Gambling Prisoners Leads to Inactive Post; Crimes and Coups

Prison officer Withoon Promdee has been re-assigned to one of the notorious ‘inactive posts’ following the broadcasting of mobile phone camera footage of prisoners in the high security zone for which he was responsible playing cards. Gambling is suspected. Debate continues as to who took the footage and how it came to be broadcast in the way it was. An inactive post is exactly what it sounds like: the affected individual is given a desk and expected to obey office hours but must not actually do anything – no work, yes but also no reading the newspaper, chatting with friends. Just sit there being ‘inactive,’ at least so it has been explained to me. No doubt conditions vary.

Avoid, my friends, at the risk of sounding like repulsive hypocrite John McCain, avoid being sent to a Thai prison. No doubt, conditions vary.

Speaking of which, a raft of court activity is expected today and over the next few days. The Ratchadapisek land case verdict is expected for 2 o’clock today, while the Department of Special Investigations has recommended reopening the case against TPI PLC founder Prachai Leophairatana and relatives for embezzlement and former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s lawyers will bring proceedings against convicted criminal and ringleader of the violent PAD mob Sondhi Limthongkul for repeated violations of a court order not to slander Khun Thaksin. Demonstrations are expected today by both pro- and anti-democracy protestors and probably will intensify after the ceremonies for the royal funeral are completed. It is more likely than not that violence will break out sooner or later, although the PAD mob did not attack the police again yesterday.

Army chief General Anupong Paojinda has moved to consolidate his power by having chosen protégés take over key military positions in Bangkok. Presumably this means that he has much more ability to control whether or not a military coup takes place in the capital and, hence, the whole country. It is generally believed that the other leading military officials have been trying to persuade General Anupong to launch a coup which he has so far declined to do.

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JW has been one of the first contributors to this blog before he gave up on it all in April 2010, during a time when Thai society got more and more polarized about political matters because of red-shirt protesters.

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