball with Abhisit calls into question her very existence as "leader" of the red shirts.

Who elected her?

No one.

The first order of business for the red shirts is to elect their own leadership under both the UDD and Phuea Thai banners.

The key word in Dictatorship of the Proletariat is dictatorship.

The Kennedy machine in the

The Kennedy machine in the USA is reputed to have originated the saying :

Don't get mad, get even.

That's a very important point. The red shirts need to make a concerted effort to see to it that insofar as possible no

  1. Democrat Party member
  2. Bhumijaitai Party member
  3. Chart Thai Pattana member
  4. Puea Pandin Party member
  5. Ruam Jai Thai Chat Pattana Party member, or now no
  6. Matubhum Party member

is elected.

They need to reduce their political world to the Puea Thai Party, there's plenty within that one party to purge and clean.