Thai PM Prayut’s Daughters Hit Back at Netizens’ Accusations
Khaosod English September 3, 2020
Tanya Chan-o-cha and Nittha Chan-o-cha are seen in a 2006 promotional image for pop band Badz.
BANGKOK — Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha’s twin daughters on Wednesday filed a police complaint for libel against about a hundred social media accounts who accused them of holding privilege and funneling Prayut’s funds, among other allegations.
Apiwat Kantong, vice minister of the Office of the Prime Minister, filed the complaint to Nang Loeng Police Station on behalf of Tanya Chan-o-cha and Nittha Chan-o-cha. He said social media users were spreading false news that defame the pair. Police on Thursday said they are investigating.
“The information posted there on Twitter by users, which includes politicians, were all false,” Apiwat said. “The people who believe them are crazy and have no filter in reposting and resharing. Their damaging opinions show that they are victims of politicians.”
When asked about his daughters’ decision to file police complaints, PM Prayut said Wednesday, “It’s up to them. They’re adults and it’s their right to protect their image.”
Much of the allegation was spread through the hashtag #FindPrayut’sDaughters, which was marked as “trending” in Thailand on Aug. 23. Anonymous users demand to know the whereabouts of Tanya and Nittha, who have mostly stayed out of the public eye, as well as throwing a number of unfounded accusations against them.
Apiwat read out a statement from Tanya and Nittha which refuted these accusations.
“Accusations that we changed our last names to go on the run, acted as money laundering fronts for our father, or live in a mansion in the UK are all baseless and false, and damage both of us and our family,” the statement said.
“These are extreme violations of our personal rights and libelous.”
“Neither of us have never been involved in our father’s work nor expressed any political opinions,” it added. “Today, we have to protect our dignity and honor, as well as our family’s.”
Tanya and Nittha went on to list 10 main accusations from social media and their rebuttals. They said they have always lived in Thailand and have never gone to study overseas, but instead received a Bachelor’s Degree from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Communication Arts.
The twins also said money sent to them from their father has been declared to the National Anti-Corruption Commission per regulations. Part of the funds came from Prayut’s father, who reportedly made profits in land sales before his death earlier this year.
Both said that they do not have any social media accounts.
“Both of us are living normal lives like regular Thais. We do not want to be known widely because we do not want special privileges or benefits tied to our father’s position,” the statement said.
Tips of people defaming or impersonating them can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police Maj. Gen. Samreng Suantong said it was unclear whether cases would be filed against all the social media users.
“This case has wide public attention, and we must investigate the evidence and witnesses thoroughly,” Samrerng said. “I’m not under pressure. I myself just knew Gen. Prayut’s daughter’s names just now.”
When called for an update Thursday, Samrerng said, “They just came to file it yesterday. [Charges] will take a long time.” Samrerng also said he did not remember the women’s exact ages, but media reports say they are in their thirties.
Tanya and Nittha were in a 2000s band named Badz under the RS label. The band had one minor hit, “I Don’t Want to Be the Last” in 2006. Tanya played the guitar and Nittha, the bass.
Source: Khaosod English, Thailand September 3, 2020