Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Treatment of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and Hypocrisy by the U.S. Embassy

The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced news editor and political activist Somyot Prueksakasemsuk to 10 years in prison last Wednesday (January 23rd) for two articles the court ruled had “insulted” the Thai monarch. Somyot didn't actually write the articles, he just published them.  And they didn't appear in articles of fact, but in two fiction stories. Oh, and they didn't even actually mention King Bhumibol Adulyadej by name. One of the pieces published in the now-defunct magazine centered around a murderous ghost that the court determined was a stand-in for the King, in a tale that "conveyed connection to historical events."

Somyot has been held since April 30, 2011 in the eastern province of Sa Kaeo, just 2 days after he participated in the launch of a campaign to collect 10,000 signatures to remove the lese majeste article from the Thai criminal code.  He was later reproached for refusing to reveal the identity of the author of the two articles, written under the pen-name of Jitra Polachan.

The court denied Somyot bail on twelve different occasions during his 20 month pretrial detention. He was also paraded around Thailand (four different provinces) in shackles. This wasn’t just meant to punish Somyot for his views but was what amounted to a demonstration for all to see how the courts could humiliate someone who doesn’t "toe the line" when it comes to their version of what to think.

Somyot in Chains - A lesson by the Thai Courts that this could happen to you.
The Thai justice system’s treatment of Somyot clearly illustrates the erosion of due process and the dilution of even the most basic of human rights.  Since the royalist courts have taken it upon themselves to be the defender of the monarchy, they have savagely used the lese majeste law; not to uphold justice, as the lese majeste law has nothing to do with justice. Instead they use the lese majeste law to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression and personal gain.

But not all the disgraceful action was committed by the Thai courts.  Even though a representative of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok attended the trial on January 23rd, there was no resulting public condemnation of Somyot’s conviction and sentencing. No comment at all.

Of course, the U.S. embassy had a perfect opportunity to speak out. After all, January 21st was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President Obama’s Inauguration.

So, leading up to and the verdict on January 23rd, the U.S. Embassy was posting various quotes by Dr. King on their facebook page.

And on January 21, the U.S. Embassy posted this part of Obama’s inaugural speech:

All of these quotes are very inspirational. But it appears like the U.S. Embassy wasn’t too inspired by them because on January 22nd, when closing arguments by Somyot’s lawyers were being held, this was posted on the U.S. Embassy’s facebook page:

Yes, a posting of a picture of a monkey with an explanation of what the phrase "monkey see, monkey do" means. Well, at least the folks at the U.S. embassy know what that phrase means. Judging from the fact that there were no explanations of the Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes nor the Obama quote, should we infer that they have don't have a clue about their meanings? 

And on January 23rd, when Somyot’s sentence and conviction was handed down, the only posting on the U.S. Embassy’s facebook page was some pathetic fluff article about Obama surprising White House visitors.

As Americans, we should expect more from our Ambassador, Kristie Kenney.  

What about the facebook postings? "...with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals." - What voices? 

Personally, I’m at a loss as to why Ambassador Kenney did not speak out.  Was it because she supports the royalist movement in Thailand? Or is it because she is scared that royalist will protest against her and she’ll lose popularity – something she apparently craves?

From this picture of her, the answer is still elusive.  It could go either way.

Ambassor Kenney sporting a big yellow streak down her back
Of course, we can expect the “quiet diplomacy” spiel.  But “quiet diplomacy” has yielded scant results if any when it comes to protecting people from Thailand’s draconian lese majeste law.  So I expect that “quiet diplomacy” actually means "no diplomacy at all" and the American public is being lied to by representatives of the State Department, which wouldn’t be the first time.  By the way, just what really did cause that September 11 attack in Benghazi?  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My 2012 Nicknames for Thailand's Opposition Party

As we get into the new year, I'm thinking (and hoping) the blog might attract some new readers.  Folks who haven't been here the past couple of years and don't know that posts filled with nothing but silly insults are par for the course.

In fact, I'd like to think those posts are my strong point.

Last week the Bangkok Post reported some other insults on the current Thai government, the prime minister and some cabinet ministers by the Government House reporters.  It is a tradition for these reporters at the end of the year to give invented names to describe their subjects’ characters and flaws.  

So in an effort to promote political fairness, I have come up with some nicknames for the main opposition party and their MPs and friends.

Disclaimers:  I don't know any of these people personally, so if any of my chosen nicknames are their actual nicknames, it's purely coincidental.  Also, I am unsure of exact name pronunciations, so if I botched any in an attempt at humor, mea culpa.

That's another thing you newbies need to know about this blog:  Botching things in the name of humor is my other strong point.

I have dubbed the Democratic Party the "Biggest Loser" Party. No surprise there. They haven’t won a national election in over 20 years. They even lost big in the government’s no-confidence vote held in late November.  Their arch nemesis, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, easily won her no-confidence vote in the lower house 308 – 159. The other three ministers in Yingluck’s cabinet also had no problem winning their no-confidence votes.

And if you’re looking for reasons why the Democrat Party loses all the time, all you need to do is look at their roster.

Democrat Party MP “Nasty Nat” Bantadtan, son of Democrat party-list MP and executive Banyat Bantadtan.  You may remember him.  He was caught watching porn on his iPhone while Parliament was in session and was blamed for accidentally causing the image of a woman in a provocative pose to be flashed across the giant monitors in the Parliament.  In typical Democrat Party style, he tried to weasel out of it with some pathetic excuse but nobody with any brain power at all believed him.

Sorry - I had to pixelate some of this photo to maintain this site's decency
Democrat Party MP Boonyod “Swastika Joe” Sukthinthai. On May 2nd during another session in Parliament, he goose stepped up to the front speaker’s podium, gave the Nazi salute and screamed “Heil Hitler” at the top of his lungs. 

Democrat Party MP Thani “the Bangkok Strangler” Thaugsuban. The Democrats often speak about the importance of “rule of law” but rarely practice it. On May 31, 2012, the Democrat MPs went crazy ass bonkers in Parliament again and MP Thani Thaugsuban went for the throat – the throat of political rival, Pheu Thai MP Jirayu Huangsap.

Democrat MP Thani Thaugsuban trying to choke the life out of PT MP Jirayu Huangsap

It is interesting to note that in this wider image we happen to see none other than “Swastika Joe” in the gray suit (upper left hand corner) attempting to get into the action. 

Goose-steppers of a feather flock together” and it’s time to tell the Democrat Party to get the ‘flock’ out of Parliament.

I don’t see fellow Democrat MP “Nasty Nat” in the picture. He must be in the back of the room “attending to his caucus” – if you know what I mean.

Democrat Party MP Suthep “Murder Defendent” Thaugsuban.  Homicidal maniacs evidently run in the Thaugsuban family.  Thani gets his thrills with the “hands on approach” of strangling his victims. His brother and former Deputy PM, Suthep prefers ordering the army to do his killing for him.  As a result of his murderous rampage in the 2010 pro-democracy protests, murder and attempted murder charges against Suthep were officially filed last month.

Democrat Party MP Abhisit “Prime Suspect” Vejjajiva.  Abhisit was a Prime Minister.  Now he’s a Prime Suspect in the same atrocities that his former Deputy PM Suthep has been charged with. Abhisit has been charged as well.

Abhisit and Suthep - looking guilty as charged.

Special Bonus Nickname:

Channel 7 Reporter Somjit “Abhisit’s Lap Dog” Nawakruasunthorn.  Although not a Democrat Party MP, Somjit does work hard for her master, Abhisit Vejjajiva. When she’s not writing propaganda books promoting Abhisit and other Democrat MPs, she’s using her job as a television news reporter to harass his political opponents (see here and here).

Abhisit has been trying to train her for years now. This 2009 video clip shows Abhisit training Somjit to obey orders and walk on two legs.  You can clearly see she is having difficulties.

Thailand needs more democracy and less Democrats. We should all look forward to 2013.