We are never sure if The Dictator is an inveterate liar or that his upbringing in the corrupt, hierarchical and royalist army means that he has no capacity for discerning truth from deceit.
It wasn’t that long ago that a huge team of junta flunkies was sent to Geneva to lie to the United Nations about the military dictatorship and its repression and oppression.
Now The Dictator, the General and the self-appointed prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has stated that he has spewed forth some of the very same lies directly to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
According to the Bangkok Post, The Dictator has bragged about his 30-minute phone call with Ban, where he claims to have spent 25 minutes “explaining” Thailand’s “situation” to Ban, setting him straight.
The UN secretary-general “raised concerns over freedom of expression with … Prayut … during a 30-minute telephone conversation as red-shirt leaders filed a complaint Monday with the UN against the regime’s operation to block the opening of their referendum watchdog centres.”
Prayuth says he called Ban “and explained to him what was going on in Thailand.” He bragged: “Most of the conversation consisted of me talking for about 25 minutes and the rest belonged to the secretary-general…”.
There is one immediate reason for doubting this – Prayuth’s English is not fluent and we don’t think he could talk for 25 minutes about issues like human rights without a translator.
But let’s stick with Prayuth’s personalized rant for a while more.
On the “charter referendum and preparations for a general election,” Prayuth blathered that he “told him everything is proceeding according to the road map,” meaning according to Prayuth’s plans for Thailand’s authoritarian future.
The Dictator “said he also told Mr Ban about activities by groups with ‘ill intentions’ toward the country…”. We assume he doesn’t mean the military and the junta. By “ill intentions” Prayuth seems to mean those advocating electoral democracy.
When Ban expressed concerns regarding the lack of freedom of expression in Thailand, Prayuth claims he “explained” that “we have such freedom.” He means the junta has it, but no one who opposes or criticizes it or who opposes military land grabs or corrupt parks honoring dead and nearly dead kings or is seen to speak about the monarchy in a way the military junta finds unacceptable.
On the draft charter, Prayuth brazenly lied, claiming “people throughout the country have been given a chance to voice their opinions…”. No one believes this bald-faced deception. Even the Bangkok Post has an editorial beseeching The Dictator to allow some, any discussion.
Prayuth is like most dictators, willingly saying anything that suits his and the ruling elite’s interests.