Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Deconstructing Avudh Panananda: Da Deserves 18 years for Cursing!!

The Nation

Cyberspace is littered with political graffiti deemed offensive to the country's revered institution. Are Internet vandals sharing the same thoughts as Daranee and acting foul-mouthed out of spite, since they see themselves as too marginalised to make a difference?

Daranee emerged out of obscurity to achieve instant fame, though in a bad way, by smearing the monarchy. Several people under catchy pseudonyms gain cult-like popularity in web boards by posting offensive messages. The royal bashing may be the name of the game for fame seekers, whatever the cost.

When you consider that lese majeste is a major national security crime in Thailand, you'd think The Nation would be quick to uncover these anti-monarchy evil-doers like George Bush flushed out Al Qaeda from their caves in Pakistan. It is quite revealing what The Nation gets sanctimonious about.


The underlying theme to her speeches was the alleged link between the coup and the Royal Palace, with chief royal adviser General Prem Tinsulanonda as the conduit. She seemed, however, more intent on belching out foul words and curses instead of stating her case.

When you consider that The Nation does the bidding of the Palace and the military without question, and never would even consider a link between the Privy Council and the coup, though the evidence is crystal clear, I guess I would be screaming profanities too at those who caused my illegal disenfranchisement.


Last year, she framed her comments at three red-shirt rallies on January 18, June 7 and June 13 to make veiled attacks on the Royal Palace. Although she did not mention any names, her remarks were explicit and insulting.

The matter came to light after yellow-shirt leader Sondhi Limthongkul blew the whistle on the inflammatory remarks.

The Criminal Court ruled last Thursday Daranee had tarnished the reputation of Their Majesties with malicious intent to sway the crowds to lose their reverence and trust in the monarchy.

Daranee was penalised with a combined jail term of 18 years for three counts of insulting remarks, each carrying six-year imprisonment.

As Daranee languishes in her cell, she may reflect on whether she has accomplished anything worthwhile in return for her conviction. How many will remember her message other than the legacy of her foul mouth?

Basically, Avudh is siding with the censorship and jailing of Darunee for 18 years, because she had a foul mouth. What if someday somebody decided, hey, let us make it a criminal offense for bad reporting. Is destroying the sanctity of the free press any less horrible than shouting curse words? I could make a very strong argument that The Nation's horrible reporting has done far more damage to Thailand's national security than Darunee's curse words.

Do you know what is really disgusting about this column? It is that a reporter actually has the audacity to defend the jailing of a political activist for 18 years and do it with a straight face.

In any event, when all is said and done, what she said were just words. How can a Buddhist with any basic religious training defend such an outrageous response to curse words?

The real crime is not the words that were expressed, but the taking of liberty as a punishment for saying them. Those words had no meaning until the idiotic court gave them value.

1 comment:

David Higgs said...

NEVER MIND THIS BS. This is the story from Phuket. Can they be serious. This me thinks will be the straw that does break the Ferangs back in Thailand………………….Good bye golden goose!

PHUKET: — A fact-finding effort is underway in Phuket to compile information about local businesses in which Thai people are hired by foreigners as their nominees – a practice considered suspicious and possibly illegal.

Provincial governor Wichai Phrai-sa-ngob, who ordered the investigation, said he was not discriminating against foreign investors, but guarding against illegal nomination which exploited loopholes in Thai laws for personal gain.

Under the business nomination law, foreigners can hold no more than 49-per-cent ownership of any business they jointly invest in with Thais. An ongoing practice is that foreigners later gain control over Thais illegally, and enjoy a lower tax burden than when holding a minority ownership.

To scrutinise foreign businesses, the local revenue office is checking on their tax payments, while the treasury office is scrutinising ownership of condominium space. Immigration police are checking visa and residence status.

Local authorities and the Interior Ministry will look into all information and decide on what to do if the fact-finding reveals illegal business nomination activities, said the governor.

There are now 19,653 joint Thai-foreign businesses in Phuket, which have invested around Bt62 million.

Patong Municipality mayor Chairat Sukbhal dismissed reports most hotels on the island resort were owned by foreigners, saying most were operated as joint ventures, or under management staffed by foreign executives.

The provincial business and trade office said a regulation requiring joint Thai-foreign businesses to produce bank accounts with a high minimum amount of money deposited had been revoked, because it could not effectively serve as proof of substantial business funding.

“In most cases, the money was withdrawn immediately from bank accounts once they were offered to Thai authorities as proof,” office head Weerachai Tantiwatthanawallop said.

The provincial land office said legal action would be taken against any businesses found to have been operated illegally with a majority of foreign ownership, because Thai land laws imposed strict sanctions on foreigners owning land plots in Thailand.