OPEN LETTER to the Thai Embassy. Subject: Pai Daodin

OPEN LETTER TO the Thai Embassy

Dear Ambassador,

I am writing to you on Martin Luther King Day in the US, to appeal to your government on behalf of Jutapat Boompattararaksa (Pai Daodin ไผ่ ดาวดิน), a peaceful protester who has been locked up for nothing. It should not be a crime to share an ordinary BBC news article, which is what he did. If the Thai government thinks the BBC news article reported something falsely, the Thai government is free to demonstrate how and where the BBC reporters are wrong. The Thai government has no right to lock up people who read and share the news. To the world, Pai Doadin looks like American civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, who was taken off to jail when she refused to give up her seat on the bus for white people. Both Rosa Parks and Pai Daodin broke a rule that should never have been a rule. Laws should apply to all people equally. There should not be a law that favors white people over black people. Similarly, there should not be a law (lese majesty) that causes hundreds to go to jail to protect a few members of the royal family. According to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom of expression is an international human right that cannot be taken away, not even by an anti-blasphemy law such as Thailand’s Article 112. Furthermore, Pai Daodin did not even say anything negative about the king, he only shared a news article that thousands of other people also shared. It is obvious that he was singled out for prosecution because he is a political dissident.

The world does not forget that Pai Daodin went on a hunger strike and became very sick the last time he went to jail for nothing. On that occasion he was imprisoned for recommending “Vote No” on the junta’s draft constitution. In this case also, Pai Daodin looks exactly like Rosa Parks, ignoring laws that make absolutely no sense and violate human rights. Like Rosa Parks, Khun Pai also used nonviolent means to draw attention to the injustice being done to himself and other Thais.
Khun Pai is not a dangerous criminal and should be allowed bail. He is a law student who needs to be out of jail so he can take his exams and have a chance to graduate. While in jail, he has been subjected to frequent body cavity checks which are a further violation of his person.

Thailand wants the people of the United States and the world to respect its kings, but going forward, this will be impossible unless the Thai King makes an effort to rectify the horrible injustices being perpetuated in his name. In fact our group has petitioned King Vajiralongkorn to release ALL the lese majesty subjects and to call for an end to lese majesty. King Vajiralongkorn has the power to right the wrong that is the Thai lese majesty law and thereby instantly improve the welfare of all Thais and restore the reputation that Thailand once had as a leader in democracy and human rights in the region.

We applaud the recent release from jail of Red Shirt leader Jatupon Prompan for medical reasons. Perhaps something similar can be worked out for Pai Daodin, so that he can take his exams. But, ultimately, we want all the charges against this young man dropped.

Pai Daodin is my immediate concern today. But our group is also worried about Thanat Thanawatcharanon (Tom Dundee), who was sentenced to over 10 years in jail for supposed insults to the monarchy. The Center for Inquiry has noticed that this case is very similar to the horrific case of Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for supposed insults to Islam.

And we can’t forget prisoner of conscience Somyot Prueksakasamesuk, the editor who is charged with lese majesty for merely publishing 2 articles written by others, who has served more than 5 years in jail, and can’t seek a pardon from the King because he will not plead guilty to the charge of lese majesty. His actions also remind us of celebrated US civil rights leaders.

Thank you for consideration of our requests.

Sincerely,

Ann Norman
Executive Director of the
Thai Alliance for Human Rights
ภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน

Pai Daodin is Thailand’s Rosa Parks

By Ann Norman

On December 3, two days after Thailand’s new king took the throne, Khon Kaen Univeristy Student Pai Daodin, (real name Jatupat Boompattararaksa), became the first lese majesty victim of the King’s new reign by pushing “share” on an ordinary BBC news article: “Profile: Thailand’s New King Vajiralongkorn” (Pai shared the Thai version of this article). It is a good article and an important article, and I recommend you check it out.

Continue reading

Still Looking for ex-Princess Srirasmi

By Ann Norman

This week I was delighted to hear from a friend that the ex-Princess Srirasmi is still alive. He sent me a video that shows her very clearly walking behind the royal family at what looks to be the funeral of King Bhumipol. An arrow points her out and highlights the blurry pictures of her. If is definitely her. I went to my facebook page to share good news (with an apology for the false alarm that she may be dead), when the same friend said, “Sorry. It’s disinformation.” He identified the clip as from an earlier funeral for King Bhumipol’s sister.
Here is the first clip:


And here is a longer video that clearly identifies the context. This video is labeled the Royal Cremation of HRH Princess Galyani Friday 14, November 2008:

Now I’m wondering, is someone trying to the counter the rumors that Srirasmi has been murdered by using a fake clip? Does anyone have a real clip that shows she is alive? This is the ex-wife of the new King of Thailand and it would be in everyone’s interest to put to rest the rumors that she has been disappeared or murdered. PLEASE show us that she is still alive. We also want to know that her mother, father and other jailed family members are still alive. Thank you.

It’s not a Spaceship. Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Why We Should Care

By Ann Norman

The people I respect most in the Thai human rights and prodemocracy movement all tell me that defending Wat Pra Dhammakaya [Pra Dhammakaya Temple] is the most important Thai human rights issue at the moment: That the very independence of Buddhism in Thailand is at stake; that not content with grabbing the reigns of democracy, the junta also needs to grab the reigns of Thailand’s majority religion.

The abbot and the temple have been accused of money laundering, encroachment on park land, and a wide range of building code violations. The fact, that the charges are so random and unrelated, that they seem minor relative to the many obvious crimes in Thailand that are never investigated (including crimes by other prominent monks), and that this most-wanted abbot is so old and sick that he may die before this is ever resolved, makes one instantly suspect the charges are trumped up and politically motivated. Official complaints against the temple are also entangled with religious objections about correct Buddhism because in Thailand state and religions are not entirely separate. Because it is so complicated, I first tried to pass off the job of formulating a response to a Thai colleague. Then last night, I was alerted that the temple was once again surrounded by hundreds of police, while devotees sat in protest to block them if they tried to arrest their abbot. Given Thailand’s history of disastrous responses to unarmed protesting citizens, this is a worrisome situation. If I can’t make a serious effort to understand why the temple is being threatened with military force and under constant siege, how can I ask other Westerners to also care about these Thai human rights issues? Continue reading

Letter from the International Buddhist Sangha in Thailand to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Protesting the government’s military movements on Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and other alleged cases of judicial harassment of Buddhism

To​ Mr. Laurent Meillan
Officer-in-Charge ​
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Bangkok

Yours Excellency,

We have been observing the news reports in Thailand with grave concerns. There have been many cases of human’s rights violation and suppression of freedom expression on Buddhist communities. These actions were conspired by Thai authorities and media. Their objectives are to defame Buddhism.

Buddhism has been globally recognized as the religion of peace. Its philosophy promote peace and compassion beyond boundaries of races or religions. Thailand is the center of Buddhism in the world as 95% of its population is Buddhist. The monarchy has also been supportive of the promotion of Buddhism. This helps building peace in the society.

There were news reports on the plan to use force in order to break into Wat Phra Dhammakaya. A number of cases have not been charged yet. There was no proof of Phrathepyanmahamuni – Former Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya – committed of any crimes. Hence, he has not been indicted of any charges or crimes. Nonetheless, news reports showed that Thai authorities prepared over 2,200 armed forced with K-9 unit and riot control equipment. There were also sound clips of deputy commanders of Royal Thai Police ordering the use of fire hose on people who have not shown any threats. The authorities’ actions are overly exaggerated. As the arrest warrant for a 72-year-old sick monk is only for interrogation, not for arresting a criminal. Their actions may cause severely harm the lives of thousands of peaceful devotees in the temple ground.

There was also the case on Thai soldier suspended the seminar on the current situation of Buddhism. The seminar was not commenced yet. It is within the rights of Thai citizens to express their opinions in accordance with the constitutions. The Thai soldiers raid the seminar room and suspended it without prior notice. We could not comprehend the actions of Thai soldiers.

There are also more cases in the cases where as monks were arrested and forced to disrobe from monkhood. Later, they were found not guilty. Many cases did not have plaintiffs or accusers. This is not considered as justice being served. This is an execution before proven guilty, as that person cannot return to be monk again. These cases have never been compensated. None of the media ever clarifies their innocent as much as when they reported the false claims. This is the unfair treatment in Thai judicial system on monk.

We request for your kind consideration to look into the protection of Buddhist monks and devotees’ rights in Thailand. They live their lives based on principles of compassion and non-violence. If their rights are not protected, there would not be any individuals who try to resort everything through peaceful means. No one shall be encouraged to withstand such abuses peacefully.

We would be most grateful if the UN Human Rights Commissioner shall request the Thai government to seek peaceful and non-violent means on the case of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and promote the protection of human rights of Buddhists.

Yours Truly,

International Buddhist Sangha in Thailand

An Appeal to His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn

askkingvajiralongkornhelpenglish

December 1, 2016

Your Majesty King Vajiralongkorn:

We are the Thai Alliance for Human Rights, a non-profit and non-partisan organization based in the United States, and an NGO representative in the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC).

We understand that you have accepted the invitation to be King to fulfill the royal intention of your father King Bhumibol for the benefit of all Thais. As King, you are now in a position to further the human rights of all Thais. As King Mongkut, Rama IV, promoted science education, King Chulalongkorn oversaw the end of slavery, King Prajadhipok accepted a constitution, and your father King Bhumibol promoted development projects for the poor, you now have the great opportunity to give Thais freedom of speech and genuine democracy.

We hope that you respect and cherish, as we do, the principles of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially:

Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”;

Article 7: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. . . .”;

Article 19: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”;

and

Article 21: 1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. 2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country. 3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

We call on you to further these principles by:

1) Freeing all lèse majesté prisoners effective immediately and compensating them from royal funds.
2) Calling for an end to the brutal lèse majesté law that represses the free speech of all Thai citizens and strangles the democratic process.
3) Announcing your intentions to serve as a ceremonial monarch only, a symbol of the country, with no involvement in politics.
4) Call for an immediate return to democracy under a civilian rule.
5) Ratify the Rome Statute to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to ensure that Thai citizens will not be massacred by the Royal Thai Army without consequences again.

We also ask that you put to rest the rumors that ex-Princess Srirasmi is dead or being abused. Please prove to the world that she and her imprisoned family members are alive and have not been forcibly disappeared. We also beg that they be pardoned and allowed to resume their pursuit of happiness and enjoy all human rights.

In his lifetime, your father was revered and recognized as a great king and the father of the nation. It is a pity, however, that the biggest blot on his record will be the lèse majesté law enforced on his behalf that results in between 50 and 100 people imprisoned in any given recent year just for publicizing information or expressing an opinion. It is a pity that Thailand’s international reputation has been so severely damaged by the recent coups and this anomalous and archaic lèse majesté law. You have the power to right this wrong, instantly improve the welfare of all Thais, and restore the reputation that Thailand once had as a leader in democracy and human rights in the region.

We wish you a reign that is peaceful, just, and respectful of the universal human rights of all Thai citizens.

The Thai Alliance for Human Rights

พระราชฎีกาถวายต่อกษัตริย์มหาวชิราลงกรณ์

askkingvajiralongkornhelpวันที่ ๑ เดือนธันวาคม พุทธศักราช ๒๕๕๙

ขอเดชะฯ กษัตริย์มหาวชิราลงกรณ์:

พวกเราคือภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน ซึ่งเป็นองค์กรไม่แสวงกำไร และไม่ฝักใฝ่ขั้วการเมือง ที่ตั้งอยุ่ในสหรัฐอเมริกา และเป็นตัวแทนองค์กรเอกชนที่เป็นสมาชิกของภาคีเพื่อศาลอาญาระหว่างประเทศ (Coalition for the International Criminal Court)

พวกเราเข้าใจว่า พระองค์ได้ตอบรับเป็นกษัตริย์ เพื่อจะสนองต่อพระราชประสงค์ของพระราชบิดา กษัตริย์ภูมิพลฯ ในอันที่จะทำหน้าที่เพื่อประโยชน์สุขของชาวไทย  ในฐานะกษัตริย์ ตอนนี้ท่านอยู่ในตำแหน่งที่จะสามารถสานสร้างสิทธิมนุษยชนให้แก่ราษฎรไทยทุกคน   เหมือนกับที่ที่รัชกาลที่สี่ กษัตริย์มงกุฎ ได้ส่งเสริมการศึกษาวิทยาศาสตร์  กษัตริย์จุฬาลงกรณ์ได้จัดให้มีการเลิกทาส กษัตริย์ประชาธิปกยอมรับรัฐธรรมนูญ และกษัตริย์ภูมิพล พระราชบิดาของพระองค์ ได้ส่งเสริมโครงการพัฒนาเพื่อคนจน  ตอนนี้ พระองค์มีโอกาสอันยิ่งใหญ่ในอันที่จะให้เสรีภาพในการแสดงออกและให้ประชาธิปไตยที่แท้จริงแก่ปวงชนชาวไทย

พวกเราหวังว่า พระองค์จะเคารพและเห็นค่าของหลักการแห่งปฏิญญาสากลว่าด้วยสิทธิมนุษยชนขององค์การสหประชาชาติ เช่นเดียวกับพวกเรา โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งในบทบัญญัติต่อไปนี้

ข้อ 1 มนุษย์ทั้งปวงเกิดมามีอิสระและ เสมอภาคกันในศักดิ์ศรีและสิทธิ ต่างในตน มีเหตุผลและมโนธรรม และควรปฏิบัติต่อกันด้วย จิตวิญญาณแห่งภราดรภาพ

ข้อ 7 ทุกคนเสมอภาคกันตามกฎหมายและ มีสิทธิที่จะได้รับความคุ้มครองของกฎหมาย เท่าเทียมกัน โดยปราศจากการเลือกปฏิบัติใด ทุกคน มีสิทธิที่จะได้รับความคุ้มครองเท่าเทียมกันจาก การเลือกปฏิบัติใด อันเป็นการล่วงละเมิดปฏิญญานี้ และจากการยุยงให้มีการเลือกปฏิบัติดังกล่าว

ข้อ 19   ทุกคนมีสิทธิในอิสรภาพแห่งความเห็น และการแสดงออก ทั้งนี้สิทธินี้รวมถึงอิสรภาพที่ 26 จะถือเอาความเห็นโดยปราศจากการแทรกแซง และที่จะแสวงหา รับ และส่งข้อมูลข่าวสารและ ข้อคิดผ่านสื่อใด และโดยไม่คำนึงถึงพรมแดน

และ

ข้อ 20 (1) ทุกคนมีสิทธิในอิสรภาพแห่งการ ชุมนุมและการสมาคมโดยสันติ (2) บุคคลใดไม่อาจถูกบังคับให้สังกัด สมาคมหนึ่งได้ ข้อ 21 (1) ทุกคนมีสิทธิที่จะมีส่วนร่วมในการ ปกครองประเทศตนโดยตรง หรือผ่านผู้แทนซึ่ง ได้รับเลือกตั้งโดยอิสระ (2) ทุกคนมีสิทธิที่จะเข้าถึงบริการ สาธารณะในประเทศตนโดยเสมอภาค (3) เจตจำนงของประชาชนจะต้อง เป็นพื้นฐานแห่งอำนาจการปกครอง ทั้งนี้ เจตจำนงนี้จะต้องแสดงออกทางการเลือกตั้งตาม กำหนดเวลาและอย่างแท้จริง ซึ่งต้องเป็นการ ออกเสียงอย่างทั่วถึงและเสมอภาค และต้อง เป็นการลงคะแนนลับ หรือวิธีการลงคะแนนโดย อิสระในทำนองเดียวกัน

พวกเราขอให้พระองค์ทรงสานต่อหลักการข้างต้น โดย

1)    ปล่อยตัวนักโทษคดีหมิ่นฯทั้งหมดทันที และชดเชยพวกเขาด้วยกองทุนของราชวังเอง

2)   เรียกร้องให้มีการยกเลิกกฏหมายหมิ่นฯ ซึ่งทำลายเสรีภาพในการแสดงออกของพลเมืองไทยทุกคนและขัดขวางกระบวนการประชาธิปไตย

3)    ประกาศพระราชประสงค์ของพระองค์ที่จะดำรงตำแหน่งในฐานะกษัตริย์เชิงพิธีการและสัญลักษณ์เท่านั้น โดยไม่มีส่วนยุ่งเกี่ยวกับการเมืองใด ๆ

4)    เรียกร้องให้มีการคืนสู่ประชาธิปไตยที่ปกครองโดยรัฐบาลพลเรือนทันที

5)    ลงสัตยาบันรับธรรมนูญกรุงโรม เพื่อรับอำนาจของศาลอาญาระหว่างประเทศ หรือ ICC เพื่อประกันว่า พลเมืองไทยจะไม่ถูกสังหารหมู่โดยทหารไทยของพระราชาที่ไม่ต้องรับผลใด ๆ อีกต่อไป

และเราขอเรียกร้องให้พระองค์จงหยุดข่าวลือที่ว่าอดีตหม่อมศรีรัศม์ได้เสียชีวิตหรือกำลังถูกทารุณอยู่  โดยกรุณาพิสูจน์ให้ชาวโลกได้เห็นว่าเธอและสมาชิกครอบครัวของเธอที่ถูกคุมขังอยู่นั้นยังมีชีวิตอยู่และไม่ได้ถูกบังคับให้หายสาปสูญไป  นอกจากนี้ เราขอร้องให้พระองค์อภัยโทษแก่พวกเขาและให้พวกเขาได้กลับไปใช้ชีวิต แสวงความสุขและได้รับสิทธิมนุษยชนทั้งหมดตามสมควรต่อไป

ตลอดพระชนม์ชีพของพระราชบิดาของพระองค์ ท่านทรงได้รับการเทิดทูนและนับถือว่าเป็นมหาราชและเป็นพระบิดาแห่งชาติ   แต่อย่างไรก็ตาม น่าเสียดายที่สิ่งที่เป็นรอยด่างที่ใหญ่ที่สุดในประวัติของพระองค์นั้น จะเป็นกฎหมายหมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพซึ่งถูกอ้างใช้ในนามพระองค์ ซึ่งทำให้มีการจับคนเข้าคุกในแต่ละปีที่ผ่านมาถึงปีละระหว่าง 50 ถึงร้อยรายเลยทีเดียว  เพียงเพราะพวกเขาเผยแพร่ข่าวสารหรือแสดงความเห็น  เป็นที่น่าเสียดายที่ชื่อเสียงในระดับนานาชาติของประเทศไทยได้ถูกทำลายลงอย่างร้ายแรงโดย

การรัฐประหารในช่วงหลัง ๆนี้ และโดยกฎหมายหมิ่นฯ ซึ่งพิลึกและคร่ำครึนี้  พระองค์มีพระราชอำนาจในการแก้ไขสิ่งที่ผิดพลาดอันนี้ ยกระดับสวัสดิการของชีวิตคนไทยทุกหมู่เหล่า และฟื้นชื่อเสียงของประเทศไทยที่เคยยิ่งใหญ่ในฐานะผู้นำด้านประชาธิปไตยและสิทธิมนุษยชนในภูมิภาคนี้

พวกเราขออวยพรให้การครองราชย์ของพระองค์จงเป็นห้วงเวลาแห่งความสันติ ความยุติธรรม และการเคารพในหลักการสิทธิมนุษยชนของพลเมืองไทยโดยทั่วหน้า

ภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน

…..

Free Pai Dao Din! Jailed today Dec. 3 for sharing a BBC news story about King Vajiralongorn

PLEASE VIEW and share this Video. It is in English. THANK YOU!

Dao Din Declaration on the Arrest of Jatupat Boompattararaksa:

Jatupat (Pai) Boompattararaksa is a member of Dao Din and a person who habitually uses Facebook in accessing various kinds of information and news. He is no different than the rest of us who can access social media more easily than 7-Eleven. He is one of thousands of people who shared a news story published by BBC-Thai, but in his case a warrant was issued for his arrest under Article 112 [the lese majesty law against insulting royalty]. The person who has brought the case is a soldier. At this time the police have taken Jatupat to the Khon Kaen police station to proceed with the case. These actions by the authorities are a grave violation of and are in conflict with the principles of human rights and Freedom of expression in line with democracy. These actions are a clear instance of selective treatment by the authorities and indicate the lace of respect for rights and freedom in Thai society, as no one should be arrested for simply posting on Facebook. We are simply students, and the children and grandchildren of ordinary, common people who have become victims of the powerful who have fixed upon and attacked Dao Din.

Therefore we call for the unconditional and immediate release of our brother and member of Dao Din, and call for the criminal charge for merely sharing news on Facebook to be dropped.

In the spirit of human rights.

3 December 2016
Dao Din

CLICK HERE for the English version of the news story that Khun Pai shared.

CLICK HERE for a Bangkok Post story on the arrest.

UPDATE: Pai Dao Din has been released but is still charged with lese majesty which carries a penalty of 3 to 15 years in jail. He says he is not removing the article he shared from his Facebook page.

In related news, the case of the young man accused of lese majesty for liking a joke about the King’s dog is still making it’s way through the “justice system.” It was decided last week that Khun Thanakorn will be tried in a military court for liking that joke.

 

Letters to help Human Rights Lawyer Sirikan (June) Chareonsiri, who was charged with sedition for defending her clients in the New Democracy Movement

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Below is my letter. To learn how you can send a letter for Khun June, click through to Amnesty International’s URGENT ACTION appeal for Sirikan (June) Chareonsiri.

Dear Ambassador,

สวัสดีค่ะ I am Ann Norman with the Thai Alliance for Human Rights ภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน. We are an American-based Thai Human Rights group consisting mostly of Thai-Americans. We are very concerned about Sirikan (June) Charoensiri, the Human Rights Lawyer who has been charged with sedition for actions taken in the process of defending the New Democracy Movement activists. It appears that Khun June was just doing her job and has broken no laws. First she refused a warrant-less search and then she complained about it. One would expect she had a legal right to do both things. To charge her with sedition requires that one twist and stretch the law. The charge of sedition seems totally baseless. She was just working with a nonprofit, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, to defend her clients.

As Amnesty International was taking up the case, our organization was also being asked to do something for Khun June. We heard from people who know her. They are quite distressed that their friend Khun June, a lovely woman who was only trying to do good in the world now faces a trial for sedition and the possibility of 15 years imprisonment. This seems completely contrary to all fairness and common sense. She was defending her clients against an injustice, and now Khun June becomes yet another victim of that same injustice.

We are also unhappy with the repression of peaceful dissent in Thailand. We call on authorities to end the repression and to respect the human rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. We are unhappy that Sirikan (June) Charoensiri is being tried in a military court. Any trial should take place in a civilian court.

We hope you can do something to reverse this terrible mistake that may send poor Khun June to jail for 15 years. Please drop the charges immediately.

Thank you so much,

Ann Norman
แอน นอร์มาน
Executive Director, Thai Alliance for Human Rights
ภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน

Where is ex-Princess Srirasmi? Show Us She is Alive and Well!!

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This is a follow-up to my previous article. Two different sources indicate that my statement on the fate of ex-Princess Srirasmi, the recently divorced third wife of Prince and soon-to-be-King Vajiralongkorn, is seriously incomplete. I said that she had been exiled to the countryside. One source insists that she is very likely dead, and that this happened at a temple in Chiang Rai! And that, in any case, she is definitely disappeared—that is, she not where she is said to be, and cannot be located despite determined efforts to find her. Meanwhile, reporter Andrew MacGregor Marshall has, on the record, posted conflicting, but somewhat similar, information for which he claims multiple sources—that she is being “tormented” or abused at her house in Ratchaburi on orders of the Prince. Everyone seems to agree that her son, Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, has been taken from her. My first source also fears for other members of Srirasami’s family who were thrown in jail around the same time. They are not in the jail where they are supposed to be, and they also cannot be located.

I am understandably reluctant to go out on a limb and be the first one shouting that a famous Princess is missing and possibly dead, and that her whole family is missing as well. But the story is credible in the context of everything else I have seen unfold in the short time I have been following events in Thailand. Yes, I am an outsider and can barely pronounce her name. But as an outsider, I am also one of the few people in the world who can shout about things without fear of the brutal lese majesty law.

Here is the backstory, which I gathered from an Internet search: Srirasmi Suwadee, 44, formerly Princess Srirasmi, entered the service of the Crown Prince at the age of 22 and married him when she was 29. He is about 20 years older that her. They have one son, Dipangkorn, who is now 11. Princess Srirasmi was married to the prince for thirteen years from 2001 to 2014. Google her name to see many beautiful pictures of her standing beside the Prince and caring for their son. She started a “Love and care from mothers to children” breastfeeding campaign. She is the princess who stars in the infamous “naked birthday party with the dog” video. Notably, in that video, the Prince has her perform a degrading act– aside from being the only person naked at that party. At one point in the video, she lays on the ground and eats cake with the dog.

In 2014, Vajiralongkorn very suddenly, and shockingly, dumped Srirasmi: On November 30, of that year, I posted this on facebook:

“So can anyone figure out what is going on in Thailand, and if they can, do they dare say it out loud? So over the weekend the crown prince and heir to the thrown asked that his wife be stripped of her royal title after several of her relatives were arrested on corruption charges. The Thai news could report that the relatives were arrested, but no one dared point out the royal connection until just now when the crown prince made this move to distance his wife.”
In total 22 were arrested, and 17 of those were charged with lese majesty. It seems they had been involved in a smuggling ring, in which they used their royal connection to justify their demands (thus committing lese majesty by misusing the royal name). It is almost inconceivable that 22 of Vajiralongkorn’s friends and family were involved without his knowledge. It appears he threw his wife and her whole family overboard to distance himself from an operation he had participated in and benefited from.

Most alarming for those of us concerned about the fate of Princess Srirasmi, a year later there was a second round of arrests of Vajiralongkon’s close associates, and this time three of the people accused of lese majesty died in custody—two supposedly committed suicide and another mysteriously died of a blood infection. The deaths followed so quickly on each other that I was screaming foul as soon as I read the news stories. Here are those posts:

October 26, 2015: Sorry for the constant stream of lese majesty bad news, but one of the suspects brought into a military detention facility accused of lese majesty after the new “all-out blitz on lese majesty” allegedly commited suicide while in detention. The Thai rights group calls for the shutdown of the military jail as it is obviously not able to handle the detention correctly (if “correctly” were even a word that could be used in relation to this despicable law.)

November 9, 2015: No, you haven’t already heard this story. It just happened today! A SECOND suspect in the Thai Dictator’s “all out lese majesty blitz” dies in military custody, this time of ‘Blood infection’, as the article says. The last victim “committed suicide” (If you want to talk over the heads of this junta, just use scare quotes. Sadly, it’s that easy.) So . . . use your DoubleThink to realize you better not commit lese majesty or you will be disappeared AND to assure yourself that their deaths were unrelated to their detention.

Several published articles now count these deaths as outright murders. Given all this, we must demand to know: What has happened to Princess Srirasmi?! Please prove to us that she and her family and associates are all alive and well! We would all LOVE to learn that I am screaming about nothing.