Police went to the home of a French expat to force him to apologize to the ruling junta for a video in which he made fun of it.
Yan Marchal, a video game developer, last night detailed a visit by two policemen who’d staked out his home all day to pressure him into removing his “Junta Anthem Update” video in which he sang criticism of the military government in Thai.
Marchal said he wrote the lyrics to the video, which had been watched more than a million times and been shared more than 50,000 times.
“The policemen were courteous, they had no animosity against me, they were just doing the job they had been tasked with,” he wrote Wednesday night. “That job consisted in having me sign an ‘agreement’, of which I posted the English version here, or else they would report to their hierarchy that I refused to sign.”
“I did sign,” he added.
The text of the brief apology:
“I would like to apologize to the NCPO as well as the people for singing the song. which makes fun of the junta. I would like to express my deepest apologies.”
Although it seems unlikely that creating the video violated any laws, Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha has been prickly to criticism during his five years in power. In recent years, the alleged admins of a Facebook page mocking the 2014 coup-maker were among eight people abducted from their homes by soldiers, a man was arrested for sharing a video mocking him over Line, and police were dispatched to arrest opposition politicians for saying bad things about him on Twitter.
The video is no longer available on his page.
Marchal said the video, which is no longer available on his page, got a huge response, only a small minority of which was negative.
“That clip made many more people laugh than it made people angry, but still, it made a few people angry, and I derive no pleasure from that,” he said. “My satisfaction is rather in being funny and assertive – which is harder to achieve when people get inflamed. I’d rather let things cool down, to be able to engage with people in a more constructive manner.”