April 19, 2019
Despite being the number one tourist destination in the world – in actual fact, because of that – Thais hate foreigners.
So I think general hatred of foreigners is playing a role in these charges, as well as a presumably reasonable fear that if they start letting people do this, the entire global autistic crypto anarchist community will end up in pole houses off their shore.
A senior Thai government official on Friday urged a U.S. man and a Thai woman on the run from a possible death sentence for building an off-shore “sea home” to fight the charge in court.
The two, Chad Elwartowski and his partner Supranee Thepdet, have been accused of violating Thai sovereignty by raising a small cabin on top of a big, weighted spar in what they say are international waters, 14 nautical miles off the west-coast Thai island of Phuket.
But Thailand says the structure is in its 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
“I urge them to get a lawyer to fight this case,” Supoj Rodruang Na Nongkhai, the deputy provincial governor of Phuket, told Reuters.
He said the two were believed to be in hiding in Thailand.
nb4 “Jew” – it’s 100% obvious from his picture that he’s a white Pole. He has the kind of face that you can’t really mistake for Jewish (which is a lucky thing to have when you’re an American with a Polish last name).
American Poles tend to get themselves involved in goofy, weird shit. I don’t know why.
They have been charged under a law on the violation of sovereignty, which stipulates punishment of life in prison or death.
“Thailand will proceed with everything according to the law. We are not threatening them,” Supoj said.
The pair are part of a “seasteading” movement that advocates the building of floating communities in international waters beyond the bounds of any national laws.
But the Thai navy raided their home this week and authorities revoked Elwartowski’s visa and charged them.
A group of entrepreneurs called Ocean Builders, which funded the construction of the floating home, said the two had done nothing wrong.
The group said in a statement the home was in a so-called contiguous zone of 12-24 nautical miles, where very limited Thai regulations applied, and they had no intention of setting up any independent state or “micro nation”.
“The two of them present neither a danger to Thai sovereignty nor the shipping routes,” the group said.
So, it’s obviously the organization and various statements made publicly that got them in trouble.
If you want to live on a pole in the sea without claiming that you’re an independent sea pole country, no one is going to say anything in probably any third world country.
But trying to get involved in a Southeast Asian dispute about the sovereignty of waterways in 2019 – especially as an American – is totally and completely insane. And so “we’re just going to kill you” is not really a surprising response.
I would go so far as to say that the organization that paid him to do this was probably aware of this fact, and wanted this to happen to create a high profile debacle type situation where they can assert themselves as being on the forefront of seasteading. Because they had to know this would happen, even if the goofy Polish guy didn’t.
I feel bad for him. He looks like every goofy nerd with a goofy gook gf that I’ve ever known.
He is the epitome of harmlessness, and he is now in the sights of the Asian authoritarian machine, which is the one place that no one ever wants to be.
Of course, the US Embassy has given comment, but they won’t do shit. They never do shit for anyone anywhere, especially not in the third world. Unless it is some country that they’re trying to fuck with which you were fucking with by selling drugs or something – then they might help you – otherwise a US passport is not really of too much value, and basically just means that you have to pay US taxes even when you haven’t stepped foot in the US in a decade.
If I was Elwartowski, I’d take a boat to Cambodia. They’re probably not actually going to execute him, or give him life in prison, but he’s looking at a 2-5 year ordeal. He lost the chance to pay a bribe when he fled in the first place and they’ve already escalated it and it’s too late for that. I wouldn’t contact the US Embassy, at all, because they’re more likely to work with the Thais to fuck him than actually help.
In other news, seasteading homes look pretty sweet.
But you’re more likely to get away with that sort of thing in Latin America. Or Africa. Or really anywhere else in the world other than Asia, where the sovereignty of waterways is currently the biggest issue in their entire geopolitical conversation.