Friday, July 11, 2014
The Government’s Overreaction
Are we not allowed to have opinions disagreeing with our government? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has given us the ability to express how we feel about certain subjects. It also states there would be no interference from holding personal ideas, regardless of the media used to express those ideas. The Thai Government is inhibiting critics of the government from speaking out and giving their opinions. The Thai Government is restricting the rights of expression, along with the right of association, and assembly, because they fear another uprising after the attempted coup that occurred on May 22nd of this year. The Thai people are not allowed to speak out or demonstrate ideas denouncing the government. Doing so has led to more than 300 arrests by the Thai military who are supporting the Monarchy.
In May Thanapol Eawsakul was detained for the first time after he was summoned under martial law. He was forced to sign an agreement that he would not give his opinion about the government or be involved in political activities. He was also not allowed to leave the country unless he had permission from the National Council for Peace and Order. His non-compliance with this order would result in a sentenced of two year in prison or fined 40,000 baht, about $1,250. He then made a comment to only explain his situation on Facebook. Later he received a phone call from a military officer wanting to meet and discuss his posting. He was told he would not be arrested before the meeting, but he was. This law is trying to stop another populist uprising and possible coup, but the opposite effect is happening and the people are becoming angry and agitated by the government’s crackdown. The government cannot control the thoughts and opinions held by their citizens. Restricting expressions instead of having open forms of debates increases the chance of another uprising. Is this law trying to prevent change to a society that wants it by suppressing people’s rights or is it arresting and detaining people that committed crimes in the May 22nd coup? A legitimate government complying with the laws and having the support of the people should have no reason to restrict the right of expression. This tyrannical government is likely short lived.