Military visits Same Sky Journal to ask about Yingluck calendar

Military officers have visited the editor of the Same Sky Journal, asking whether the journal is involved in the distribution of Pheu Thai Party New Year calendar images of Yingluck and Thaksin.

According to Thanapol Eawsakul, the editor of Same Sky Journal, an anti-establishment socio-political journal (Fah Diew Kan in Thai), four military officers came to his office at 12 noon on Wednesday, 13 January 2016, and held a brief discussion with him.

Thanapol said that the officers asked him if Same Sky Journal was involved in the distribution of the 2016 New Year calendar of the Pheu Thai Party with images of ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her ex-PM brother, Thaksin.

The calendar earlier made headlines after the provincial governor of Roi Et province banned its distribution during public meetings. Two elderly anti-establishment red shirts from the northeastern province of Khon Kaen were also detained for ‘attitude adjustment’ for distributing the calendar earlier this month.  

Thanapol added that the officers also asked him about his political stance and whether he would be participating in any political activity on 15 January 2016 when Yingluck will to go court over corruption allegations related to the rice subsidy programme.

“If they hadn’t told me that Yingluck is going to court on the 15th [January 2016], I wouldn’t have known,” said Thanapol.

The editor said that military officers came to the Fah Diew Kan office monthly and that he and others who are visited monthly by officers had earlier issued a joint statement, calling the regular visits ‘intimidation’ and calling for them to end.

In 2014, Thanapol was arrested on 23 May, only a day after the coup d’état, during an anti-coup protest in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Siam Square. Later he was detained for seven days after his name appeared on a summons list in Order No 5 of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

He was detained briefly for a second time from 5 to 9 July 2014 by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) and was forced to sign, again, an agreement stating that he would stop all political activities and stop expressing opinions on politics.

In 2006, the Same Sky Journal and Thanapol were threatened with lèse majesté because of the issue “The Monarchy and the Thai Society”, aka. “The Coke Issue,” which was banned by the Thai authorities. Because of this issue, Thanapol was charged with Article 112 but the police did not file the case.

Military officers at the Same Sky Journal Office on 13 January 2016 (Photo from the Fah Diew Kan Facebook Page)

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