Thailand: a theater troupe in the viewfinder of the junta for defamation against the monarchy

Bangkok (AFP) – Exiled abroad to avoid jail for defaming the monarchy, members of a theater troupe denounce a witch hunt established in Thailand by the military junta that took power in a coup which multiplies the trial for treason.

Two actors are already behind bars for their role in the play “Bride of the Wolf”, covered by a series of complaints on the grounds that slandered the royal family under the guise of being a satire rooted in a fictional kingdom.bangkok

Six other artists of the troupe committed (“Prakai Fai”, “Setting fire” in Thai) is sought under section 112, which provides up to 15 years in prison for anyone found guilty of treason to the king, his wife and their descendants but also his ancestors.

Of the six artists sought, at least two of them have already fled the kingdom, joining a stream of dozens of intellectuals and political opponents in exile to escape the lese majeste cases opened by the military cascade since the coup last May.

“There was a fog over the kingdom,” criticism, on condition of anonymity a member of the troupe, told from exile by AFP.

“But we have to accept that Thailand still has laws that block critical opinions, laws that shut people’s mouths,” he said.

“Bride of the Wolf” was performed in October 2013 in the prestigious Thammasat University in Bangkok for the 40th anniversary of a student uprising, bloodily suppressed by the army. The verdict is expected on 23 February.

The two members of the group arrested the student Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Porntip Mankong, 26, have both pleaded guilty at a hearing last week in Bangkok.

Multiplying the affairs of treason, designed to protect King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 87, the junta is accused of wanting to reshape the political landscape in depth, in order to permanently get rid of the influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin, himself in exile to escape a conviction for embezzlement.

In view of the King’s estate, sick, the lese majeste law “is used as a tool to get rid of the opposition,” complained the member of the theater group told AFP.

– Calls for the denunciation –

And reporting of any crime of treason is encouraged, with reinforced patrols “cyber scouts” tracking offenders on the Internet.

Groups of ultra-royalist volunteers as garbage collection Organisation have numbers specifically dedicated to these denunciations.

According to the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), based in Paris, 18 people have been arrested since the coup.

To this list, add several arrests of senior officers of the police accused of high treason, including relatives of the Srirasmi princess, wife of the crown prince, fallen from its title and separated from the prince.

Among the anonymous fallen foul of section 112, figure a taxi driver sentenced to two and a half years in prison after his passenger recorded his comments on his phone. A leading historian has meanwhile been the subject of a complaint for criticizing a king whose reign dates back over 400 years.

David Streckfuss rare analyst based in Thailand to accept comments on the subject, is expected to emerge “more business” with the use of denunciations by informers among the population.

The business started after the coup are now tried before military courts, further complicating the coverage of these trials by the local and international media, subject to strong self-censorship on the subject.

Unable eg example is what scenes of the Bride of the wolf are considered defamatory might also be prosecuted. The police itself does not say.

A close intellectual Redshirt (powerful pro-Thaksin movement), Jaran Ditapichai, is the origin of the participation of the troop Prakai Fai commemorations at Thammasat University. He also sued him for “high treason” and has received political refugee status in France.

Being prosecuted for treason is a very disabling life marker in Thai society, the message from the military dissidents in exile and more broadly to the public is clear. “When you are accused of Article 112, you can never come back to Thailand,” he said.

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Corruption has cost $ 35 billion to Thailand in 2012

Corruption wreaked havoc in Thailand: not really a scoop you will tell me. But Thailand is different this time with a dramatic increase since 2006: the funds withdrawn by the illegal export of capital more than tripled between 2006 and 2012.
Over $ 35 billion have been removed illegally from Thailand by money laundering, tax evasion, crime and the false sales literature in 2012.
For Thailand, 2012 was a record year for corruption, marking the fourth consecutive annual increase in outflows related to corruption according to the study by Global Financial Integrity.
The study group based in Washington said in its latest report that Thailand has climbed to eighth on the list of most affected developing countries through illicit capital outflows from 2003 to 2012.
In terms of proportion, with a GDP of $ 380 billion, the level of corruption in Thailand is among the highest in the world: more than 10%.
corruption2012
However, Indonesia, the seventh most corrupt country, Malaysia, in fifth place, and China (first ranking in absolute terms) are even more corrupt countries as Thailand in Asia.
Corruption has more than tripled in Thailand 2006-2012
Asia accounted for 40.3% of cumulative illicit financial flows in the developing world during a decade of 2003-2012. There are five Asian countries in the top ten of the world affected by illegal capital outflows countries: China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
During the period of government of the Shinawatra family, from 2006 to 2012, corruption has more than tripled in Thailand from 11 to 35 billion dollars.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has recently released the findings of its investigation in a corruption case involving the former head of government Yingluck Shinawatra and former senior officials of the Ministry of Commerce.
Rice sales agreement with China that never existed
The case revealed by the NACC highlights one of the many manipulations related to the rice subsidy program: a government-to-government contract of five million tonnes of rice signed with China in 2012. This contract has in fact never existed, if it is in the form of a canceled check in favor of a company related to a director of “Red Shirts”.
The company based in Guangzhou responsible for the execution of the transaction, GSSG Import and Export Corporation, was represented by Rathanit Sojirakul, a collaborator of the Pheu Thai MP Rapeephan Phongruangrong, who is also the wife of the leading pro-Shinawatra Red Shirts “Arisman Phongruangrong .
China has since indicated that it did not recognize the transaction. The NACC has since tried, but failed, to contact the GSSG to confirm the transaction that has never existed in fact, according to an article published by The Diplomat.
“Normally when there is a government-to-government agreement, the money has to come from China in the form of a letter of credit, but in this case there has never been a government letter of credit just a check cashed in Thailand, “said Warong Dechgitvigrom, MP of the Democratic Party who compiled the evidence against the rice subsidy scheme.
Trade misinvoicing
The fraudulent falsification of commercial operations is also the most important component of illicit financial flows from developing countries, 77.8% of all illicit flows.
Amount of corruption in Thailand
Country 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Average over 10 years
Thailand 11513 10427 20550 14755 24243 29322 35561 17168
China dominates the world ranking of corruption over the period of the last ten years with 1.25 trillion dollars in illicit outflows, followed by Russia, Mexico, India and Malaysia.
Overall, illicit financial flows worldwide grew 9.4% per year during the decade, about twice as fast as economic growth.
Overall, the report estimates that illegal capital flows from developing countries and emerging economies in 2012 represent 991.2 billion dollars, a sum greater than the cumulative sum of foreign investment and foreign aid in these countries.
Rank Country Average annual illicit Outputs
(Where data are available) cumulative illicit outputs over 10 years
All developing countries 658,713 6,587,133
1 China (PR: Mainland) 125242 1252419
2 Russian Federation 97 386 973 858
3 Mexico 51426 514259
India 4 43959 439587
5 Malaysia 39487 394869
6 Saudi Arabia 30862 308 620
7 Brazil 21710 217103
8 Indonesia 18784 187844
9 Thailand 17168 171679
Nigeria 10 15746 157455
source:http://www.thailand-business-news.com/news/featured/49859-maximum-levels-corruption-hitted-thailand-2012.html#MWduIlqSlSrCu6Jy.99
Illicit financial flows have averaged 3.7% of the region’s GDP over this period of ten years. The largest outflow of capital is illegal from poorly regulated economic giants such as Brazil, China, India and Russia.
“Emerging and developing countries have suffered a hemorrhage of one billion dollars in 2012, which could have been invested in local businesses, health, education and infrastructure,” said co-author of the study, economist Joseph Spanjers.
Over a decade, the total of misappropriated funds is $ 6.6 trillion, equivalent to nearly 4% of the entire global economy. In terms of the relative size of the impact, the most affected by corruption countries in the Middle East and North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

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