Military's history of intimidation
Military threats to press freedom were notorious in 1959-1963 under the government of Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat. Soldiers were sent to seize and destroy the presses of newspapers that ticked the government off. It was only after Sarit's death that the media exposed large-scale corruption under the government.In 1987, hundreds of Army rangers went to the residence of MR Kukrit Pramoj after the former prime minister, in his column "Soi Suan Plu" in Siam Rath newspaper, criticised General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's idea to establish a Soviet-style presidium.
The article provided insights on what was behind the idea and the possible consequences of implementing it. Kukrit ended the article with the famous line: "I am not afraid of you!"
The conflict was settled when Chavalit, then the Army chief, let his close aide Maj-General Sornchai Montriwat stay at Kukrit's house to make sure that no such threat reoccurred. The government later requested a royal command giving Kukrit the rank of major-general.