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Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian: Free on December 24, 2011

Phuket Sandy Beaches, Freedom and Fear

Thursday, December 19, 2013
PHUKET: One morning last week I opened a link of an album shared by my friend Alan, a collection of photos he took at Phuket prison on an early morning surprise check by guards.

I marveled at his usual strange angles and surprising shots, including a few of the rows of the prisoners' flip-flops, lined up in tight rows just outside their equally tight sleeping quarters.

Alan, together with Khun Chutima (''Oi''), covered the story and took the photos - another day of bearing witness to some unpleasant realities of life in tropical Thailand. In their usual quick fashion, the story soon appeared on their website Phuketwan.com.

On December 24, they may revisit this prison, not as reporters covering the scene but as inmates. Facing serious charges under a controversial law, as they describe in their own report, ''A captain acting on behalf of the Royal Thai Navy has accused two Phuketwan journalists of damaging the reputation of the service and of breaching the Computer Crimes Act.''

The penalty is a maximum jail term of five years and/or a fine of up to 100,000, baht.

The charge stems from a Phuketwan article published on July 17 that cited a Reuters news agency special investigation on the Navy's handling of Rohingya migrants.

I'd never heard of the Rohingya - a Muslim ethnic group that's denied citizenship rights in Myanmar even though some have lived there for generations - until I started working with Phuketwan in late 2008.

They'd had a few tips from their Navy contacts that ever larger numbers of Rohingya men were fleeing Myanmar by sea and entering Thai waters. One officer said he'd hoped the UN could get involved to help with this problem.

Alan and Khun Oi started pursuing the story and soon enough made some startling discoveries, which they later reported at length and continue to investigate today.

One of my most memorable moments with Phuketwan was the day an email came in from a source in the Navy that contained the images of Rohingya men being ''processed'' on a beautiful white-sand beach in the Andaman region following their arrest.

Rows of skeletal bodies lined up on the sand in tight rows under military guard is an image one never forgets.

The question of 'What happens next' to those captured in Thailand's seas is one that's still never been satisfactorily answered, and five years on things seem even less clear.

Nevertheless, Alan and Khun Oi have kept asking the questions, following the leads, doing the things that those who are committed to uncovering the truth are supposed to do.

'Brave enough to change' is the Phuketwan motto, which they certainly live by. I'll admit I was not brave enough, and my short stint with Phuketwan ended in part because I felt I wanted to have a more peaceful life with my family, quite content to write instead about the sunnier side of life in Phuket and Thailand, and not get bogged down dwelling on all the bad things that go on here.

But of course silence does not equal peace. I live in peace, but I also live in fear. Fear not only for the safety and future of my journalist friends but for anyone wanting to speak up or shine a light on something that matters.

Thanks to the efforts of Alan and Khun Oi, I and many Phuketwan readers have a fuller picture of life here, the good, the bad and the ugly - and understand that the white-sand beaches, jungles and sparkling seas of Thailand hold more secrets yet to be revealed.

They are among the few who have dared to look into those murky seas and jungles and write about what they see. I hope they'll be given a chance to carry on with their work without fear or intimidation.

Reporters Prepared for Prison:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/387125/reporters-prepared-for-prison-in-navy-defamation-lawsuit/

Reprinted with permission from Phuket Writer:
http://www.phuketwriter.com/2013/12/sandy-beaches-freedom-and-fear.html/

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I fully support any action to help the Rohingya plight they are in a terrible situation, As for Ed doing time?
Its called Karma ...What goes round comes round...Tough it out man. Sorry for Chutima but her boss should well have known the consequence of his actions...

Posted by James on December 19, 2013 09:00

Editor Comment:

I've always known the consequences of my actions, James, but never quite figured out why some of our readers are born without minds or souls.

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Will UNHCR show their support ?

Posted by wa on December 19, 2013 09:06

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The laws in Thailand need to be amended, and defamation via the Computer Crimes Act should be decriminalised; it is this criminal defamation that is used by the influential to save face. You have a good ally in Reuters who will certainly spread the news around the world, thus denigrating even more Thailand's reputation for its abuse of human rights and the stifling of free speech. Freedom of the media is the freedom of communication, which people need to know and learn from. Exposing injustices is the job of journalists and in my book you have done no wrong. Ultimately Thailand will be the loser as this time they have bitten off more than they can chew.

Posted by Pete on December 19, 2013 09:09

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The thing is ed that anyone with half a brain like you would understand that you cannot ''name and shame'' higher-ups in this area without paying the price.A wiser man would not have done as you in the country you live in.Simples! I feel you have had a false sense of being ''untouchable ' on your blog and treated the navy with the same one-upmanship you constantly display to many readers on this blogsite. Sorry cobber ..no sympathy for you at all from me ...only to your poor staff.

Posted by James on December 19, 2013 09:14

Editor Comment:

I'm a journalist, James, not an intellectual like you. We simply try to sort right from wrong and do what's right. Dealing with people who are smarter and always know better is one of the handicaps. I am not your ''cobber.''

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I have had my disagreements with Mr. Morrison over the years, however the pathetic comments from James is as great an indication of the sheer heartlessness and blatant stupidity so prevalent these days. Congratulations to PW for having the courage to report a terrible injustice going on right on our doorstep. I can only wish them well.

Posted by Tom on December 19, 2013 11:57

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It's no great secret that the Ed and I have bumped heads on occasion but to use an ambiguous law to try and gag the truth is just wrong in my opinion.

You may not want my support on this one Mr Ed but you have it.

Posted by Mister Ree on December 19, 2013 12:26

Editor Comment:

Thanks, Mister Ree. Next you'll be sending us money.

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If one was to list the top 5 most annoying and arrogant people on the planet, Alan would be right there with Simon Caldwell and Justin Bieber.

However to be a successful journalist you need to be annoying - asking the questions people do not want to have to answer. Such activity is considered highly offensive in Thailand and the Navy reacts as expected. A Phu Yai is not to be challenged

However any reasonable person outside this mindset (or Thailand) will see it as blatant intimidation and abuse of power, trying to shoot the messenger and to stifle free speech.

I certainly would not like to have Alan as my neighbor but he certainly has my gratitude for having the ba**s to publish unbiased news, good and bad and not to be intimidated to silence.

Phuket is a better place because of PW, Alan, Chutima and the rest of the PW staff. If actions like the one now taken by this Navy officer are allowed to succeed, then we will all be worse off.

I sincerely hope that the numerous international contacts PW has gained through it's quality reporting will ensure this issue gets as much worldwide coverage as possible.

When David is up against Goliath, publicity is often your only protection.

Chin up Alan and Chutima, there are a lot of people supporting you.

Posted by ThaiMike on December 19, 2013 13:09

Editor Comment:

Thanks, ThaiMike. I'll come over with Sime and Beebs one night to party at your place.

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I applaud the work of PW and detest the suppression of freedom. It takes balls to live a clean life in Phuket and even more so to speak out about injustice. Seasons greeting with respect and admiration. Keep up the great work.

Posted by gee on December 19, 2013 13:21

Editor Comment:

Thanks, gee. The mist in my eyes must be from the searing heat.

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Great idea. Perhaps we could invite Bill O'Reilly to join. Any other worthy participants you have in mind ?

Some of my acquaintances would claim I'd fit in just fine.

Posted by ThaiMike on December 19, 2013 13:44

Editor Comment:

I'd love to spend an evening with Nigella Lawson, Kim Jong-un and world's richest woman, Gina Rinehart. We could leave the Kardashians in the corner with Ian Watkins, reminiscing.

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@James, I had my "conflicts" with Alan over the years. But regarding far most of his articles I fully support him. Most of what is published Phuketwan NEEDS our awareness & Attention. Without Naming & shaming it nothing ever will change in Thailand. For sure Alan is not a coward like you. Phuket needs guys with guts & Balls like Alan & not figures like you. The whole Expat community is aware that Thailand needs changes. But you prefer to keep your head in a pile of sand like an Ostrich. Your contribution to the welbeing off the common people in Thailand, to the Expat community, to the foreign workers (Birmese etc.) and to the well feeling of many Tourist who are victim of the Greed & corruption of a few is NONE. With your Ostrich approach Phuket is doomed to be destroyed and all liking, loving and needing Phuket for their lifelyhood will be victimised and sacrificied for the personal gain of a few. I life her also for over a decade and I see Phuket sliding down hill into the gutter. It are the guys like Alan who are trying and working to prevent this. It is for me people wearing blinkers like you who we can Miss. By not acting and keeping silence you will never stop this downfall. With you giving blaming & discouraging comment to Allan you become for me a part of Phukets/Thailands problem. I personally belief Phuket/Thailand would be better off without people like you. Your attitude is not of this time. With current media we can create changes. Keep on going PhuketWan.

Posted by PhuketExpat on December 19, 2013 13:54

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James an intellectual? An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself and whose mouth blurts ignorance. Journalists are thick skinned and will trade banter as a matter of course ??? unfortunately James appears to takes it seriously. Past discourses are water under the bridge now and should be put aside instead of being used as an excuse to berate the editor. This is a serious matter and the editor needs all the support he can get. I wish PW, Alan and Chutima well and hope this doesn't spoil a merry Christmas and a more prosperous 2014.

Posted by Pete on December 19, 2013 14:21

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What a shame people try to show you support but even then you feel the need to belittle them.

Posted by Mister Ree on December 19, 2013 14:31

Editor Comment:

I think you misread most things, Mister Ree, including my intent.

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Shocking!
@James??? I feel sorry for you, I think you need a doctor!
@PW??? Me too to not agree often on your harsh and rude replies, however, people need to realize and accept that PW has done a lot for Phuket through its fearless reporting.
The Royal Thai Navy should be ashamed for trying to ???kill the messenger??? and their action shows clearly that media in Thailand is not free at all!

Posted by Mr K on December 19, 2013 14:37

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Despite his often over-the-top and ill-needed provoking replies, the Ed has all my support on this.

We all know the laws here are often in place to protect the rich and powerful, but it's the journalists of PW and their like that can change this and make Thailand a better and more fair place for all.

Keep up the good work, whined them right up and you Sir, never give up!

Posted by Sean on December 19, 2013 14:54

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I wonder if Thaivisa will go with this story?

Nah, probably not.

Good luck Alan and Chutima.

Posted by Buster on December 19, 2013 17:25

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Thank you for always reporting the truth, and bringing stories that others leave behind into the light. Good luck to both you and Khun Chutima! You've got my support.

Posted by Anonymous on December 19, 2013 17:27

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To Alan and Khun Chutima

I just want to place myself in the long list of people who, however grumpy Alan can be, immensely respect most of your journalistic work.

Stay strong.

Posted by Hans Forssell on December 19, 2013 22:18

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Lena writes: The Royal Navy never heard of the Streisand effect? International press will come and cover this thing. Really bad press for the Navy.

Just think of the combination. Reutters News. Rohingya ethnic cleansing. Trafficers. And now the Navy tries to silence some of the most objective reporters on the Rohingya matter.

That will become a field day for the press corps. That will make this story juicy. Cover up, repressing the messengers... And messengers, who actually LIKE the Navy.

If you ask me, the Navy should give a medal of honor to Phuketwan and its two reporters for helping bring to light stories, that can really harm the military and Thailand at the whole. It is so short sighted.

And last but not least, it is the poorest of the poor people, who become prey of traffickers in Thailand. The Navy should be better then that. And I know it is. Please stand up.

(ps: Lana, your comment section is a mess... :/

Posted by Lena on December 19, 2013 23:49

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if you will be convicted you will be black listed from the country..

Posted by Lake on December 20, 2013 00:04

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As a representative International Advocacy Group of Rohingya Community and Human Rights Defender ,I applaud PW editors Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian to voice out Rohingya boat people's untold suffering before the world. I respect your courage and journalist ethic to characteristically highlighting Rohingya,one of the most persecuted ethnic minorities in the world, boat people's various types of tragedies after landing in Thailand. We are also disturbed of learning defamation case against you due to presenting the real facts of our community faces in Thailand. We do believe that you will win the case. Our Rohingya community is praying for you. Truth will prevail !May God bless you!

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand (BRAT) on December 20, 2013 05:16

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The charges facing Alan and Chutima are extremely distressing and some of the comments even more distressing. It is hard to fathom why anyone would come to this site, enjoy the free content and then feel the need to comment "you should have known better". Irregardless of whether you agree or disagree with the editorial comment on this site, it is hard to disagree with the obvious fact that the effort of the editor and his staff have made Phuket a more open place and the risks they take have been of value to the Phuket community. Value that one would think the readers, at least, would see the benefit of. I have often read people commenting here and accusing the editor of taking a less than virtuous stance on many issues and apparently not comprehending the risks that were already being taken. I, sadly, would have expected a solid show of support or recognition of the often thankless task of reporting news that can't or won't be printed elsewhere. As always, I overestimated the userbase of this site.

If the case is that you don't really understand the implications here. Two innocent people have been charged with serious crimes because of their efforts to freely and truthfully, to the best of their abilities give you information you can not find elsewhere. Information that is and has often been suppressed that helps you to understand and keep aware of what is going on in your community while allowing you free comment. On a daily basis they face the risk of being incarcerated or fined and now due to the use of a draconian and abused law are facing such a risk being a reality. They are guilty with nothing more than reporting the truth as they see it and providing you with that information. The implications are that this news could be no longer provided to you by them or anyone else. They risk the forfeit of their employment and their freedom. If you can't see the dangerous situation this is for openness and dialogue, if you can't see the forum this site has provided for Phuket at least try and see the reality that two innocent people face an extreme miscarriage of justice. It's not karma, it's not "you should know better" and it's not just.

I have a sense that those who do the least are most likely to be critical and I am honestly in hopes that they are the exception and not the rule. I have my doubts. I am in hopes that this fades to silence and is only "sturm and drang" by the local authorities. If it is more than flag waving I remain hopeful that this community of people (the readers of Phuketwan) will rise to the occasion and make some effort in support of your community. I for one have already sent letters to two former PM's and Phuket's local representatives in protest. I would suggest that anything anyone can do to publicize the outrageousness of this situation would be a help. Posting something in social media, writing letters to PM's, etc. anything that will draw attention to it would be a better use of your time than criticizing their actions and the least you could do given all you have gotten for nothing.

This is not the time to criticize or complain, but is a great opportunity to show your appreciation for what you have for several years enjoyed without cost. In my case, some time ago I vowed to no longer comment on this site, but that luxury is no longer available to me. To stand by and watch an injustice committed without comment and without action is the same as committing that injustice yourself.

Posted by Martin on December 20, 2013 06:06

Editor Comment:

Welcome back, Martin. Please keep commenting.

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REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS
http://en.rsf.org/

International Secretariat
Reporters sans frontieres
47 rue vivienne
75002 Paris - France
Phone. +33 1 44 83 84 84

United Nations / Geneva
E-mail : helsack@gmail.com

Africa Desk : africa@rsf.org
Americas Desk : americas[at]rsf.org
Asia Desk : asia@rsf.org
Europe Desk : europe@rsf.org
Middle East Desk : middle-east@rsf.org
Persian Desk : persan@rsf.org
Internet Desk : internet@rsf.org
Press & Communications : presse@rsf.org / 01 44 83 84 56
Press Freedom Index : index@rsf.org
Fundraising : mecenat@rsf.org
Administration : administration@rsf.org
Donor Relations : don@rsf.org

Posted by Whistle-Blower on December 20, 2013 09:46

Editor Comment:

Thanks, WB.

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I for one applaud the efforts of PW. Without this news-site this story would never have come to the forefront. Youmay not agree with the Editors comments all the time but reading some the negative and hateful comments by expats on this site and another makes me feel sick. What kind of people are on these sites that wish two reporters spend time in prison for bringing the truth about the disgraceful way a minority group of people have been treated.

In my opinion these people who call themselves human should take a long hard look at themselves and maybe its time their readjust the fundamental flaws there are in there DNA.

And Alan and Khun Chutima - thank you for your hard work - and justice and whats right will prevail in this case. We cannot allow suppression of the media in cases like this when innocent men, women and children are suffering at the hands of others.

Posted by Ciaran on December 20, 2013 10:50

Editor Comment:

Indeed, Ciaran. Thank you for your support. As you know, the noisy few who blather on about themselves impede the informed debate that we are as keen as ever to encourage. Rise up, silent majority. Time to have your say about everything.

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Thank you for those addresses WB. I had completely forgotten Reporters Without Borders. Excellent suggestion, I have sent some things off and hope others will as well. I would also suggest letters to your embassies. I would think that a pretty fair cross-section of the world reads this site and my Ambassador certainly needs motivation.

Posted by Martin on December 20, 2013 12:59

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Local, old, issues such as people trafficking, people working under slave like conditions in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia, ethnic cleansing in Burma, rohinghya boat refugees and what is else around has yet to catch the eye of the broad western world. After having worked for a time in Indonesia I was surprised to learn that christians are having such a hard time there, more than 430 churches have been attacked, burned down or closed since 2004, did never really make it to the mainstream...a few cartoons did ;-)

Posted by Sailor on December 20, 2013 13:06

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Thai Navy, please sail very gently into your charges to silence The Phuket Wan reporters. By going this present course, you and you alone, have brought the eyes,ears and world media, to focus on Thailand and the myriad of Human Rights abuses.
To Alan and Chutima, you have mine and my countries media supporting you both.

Posted by Graham on December 20, 2013 13:15

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As with many readers Alan and I have often disagreed vehemently; but that's what makes the news and promotes democracy... right or wrong we all have a voice.

Unfortunately Thailand often doesn't like being exposed to the truth and what the Navy is now engaged in is little more than persecution in order to suppress the facts.

Alan and K. Chutima should not be facing any charges. Hang in their guys.

Posted by Graham on December 20, 2013 14:04

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Are you having trouble sleeping Alan? Can you feel those panic attacks increasing as you lie awake in the iron darkness contemplating your time in prison. Tick tock Morrison...the bell tolls for thee. Remember "Thai rak Thai." "If you go up to the mountain often enough, one day you will meet the tiger." (4000 year old Chinese proverb.) Perhaps the Big Tiger would be more appropriate mmmm? You look frail Alan. Stress is not kind to those in advanced years as yourself. Have you truly pondered the outcomes? Prison, blacklisted and deportation? Not to mention the horrors that await you once you are incarcerated. Only the other day, 20 Naval officers attacked 3 THAI men in Bangkok over a mobile phone. Yes a phone Morrison. In comparison you have attempted to besmirch a whole branch of the military..."O how art thou fallen Morrison" Is your appetite diminishing? They have your fingerprints and we have your mugshot. I will be there on the 24th to photograph and document your discomfort, shame and attempts to shine under the banner of journalistic freedom. Tick tock Alan. In medieval times the accused were shown the instruments of torture the night before the fun began. Have you googled the conditions of a real thai prison? The philosophical Emperor Marcus Aurelius tells us to expect, in our daily encounters, the rude, brash, ignorant, violent and worst of humanity. For someone as haughty and holier-than-thou as you, your time in prison will be insufferable on a spiritual plane. As I said, you look frail Alan...very frail. Tick-tock. Win or lose the case you WILL have to pay Alan. Whether it be financially, emotionally or spiritually. "Doom creeps upon us with stealth and withers the most resolute of hearts." The bell tolls for thee Morrison.

Posted by Somchai X on December 20, 2013 15:47

Editor Comment:

I'm just fine, thanks, and now that I've read your comment, Somchai X, I've also had a good belly laugh. That anyone would think I can be intimidated by such childish stuff is worth a chuckle. I am sure other readers will be as impressed as I was. Back to TV, please.

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High time Thailand shapes up its laws and its judiciary in most fields.
And of course it is a shame for the country when honest reporting is pursued.
Instead of investigating the allegations the navy is doing its best to kill the messengers.
The world is watching; there is no way this trial - if it comes to that - will go unnoticed.
Alan and Chutida have the respect and support of the world.

Posted by Remarkable on December 20, 2013 16:29

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@somchaix - you are a disgrace to humankind plain and simple. crawl back into the hole you came from. The world has no place for people like you.

Posted by Ciaran on December 20, 2013 19:17

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Best of luck to Alan and Chutima.

As good as your reporting has been, it is the navy that will now bring the issue of the Rohingya to a wider audience. So what you are suffering now may also be of service to the people you have worked so hard to help.

Ignore the very few knockers, they are beneath contempt.

You have many people in your corner barracking for you. Seems maybe you had more friends than you realised.

Let us know here if funds are needed for your legal defence. Don't be shy to ask. It is about freedom for all of us, not just yourselves. If you lose, we all lose.

Again, good luck.
Mark.

Posted by Markthalang on December 20, 2013 19:41

Editor Comment:

What people are already talking about, Markthalang, is organising the first ever street protest on Phuket by expat residents and tourists. It would be a pro-Rohingya, pro-media freedom parade to the Navy Base at Cape Panwa. If we are forced to attend the police station on Tuesday, organising a ''farang'' protest is the next step. We hope the governor and the vice admiral are prepared.

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The United Nations has in Bangkok an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights : OHCHR, http://bangkok.ohchr.org/

They may have employees with good connections in Thailand and who would help in the case.

Posted by Anonymous on December 20, 2013 20:20

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Ah Somchai, thanks so much for the laugh today. I am sure that the X is a roman numeral ten because you are indeed worth nine other Somchai's. I think you should stay away from Vincent Price movies and Google Quotes for a few days though.

I really don't see your point. What are you suggesting Alan do? Deny that the Rohingya are anything but enjoying the beaches in Thailand? Avoid taking his cell phone to the meeting in case there are any Naval Officers there? Buy a digital clock that doesn't tick? Avoid bells? Smile for your camera on the 24th?

I am not familiar with that quote by Marcus Aurelius but I am with this one "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

It is not 2,000 BC (few tigers on the mountain, the Chinese ate them all for virility) or 200 AD (Rome listened to Marcus and fell a short time later), it is 2014. We are as a species attempting to advance Somchai Ten, or at least most societies are. It is not acceptable to attack people over a cell phone, it's not honorable to fight ten on one, it's not respectable to abuse the downtrodden and sell them into slavery because you have power over them and in 90% of the world the press is free and people can openly point out wrongs and injustices where they occur. In this world a riot in Egypt or a chemical attack in Syria is reported regardless of who is in power and in civilized or even semi-civilized countries the wrong-doers are sought for punishment not the reporters. In this world most citizens realize that injustices happen, that criticism and comment is needed for society/democracy to advance. What Alan reported was news, it was also true (a big problem for those trying to prove defamation) and it was reported by many other outlets, thus corroborated. What is clear to most minds who apply themselves is that this case does not meet even the basic criteria for defamation (false/unsubstantiated/slanderous/harmful) and is nothing more than an attempt to silence an honest critic.

It is hard for me to comprehend why any normal citizen would defend the navy's actions. It is not beneficial for Thai's to have even less voice in what goes on in their country, if Alan and Chutima are convicted for such weak charges then any Thai could be similarly silenced. Did Alan take your parking space at the karaoke?

If haughtiness and holier-than-thou are crimes Somchai Ten then you are guilty. Tik-tok, tik-tok Somchai Ten the other Nine Somchai's are after you and I will be there with my camera to photograph your discomfort. Oh by the way if you want my mug shot and fingerprints I would be happy to send them to you. Have a great day in the Land of Smiles.

Posted by Martin on December 21, 2013 05:06

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Like many others, I have had mmm disagreements with Ed (have forgotten how many email accounts I now have :)), and probably still will, we have differing points of view. Having said that I give my 100% support to Alan and Chutima. I don't believe this upstart of a Naval officer did this on his own shoulders, but what the navy has forgotten is that defamation needs to be proven, it must be false statements being made by the accused, which means the navy will be brought to answer why they believe the article is false, it is a double edged sword, it may very well show, in court, therefore to the world, that in fact the navy/naval personnel are guilty. As for the computer crimes act, there is nothing that threatens national security only the navy's reputation, something they themselves have already achieved by "moving on" refugees.

As for SomChai X, I can't say a good thing about him/her, the word cretin comes to mind, what he/her should be thankful for is that he/she has the right to express their opinion something the navy is trying to suppress. A cornerstone of democracy is freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. See Thai Constitution 2007 Part 7 Sects. 45 and 46.

Posted by Laurie Howells on December 21, 2013 18:28

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ed: you mention a "farang walk".
Wonder what your thoughts are re the often arbitrary application of Thai immigration regs i.e. Is it not possible that the inevitable photographic record may have the potential to jeopardize participants?

Posted by David on December 22, 2013 13:49

Editor Comment:

Thailand is a democracy where all residents have the right to lawful, peaceful protest. As the international criminals who visit Phuket could tell you, there is seldom any coordination with Immigration. Creating an excuse before a protest date has been set seems needless Doomsaying.

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The courageous reporting of PW is admired internationally. I do not live in Phuket and am only an occasional visitor. Yet myself and my friends will be rooting for PW.

Posted by Dubai Guy on December 23, 2013 06:03

Editor Comment:

Thank you, Dubai Guy. We will be hoping a couple of hundred expats and tourists as well as Thais turn out for us and the Rohingya boatpeople if we are forced to protest outside the Navy base on Phuket. We will recruit support from the resorts. Stay tuned.

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Congratulations....you have hit the Internet Jackpot...or so I hope. Through the foolishness of the Navy....your story...and the story you were trying to report has now spread to a much much wider audience. Sadly, for Thailand and their Navy, their lawsuit has made them look terrible. I can't wait to read the original Reuter's article and get involved in this matter. Do you have a defense fund? I'm with you.

Posted by Fargo on December 31, 2013 17:00

Editor Comment:

Thanks but we are choosing to go to jail in protest if the Navy goes ahead.

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Shame on some of you negative commentators would the island be a better place without Phuket wan and there journalists in a word NO they present the goings on here with warts an all with out fear or favor I suspect Alan's cards have been marked for years to silence him and send him to the Thai salt mines someone thinks they have the goods to do so on obscure trumped up charges Alan must feel like Derryn Hinch at the moment, James shame shame shame,shame on you.

Posted by slickmelb on January 5, 2014 16:20


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