Yingluck Shinawatra gained office with the support of red shirts. They expected her to do something to distinguish her government from that of Abhisit Vejjajiva which had essentially imprisoned, censored and attacked its opposition. Yingluck at the head of a Puea Thai Party government was expected to change this, and she has. Thailand’s politics has cooled quite substantially.
She was also expected to do something to stop the use of lese majeste as a royalist political tool to bludgeon opponents and to lock up the outspoken. PPT acknowledges that fewer cases have been prosecuted under Yingluck’s government and the investigations seem to have been reduced (with a significant exception noted earlier today). However, the blocking of internet-based material is continuing, with PPT blocked again in recent days, probably due to this post. It seems that royalists hate the truth. Other sites are also being blocked for content that challenges the usual royalist treacle on the monarchy.
While it may be political reality, it is nonetheless disappointing to see reports that show Yingluck mouthing royalist platitudes that make her sound like Abhisit. So it is that Yingluck spoke at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand with an Abhisit tone when asked about:
… whether the government would do something about the controversial lese majeste law and the Computer Crimes Act (CCA), which are seen by many here and abroad as limiting freedom of expression. She replied that freedom of speech in Thailand had to be “in line with the constitution”…. “The lese majeste law is intended to uphold the monarchy as the pillar of stability,” the premier stressed.
As PPT has shown, recently making good use of Zen Journalist materials from archives, nothing could be further from the truth. The palace has been involved in almost every political coup since 1947. The law was instituted to protect absolute monarchs and has been enhanced by royalist military and extreme rightist governments to protect the status quo that has the monarchy at its core. Those regimes have been all too ready to murder opponents in the name of the monarchy, and the monarchy has been generally satisfied with this state of affairs, growing immensely wealthy and bloated by its power and propaganda.