Thai rappers target junta rule

Thailand’s police are investigating a viral hip-hop video condemning the military junta as the generals begin to relax their grip ahead of a possible general election on February 24.
The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) is due to decide whether to take action under the Computer Crime Act.
Spokesman Colonel Siriwat Deepo said investigators were examining the lyrics and brutal imagery of Prathet Ku Mee (What My Country’s Got) and that it might violate the prohibition of “putting false information into the computer system, which is bound to damage national security”.
He said the group faced five years in jail and a Bt100,000 if convicted under the Computer Crime Act. Those sharing the video could also face the same punishment, the police colonel added.
Uploaded to YouTube on October 22 by Rap Against Dictatorship (RAD), the video has been viewed more than 13 million times.
It ends with the sagacious statement: “Polarising the people is the authoritarian’s ultimate weapon. When this happens, the people’s power will be taken away.
“In the memory of all victims from all state crimes.”
A dummy looking like a lynching victim references the massacre of student and civilian protesters by the military at Bangkok’s Thammasat University in 1976.
Views of the video increased after the police and government criticised it.
Siriwat said the video could undermine investor confidence and economic stability.
The group posted on Facebook on Saturday: “We are all safe and no arrests have been made by state officials as rumoured.
“This incident confirms that no matter how different people are, we are able to fight against the incorrectness together.”
Panthongtae “Oak” Shinawatra, son of self-exiled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, posted on Facebook that the military-controlled authorities had boosted the track’s popularity.
“Seniors should accept different views because they should set an example for youth, shouldn’t they,” he posted.

The translated lyrics in full:
The country where the panther was slain by the rifle
The country that preaches moral but crime rate higher than Eiffel
The law can’t fight against Dharma or Bible
Good people never be saluted as an idol

The country that judges get houses in national parks
The country that its capital’s hearth turned into killing fields
The country that leaders eat taxes like a sweet meal
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country has no corruption and no checks and balances
The country that minister’s watches belong to a ghost
The Parliament House is a soldier’s play yard
Charter is written and erased by the army’s boots

The country that artists are rebellion
The country that rebellion obey the state power
The country that follows leaders like an ant’s nest
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country that people in suite never do what they say
The poor have to die ’cause they don’t have Bt30 health care
So powerful country that eats pather like sashimi
No accountability, not guilty

The country that murder is easy with money
The law can stretch more than arms of Luffy
Keep saying doing good, doing good
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country that points a gun at your throat
Claims to have freedom but have no right to choose
You can’t say shit even though it’s full of your mouth
Whatever you do, the leader will see you

The country that assholes own the sovereignty
You must choose to either eat the truth or bullets
A country that king kills pawn by squads of motherf*ckers
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country that government is untouchable
The police use law to threaten people
Though you’re enlightened, you have to pretend to sleep
Even you don’t wanna live, they will force you to live

The country that people read less, especially the leader
The country that asks you to stay quiet, or stay in jail
The country that corruption’s always safe for the rich
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country that politics is split into two sides
The country that citizens are divided into two
The country that people get killed in both sides
The country that both sides fear the army

Four years already, motherf*cker still no election
Free country? F*ck it! don’t tell me I can choose
Even the PM is still picked by the army
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country that national budget is unlimited
The bizarre country with money hidden in bureaucrats’ houses
The country that leader is kinda annoying
The country that f*cks the ruled with a machine gun

The country that people live happily but still in the cave
Four years under the top boots, nobody works in the house
The tedious country, that goes without saying
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country that has everything except common sense
Driven by money like a magical spell
Time goes by, it becomes a diamond of evil
Worshipped by monkeys like a monolith of selfishness

Brainlessly drunk in ignorance that can’t respond shits
Ignore justice, let the beasts keep arrogant
Rule everything by darkness and fear
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The good and f*cking everlasting country
The glorious government abuses people, being hated worldwide
The country is sanctioned, people suffer everywhere
The country that evil disguised in a coup and people are suppressed

That country that fires at protesters at night
The lawless country and the f*cked up city
Keep making babies and eating tax
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The country that can use the law as an excuse like a magic
People dress hope as a shirt and dress poverty as shorts
The country that closes its ears, never hear people in the gap
The country that everyone keeps talking and listening

People only good at taking exams and just want to be rich
The country that makes fake promises like loading a bullet, create a regime and told use to love it
The country that chair is the answer. You will see if you’re good at counting date
Which is my country? Which is my country?

The video references the 1976 massacres. Picture credit: YouTube