About 10-12 days ago, military officers sought to “censor displays of political parody at the upcoming annual football match between Chulalongkorn (CU) and Thammasat University (TU).” On 4 February 2016, they “met with students of Thammasat University at Rangsit Campus who are in charge of the pre-match political parody parade at the 2016 CU-TU football match…”.
A day later, the Bangkok Post reported that the military junta “denied it will ban political satire at a Chulalongkorn-Thammasat football match…”. The word is “denied.” That means to state that something declared or believed to be true is not true.
Junta spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said “organisers of the annual football match from both institutions have promised authorities to keep the political satire within bounds to prevent it being exploited to stir up political tension or disorder.”
Oops, the military did seek to limit the expression by students. So the denial was horse manure. Rather, the military dictatorship thought it could control, limit and repress the students into self-censorship.
Another soldier, Theppong Thipayachan, “who commands the 1st Army Region, insisted the NCPO was not trying to block political commentary but hoped the students would behave in line with the reform efforts carried out by the council [junta] and the government [military dictatorship].”
When the event took place today, the military’s lies became even clearer.
As Khaosod reports, “[p]lainclothes military forces ordered students cut something that looked like a gun from a float about the new constitution at the National Stadium … and later arrested a well-known activist leader.”
It is stated that “hundreds of non-uniformed officers gathered to monitor and censor the satirical parade famously used as an outlet for student political expression.” They threatened to shut down the event if they didn’t like any of the political messages.
And censor they did.
The students state that they were “ordered to saw off the gun figure, otherwise the officers won’t let it enter the field…. They said it’s inappropriate because the gun looks violent.”
Well, that’s certainly true, and the military has hundreds of thouands of them and is, with the police, a violent gang of thugs.
When the parade entered the stadium, “an officer disguised in a Chulalongkorn football jersey suddenly interrupted and ripped away a banner carried by students.” Apparently the fascist thugs felt that the banner was inappropriate.
Meanwhile, it was reported that student activist, Sirawith Seritiwat “was reportedly arrested by undercover officers disguised in Thammasat football jerseys…”.
The result of all of this is that the military junta and its thugs are shown to be liars and that they are prepared to dress up and disguise themselves in order to repress and censor. They are despicable.