Updated: Framing opponents

We find it hard to believe much that the junta’s members say. After all, they have been shown to be inveterate liars. Its supporters are also prone to fabulous feats of fibbing.

In the recent bout of story-telling, quite a number of others were equally dubious of junta and Co. claims about referendum fraud and money trails.

In The Nation earlier in the week, chief of the Constitution Drafting Committee, Meechai Ruchupan whined about “efforts to distort the content of the charter.” He howled that “copies of a document containing false information about the draft are being distributed…”.

He reckoned that “thousands of copies of the document have been printed and it must have been funded by a ‘certain group’.” In other words, he wants people to believe that pro-Thaksin Shinawatra groups are funding charter opponents. He has no evidence, but a lack of factual basis for anti-democrat claims is common.

CDC spokesman Chatchai Na Chiangmai said he had squealed all the way to the Election Commission, demanding an “investigation” and declaring the “fake” document that “mimicked” the CDC’s own document “violated the Referendum Law.” He babbled that the document “looks like the booklet produced by the CDC and summarises the draft charter and specific points…. However, …[it] also includes information that does not exist in the draft charter.”

The CDC lot complained that the “fake” document “focuses on the controversial rights and freedom chapter in the charter and other points like the political structure, including the non-MP prime minister … [being] more interpretation instead of charter content.”

While the CDC and Meechai complained that those distributing the “fake” booklet “did not have good intentions.” For others, the document does not sound fake but seems like a booklet providing information on the anti-democratic nature of the draft. That is, information the junta has tried to suppress.

Immediately, the students of the Neo-Democracy Movement stated that they had “produced the document to criticise certain points in the draft constitution.” They said their booklet was produced with donations.

Another story at The Nation had The Dictator joining in, declaring that “many people will be put in jail” because of this so-called fake booklet, as the authorities stated they were “investigating” – more likely framing – “the source of funding for the publication” judged by the CDC as “containing false and distorted information.”

In the picture, the CDC’s document is on the left, the “fake” on the right.


General Prayuth Chan-ocha reckoned that the document “was against the law” because it constituted an effort “to falsify a state document.” Should have gone to Specsavers.

He reckoned the “masterminds” would be arrested. On the referendum being disrupted, he promised: “Many people will end up in jail. Don’t worry about that. Investigations are under way on several cases. And don’t accuse me of persecution…”.

The Bangkok Post reported on the certainty of the CDC. It stated that “[a]n organised and well-financed group is trying to mislead people about the draft charter and stop teachers from explaining it…”.

Meechai had decided that “[s]tudents are incapable of doing this alone. There may be a fund supporting it…”.

Khaosod reported that the junta was convinced the culprits were the NDM, funded by “others.” A junta spokesman stated that “members of the New Democracy Movement (NDM) should return to school and cease political activities, adding that the group’s financial transactions will be scrutinized to check for any ‘irregularities’.” He also threatened the students’ parents, warning them to take care of their children.

Threats, lies and paternalism define this junta. There’s no evidence at all that the document in question is a fake or a and attempt to look like an official document. The junta simply wants to repress, intimidate and get its way. Framing the students is part of the plan to pursue the referendum.

Update: Prachatai reports that some of the students and one of its journalists have been detained. The journalist and three students “were detained after the police searched a car of the activists and found copies of NDM’s booklet which provide counter information to the junta’s on the draft constitution.” The police seem to think that the booklets are already illegal.


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