Democrat accuses red shirt activist of lèse majesté for wearing black in King’s Birthday month

The pro-establishment Democrat Party submitted lèse majesté and defamation complaints against a redshirt wearing black around the King’s birthday and pressed the authorities to take action against a Pheu Thai politician’s son accused of lèse majesté.

According to ASTV-Manager online, Wirat Kalayasiri, the legal advisor of Democrat Party, on Tuesday stated at a press briefing that the party had submitted a lèse majesté complaint to Gen Rungroj Chamrasromran, assistant to the Minister of Interior, against Suda Rangkupan, a red-shirt political activist figure and former Chulalongkorn University lecturer, who now lives in self-exile in a neighbouring country.

The party accused Suda of defaming the King by wearing black in December, the auspicious month of the king’s birthday.

She allegedly posted her picture with a message reading, “wearing black to mourn the formal end of the Financial Sector Restructuring Authority (FSRA) case,” on her Facebook page in December.

The FSRA case is a financial scandal from the Tom Yam Kung financial crisis in 1997, where the FSRA under the administration of Democrat Party Prime Minister Chuan Leepai allegedly failed to separate toxic financial assets from good assets of the major embattled financial institutions. It resulted in a financial loss of 66 billion baht (20 billion USD).

The failure prompted the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the case, but the case was officially dropped on 30 November under the statute of limitations after 10 years without .progress  

Although Suda clearly stated on Facebook that she was merely mourning the failure to prosecute the culprits of the FSRA financial fiasco, Wirat, the Democrat legal advisor, told the media that her action was inappropriate because she was wearing black around the king’s birthday when Thai people were supposed to wear yellow to pay respect to the king.

Wirat also said that the party also filed a defamation complaint against Suda for falsely accusing the Democrat Party of causing the FSRA financial crisis in 1997.  

At the same briefing, the party also pressed the authorities to take legal action against a son of a Pheu Thai Party politician, who allegedly defamed the monarchy, but was not charged by the police.

Sirichok Sopha, a former Democrat Member of the Parliament for southern Songkhla Province, told the press that the FRSA scandal was triggered by the failure of Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh’s government, not the Democrat Party, who stepped in later to attempt to solve the 1997 financial crisis.   

 

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