Abhisit is “Justice spy” #1 – ala agent 001 ?
earlier we’ve posted our opinion about “Citizen informants“. Voranai’s Bangkok Post article wasn’t very detailed about it.
today though there are 2 more articles which provide better details.
PPT blog posts :
MoJ calls for Thai citizens to inform on one another
Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, the Minister of Justice, has launched a new program designed to collect information about lesè majesté and corruption cases in Thailand. Pirapan chose to develop the program after learning that many citizens have information about dissenting behavior, and no clear sense of where to send it so that the so-called proper authorities can take action.
The strategy of the program:
citizens will inform on fellow citizens.
According to Prachatai, the Minister of Justice commented that “Volunteers work as spies [or agents] for the Justice Ministry. But the task must not be burdensome to their own work. Just live an ordinary life, and know that they can turn to the Justice Ministry when they come upon illegal acts.”
Is it ‘ordinary’ to view everyone as a possible criminal? And to assign oneself the task of identifying and informing on one’s neighbors and friends?
This scheme has echoes in earlier times of repression in Thailand, including the 1973-1976 era when many civilians worked as informers for the Special Branch police or the International Security Operations Command. One immediately also thinks of similar programs in Burma, in which citizens act as informers for the police and SPDC — and terrorize their neighbors in the process. One can never be certain that one is not being observed.
Prachatai reported that PM Abhisit Vejjajiva was the first to volunteer to become a “Volunteer to Protect Justice.” PPT continues to wonder, what precisely is PM Abhisit’s understanding of “justice”?
“Amazing Thailand” is getting more and more amazing, or rather more and more scarier and becomes more and more similar to Burma (even though some reporters as Atiya in Bkk Post are outraged why foreign media are so hard on Thailand, as she thinks). the article PPT above refers to about informers in Burma says :
In Burma, Fear and Suspicion Prevail
The recent wave of arrests sent a chilling message to ordinary Burmese and intensified their fear that informers are everywhere. The fear is not new. The depth of fear is. “You can’t trust anyone,” one of my friends said. “I don’t even tell my sister about what I am doing or where I am going.”
Government workers, from street sweepers to teachers to administrators, know to keep their opinions private lest they lose their jobs, or worse…
“People are afraid of those above them and those below them,” one Westerner who lives in Burma told me. “The fear is pervasive.”
Even foreign tourists are seen as potential informers. I was shocked when a man to whom I had been introduced by mutual friends confronted me.
“Do you have friends in the military or government?” he asked. “No,” I said. “Why?” Because, he said, people have heard that the government is recruiting foreigners to try to coax anti-government comments from ordinary Burmese.
well, with newly launched “Justice program” pretty soon Thailand may become the same as Burma, with same level of deapth of fear that informers are everywhere and you can’t trust anyone. would Atiya comment on this ? 😉
Prachathai article is here : Justice Minister launches ‘justice spy’ scheme
… Justice Minister gave him [Abshiti] a membership card,
as member number 1 ...
Volunteers are supposed to inform the authorities on the issues of lèse majesté, drugs, money laundering, chit funds, financial scams, national security, environmental and natural resource destruction, tax evasion, corruption, violations of the rights and freedoms of the people, and other illegal acts.
Volunteers must be 15 years old or older, have a clean record, and importantly have a volunteer spirit to participate in activities to be held by the ministry, including training on the law and rights in the judicial process as well as meetings to share information and experience among volunteers.
‘Volunteers must not expect money in return. However, under certain laws like the narcotics law, for example, those who give information that leads to arrests will get a reward. I want volunteers to come and work of their own free will…’
The ministry’s Service Link will serve as the node to receive volunteer applications and complaints. Volunteers will receive identification numbers, with their names kept confidential for their own safety.
‘Volunteers work as spies [or agents] for the Justice Ministry. But the task must not be burdensome to their own work. Just live an ordinary life, and know that they can turn to the Justice Ministry when they come upon illegal acts,’ said Pirapan.
He believed that people were motivated to become ‘spies’ for the ministry because of their own grievances. The scheme starts in Bangkok, with the expectation of about 50,000 applicants, and
will expand to the whole country
Those who are interested can get more information at the Justice Ministry’s Service Link, Justice Ministry Building 22nd floor, Changwatthana Road, Pak Kred, Nonthaburi 11120, Tel 0-2502-6500, or at www.moj.go.th.
well, as scary and surrealistic it may seem – it is a serious government program! website is made and link to it is provided, address is given for applications.
the main thing which amazes me most is : how OPENLY and blatantly Thai current “Democrat” Government under Oxford educated Abhisit publicly launches such a “spy network” ! even Kim in N. Korea or perhaps even Stalin’s KGB or East German “Stasi” didn’t so openly anonce accepting “applications” from aspired informants.
I also find it extremely ironic and hypocritical to see among the things listed which volunteers supposed to inform on are these words:
“violations of the rights and freedoms of the people”
perhaps taking this opportunity, some people must volunteer and inform on … Minister of Justice Pirapan and PM Abhisit for this very thing – violation of people’s rights and freedoms – which this program ‘Volunteers to Protect Justice’ will certainly cause !