It seems like it is Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan’s day for remarkable commentary. The general has already featured in dumb, dumber and stupid. The Bangkok Post reports that he has also has advice for US Ambassador Glyn Davies.
PPT has no problem with the dumpy general responding to the ambassador’s critical statements on lese majeste and freedom of expression.We wouldn’t even be particularly taken aback if Prawit had decided to admonish the ambassador with the usual don’t interfere in the domestic affairs of Thailand guff.
But then Prawit went quite a bit further into the realms of threat and balmy make believe.
He directed the ambassador “to think carefully before speaking after his remark on the Thai military rule.” That sounds like a threat.
The make believe involves a claim that the military dictatorship – that is, the world’s only country ruled by a military junta – has “provided more freedom than other juntas and was developing sustainable democracy in the country.”
Both claims are patently false and defy any normal definition of logic.
General Prawit “asserted Monday that the government attached much importance to human rights and provided much freedom, including freedom of the press, and no other juntas had done the same.” As the Post points out, this claim “was made in the face after numerous incidents where the junta has summoned and detained journalists critical of its rule, threatened to close down publications and regularly lambasted reporters for asking probing questions.”
The junta has detained almost 800 people (that we know about), it has charged or convicted dozens under the lese majeste and computer crimes laws. It has prevented hundreds, perhaps thousands, of persons meeting, holding seminars and more. It has seen dozens flee into exile. It marched into power on the deaths of many opponents in 2010.
In other words, Prawit is lying.
He goes on:
We are trying our best for the future of the nation and permanent democracy but it must take some times. We are building strong foundations for democracy in the future. We are not solving problems on a day-by-day basis….
This is as disingenuous as it is balmy. All the junta is doing is building the foundations for the continued and unobstructed rule by a royalist elite.