dedicated to a peaceful & just society
grounded in contemplative & spiritual practice
We mailed our letter and three pages of signatures to the Prime Minister's Office, as well as to the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington DC and the Royal Thai Consulate in Chicago. The following reply arrived by email on Thursday October 20th.
"To whom it may concern,Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister has received yourmail requesting the investigation on the murder of Phra Supoj Suvacano andhas already send it to the Royal Thai Police for further investigation.Sincerely yours,Witchanee V.Office of the Permanent SecretaryOffice of the Prime Minister"
While we appreciate the reply, it does not offer any hope beyond the usual bureaucratic quagmire and obscurantism. The Royal Thai Police already know about the case and have failed to investigate in a genuine, serious, and appropriate matter. The need is for sincerity from the Prime Minister or the Cabinet, leading to pressure for a real investigation. We await more informative news and evidence of progress in the case.
The Deputy Consul-General called a couple times to inform me that the case has officially been determined a "special case" and is thus being investigated by the Department of Special Investigations of the Justice Ministry, rather than the Police Department. As Thai friends requested this months ago, it seems to be a positive development, though I do not know if it is recent.
The Deputy Consul-General expressed hope that the case would be solved quickly. He seemed genuinely concerned that a monk had been murdered, though he has no actual influence how things play out. He understood that we would continue to vigil until the case is genuinely solved and all the people responsible brought to justice.
We will not accept the false "solution" of punishing a few hirelings while the powerful local figures who call the shots escape without charges being pressed. Unfortunately, even if charges are pressed, prosecuting them successfully will be extremely difficult. Usually, such cases are dragged out until they lapse from lack of interest.
Please stay tuned.
The Deputy Consul-General called again to invite me for a visit, which I accepted. He presented me with photocopies of recent articles in the Thai press, one in English that I had already seen (and in fact photocopied for him) and one in Thai that I had not seen. These appear to be positive developments but not conclusively. We agreed to help keep each other informed about progress in the case.