Note: Ajarn Suthachai Yimprasert was summoned to report himself to the Army Club on Thewet Road in Bangkok as part of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 44/2557. He went on 3 June 2014 to do so, and was released after several hours of interrogation. This is his brief account of what happened, published on his personal Facebook page and then on Prachatai.—trans.
I am writing to inform you that I have gone to report myself to the military already. I was released after being interrogated by the military and police for three hours. The soldiers explained that they viewed my reporting myself as providing good cooperation. The summons was a summons to chat, not a threat. They explained that the coup this time was courteous* coup. They did not intend to persecute anyone. Besides, they explained that they want to create reconciliation and harmony in the country. The problems that have arisen cannot be solved other than through a coup. Their use of power will be temporary.
I will not recount the points over which we argued, because it is a long story. But I will describe the atmosphere of our conversation. There were around 7-9 interrogators who came from many different state agencies. They were well-prepared in their information. They knew my history and background. They had read the articles that I published in Daily World Today (โลกวันนี้). The key point during the interrogation was the issue of Article 112. But their interrogation of me was friendly. Their officials’ manner during our conversation was decent, even though our opinions are entirely opposed.
In the end, the interrogators asked me to cooperate on two points: to not engage in opposition to the coup and to stop writing about opposition to Article 112.
Ah … But I regard it as a great honour that I was invited this time. On the matter of cooperation, what power can I use to struggle against the junta? But thought and emotion perhaps cannot be compelled. I maintain that I do not only oppose this coup. Since the 6 October 1976 coup, I have never seen a coup that has been able to solve anything. Instead, each time the problems have only expanded. The problems of the country can only be disentangled through democracy.
Regarding Article 112: Thai society is already mute on this matter already. On my own, there is perhaps nothing that I can do. There is the risk of being targeted by a witch hunt, and the risk of being collected as trash of the nation.
This is all that I will tell you for now. I may write an article for Daily World Today and Prachatai next, on topics to be discussed later.
- The word used in Thai here is “สุภาพ.” There are many different ways of translating this word into English including courteous, polite, civil, and well-mannered. So this could alternately be translated as a “polite coup,” “a civil coup,” “a well-mannered coup,” etc. —trans.