Opinion: Is Prayut lying about stepping back? Or has Thailand’s Pinnochio finally changed his ways?

As it was pointed out by one of our readers, pointing out Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s lies and insincerity is getting old these days given that we have been listening to it for the past six years.

I agree the man never stops lying.

To point out all his lies would be a Sisyphean task. But one only has to go back to last week on Tuesday. Prayut asked for people to avoid hatred, political separation, and the rhetoric of old versus new generation, rich versus poor, and the differences in ideology. He said that Thais must be united.

But then his government deployed fully-geared riot police and water cannon trucks to crackdown on unarmed and peaceful protestors before arresting more of their leaders.

Anon Numpha, Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jaadnok, Jatupat “Pai Daodin” Boonpattararaksa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, and Ekachai Hongkangwan are all still in jail.

In total, at least 88 people have been arrested, detained, and incarcerated between October 13 and October 21. At least ten have been denied bail.

The charges ranged from the violation of Section 110 of the Criminal Code, a sentence that could see life imprisonment for Ekachai and Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothong to other serious violations.

Anon, Mike and Penguin have all been charged with the violation of Section 116 or sedition which carries a maximum sentence of up to seven years in jail.

Others have been charged with smaller charges but the government is now using legal means to harass and intimidate including arresting dissidents and keeping them in jail overnight without charge.

The tactic is being used in a bid to slow down the momentum of the latest pro-democracy movement and to warn others not to take up the cause.

After his supposed olive-branch last night, Prayut’s police moved in to arrest Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, another student leader from Mahanakorn for Democracy Group.

The good news is that Mind has already been released on bail today while the Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok has also been lifted by the courts.

However, more than ten people are still in jail and the PM and his appointed senators still refused to step down.

At the same time, Chuan Leekpai, the supposed-to-be-neutral house speaker, said today that he was unsure if the charter amendment petitions can be discussed at the next emergency meeting session.

Then what is the point of having the meeting?

If Prayut is sincere about backing down, these university students and activists must be released immediately and unconditionally.

If Prayut is sincere then he would push for the amendment of the charter.

If Prayut is sincere then he would tell the military to stop their information warfare campaigns against civilians, political oppositions, and reporters.

If Prayut is sincere then he would stop doubling down on state propaganda that the pro-democracy protestors are all antimonarchists.

If Prayut is sincere then he should resign within three days.  

Your game is over. Get out.

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