Liars and damned lies

In earlier posts, PPT has mentioned several instances where those representing the military junta and The Dictator himself have misrepresented or lied to UN bodies, representatives  and officials or about meetings and phone calls or lied to the Thai people about these interactions (all of these links are here).

They’ve done it again.

Khaosod reports that the “Office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the highly unusual step of refuting a Thai delegation’s account of a meeting held late last month on the referendum and freedom of expression.”

The report states that an unusual “statement released Tuesday, the U.N. said Thai officials mischaracterized to Thai media the meeting held 29 June between Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Virasakdi Futrakul, Foreign Affairs vice minister.”

The UN statement, cited here in full, at the official website of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states:

The Deputy Secretary-General met on 29 June with H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand. The Deputy Secretary-General expressed concerns about the recent reports of restrictions on the freedoms of expression and assembly ahead of the referendum on the draft constitution to be held on 7 August. Stressing the importance of the partnership between Thailand and the United Nations and welcoming the support for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regional office, he stated that respect for human rights and the rule of law are important elements for sustainable development and emphasised the need for open and inclusive dialogue to promote democracy and support national reconciliation.

The Deputy Secretary-General reiterated the United Nations’ willingness to support Thailand’s efforts in this regard, noting the importance of the continuing engagement between Thailand and the United Nations.

Khaosod reports that Michael Bak, adviser to the UN resident coordinator, explained that “… statements made to the Thai press by some members of the delegation and reflected in reporting in the press that the [deputy secretary-general] ‘is not concerned’ about the referendum did not accurately reflect the conversation that took place, where he clearly raised concerns, including about freedom of expression and the need for an open dialogue ahead of the referendum…”.

The statements to the local media apparently refer to comments by “Thai representative to the U.N. and former permanent secretary Norachit Sinhaseni…”.  It was he who was “reported in several media outlets saying the global body was ‘not concerned’ about the situation in Thailand in the run-up to a public referendum on the next constitution.” Norachit misrepresented the meeting, reportedly stating:  “The DSG said he fully understands the situation in Thailand and is not concerned with the Referendum Act…”, later reported as saying the “United Nations did not oppose the Referendum Act…”.

Norachit was at the meeting in New York, so we assume that he understands that he’s fabricating events and statements.

As Khaosod states, “[m]ilitary government officials have repeatedly returned from overseas visits claiming to have successfully made their case in the international community, despite conflicting messages from their hosts.”

They are liars, dealing in damned lies.

%d bloggers like this: