The military demolished a roadside souvenir stall and confiscated fruit, wine and other processed fruit products in a northern touristic province allegedly because they believed the ‘square face’ logo on the products symbolized the controversial ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Pichit Tamon, a leader of the anti-establishment red shirts in the northern province of Chiang Mai, told Prachatai that seven to eight military officers on Monday demolished his souvenir roadside stall, selling strawberries and fruit products under name “Strawberry @ Pai” in the tourist district of Pai in northern Mae Hong Son Province.
The ‘square face’ logo of the demolished souvenir stall in Pai District, Mae Hong Son
The military officers also confiscated eight bottles of strawberry wine, 20 jars of strawberry jam, and six bottles of orange juice, which were legally registered as products of Samoeng District farmers union of Chiang Mai Province.
The military did not justify why these measures needed to be applied, nor did they present any documentation. However, Pichit said he believed that the motive of these actions was the ‘square face’ logo on the products, which allegedly symbolizes the facial features of Thaksin, the controversial ex-Prime Minister who was ousted out by the coup d’état in 2006, and whose sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was recently ousted by another coup in May.
Military officers destroyed the red souvenir stall with the alleged Thaksin logo on its products on 8 November
Pichit added that there is no mention in martial law or the orders of the National Council for Peace and Order Council junta prohibiting the ‘square face’ logo and that the location of the stall did not trespass on public areas.
He urged the junta to investigate the matter and said that he and those affected by the incident will report the case to Pai Police Station on Tuesday since it constitutes robbery.