Some ideas are too good to let go.
Col Saksit Phuklan, who has graciously condescended to turn himself in only 10 days after the incident (if indeed he was involved in the first place), has denied deliberately driving his car at Maj Hathaiporn Imwitthaya, putting her into a coma. He didn’t even accidentally hit her. It was the victim who inflicted her injuries on herself by throwing herself at his car, he says, defying eyewitness accounts and the CCTV footage. So what blame can be attached to him?
You may recall that Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban used a similar theory to back up the unexpected claim of Army spokesperson Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd that the military killed no one last April-May. He said that those who died (who were overwhelmingly not on the police or military side of the fight) were responsible for their own deaths for getting in the way when the bullets were flying.
This new technique in self-exculpation has not gone unnoticed among the criminal fraternity in this country, who are developing a line of patter that puts all the blame on the victim.
Caught with the wallet, credit cards and cash that had been pilfered from the pocket of a shopper in Big C Rajdamri, Anan Khatpanya, long known to Lumpini police as a notorious dipper, claimed that he dun nuffink, yeronner. He was minding his own business when the valuables willy-nilly found their way into his possession.
‘They must have fallen out of his pockets when he was doing handstands,’ he told investigating officers. ‘As I happened to be walking underneath his pockets at the time, then quite by accident I unwittingly came into possession of his belongings.’ And he was just on his way to hand them in when he was prematurely arrested by the police.
Sombat Juyern was making a similar argument in the next interrogation room. He was, he explained to disbelieving detectives, standing naked and erect in the privacy of someone else’s bedroom when a young woman impaled herself on his protruding manhood.
He was powerless to resist, and under the circumstances, he said, no one could reasonably allege rape, which is what the sobbing female in the next room was claiming.
Meanwhile, Manit Suekhanaen was protesting his innocence before the Election Commission’s Investigation and Adjudication Bureau. He agreed it was quite strange that the entire population of his tambon celebrated their birthdays, weddings, ordinations, cremations, graduations and bar mitzvahs in the 6 weeks before the election, but that’s just the way things turned out.
As a well-known member of the community it was only natural for him to help sponsor these celebrations. Each and every one of them, no matter what the personal financial burden may be. And what was more natural than for the conversation to turn to the upcoming elections? And if he was not backward in telling people who he thought they should vote for, was that a crime?
Arguments like these are becoming so common that sheer repetition is beginning to give them the appearance of credibility. In fact, some do not seem so far-fetched at all.
Claiming that he never wanted the job, that he has never met a military officer in his life, and that he honestly and truly believes that MPs vote according to the best interests of the country, Abhisit Vejjajiva pleaded innocent of political ambition. He claimed that with the Democrats winning barely one-third of House seats, and losing the sixth election in a row, it was perfectly legal, constitutional and natural for him to remain Prime Minister.
And all right-thinking Thais think that’s alright.