The listing of these papers and publications here in no way implies a connection between the authors and this blog. Nor does it imply that Political Prisoners in Thailand endorses everything stated in each publication.
We haven’t been updating most sections as much of the commentary we’d put here is in the blog posts, as it becomes available. However, when we are able, we do add to the Historical Commentary below.
For a brief discussion of lese majeste, including in Thailand, see “Wapedia: lese majeste”, PAP Blog, Lucie Morillon at MediaShift, 18 February 2009: “Monarchs Use ‘Lese Majeste’ Laws to Silence Online Critics” and FACT, “The world’s just wild about Harry”. For an interesting comparison on lese majeste in Morocco, see The Economist, 10 January 2009: “The sacred and profane”.
Read the Reporters Without Borders report (9 February 2009) entitled “His Untouchable Majesty”, subtitled “Censorship and emprisonment: the abuses in the name of lese majeste”.
On 10 February 2009, Radio Australia aired a segment on the Thai government’s growing crackdown on anyone who questions the monarchy. The segment features Supinya Klangnarong of the Thai Netizen Network and Giles Ji Ungpakorn. Listen here: “Thai government concerned at anti-monarchical sentiment”
Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) calls for an end to lèse-majesté, The Peninsula On-line, 1 February 2009: “Call to abolish Thai legislation”
Information and Communication Technology Minister Ranongruk Suwunchwee on censorship as a matter of national security and limiting the freedom of speech, Bangkok Post, 1 February 2009: “National security v democracy”
The Democrat-led government warns community radio stations, Bangkok Post, 29 January 2009: “Sathit warns local radio against abuse of constitution. Stations should avoid being overly political”
Sinfah Tunsarawuth, 26 January 2009, Index on Censorship, “Thailand: Criminalising Dissent”
Warning from the Thai government in Thai News, 24 January 2009: “Foreigners warned of lese majeste charge leading to serious penalty”.
Frank G. Anderson comments on lèse majesté at UPIAsia.com, 23 January 2009: “Thailand overzealous in protecting royals” and translates an important article reporting on Democrat Minister of Justice Phiraphan Saleeratwipak, interviewed on lesè majesté at New Mandala (29 January 2009)
Ruby Alampay, 22 January 2009, The Guardian, “A Royal Offence”
Nina Somera, 20 January 2009, Isis International,“Lese Majeste invading Thai cyberspace”
In December 2008, The Economist published a highly controversial set of articles on the monarchy and Thailand’s political crisis that were not distributed in Thailand: “A right royal mess”. Its 22 January 2009 edition was not distributed in Thailand because of this story on Nicolaides and lèse majesté: The Economist, 22 January 2009, “The Trouble with Harry”. The Bangkok Post, 27 January 2009, finally reports: “Distributor bans Economist again”. Following this, The Economist’s 29 January 2009 issue was not distributed in Thailand because of this story: “A sad slide backwards”. Simon Long, The Economist‘s Asia editor writes about the problems the magazine has faced in Thailand, at Index on Censorship, 2 February 2009: “We are not amused”. The Economist, 18 February 2009: “No disrespect” explains more about why it reports lèse majesté.
In September 2008, Forbes published a controversial listing of the world’s richest royals, listing King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the top: “Richest Royals”
Tyrell Haberkorn, “Thailand: The misrule of law” (2008).
The Times of London, 20 January 2009, “Disrespect: Thailand’s drastic use of lèse majesté laws is damaging the monarchy and freedom”
Christian Science Monitor, 4 April 2007: “Laws to protect Thai royalty stifle discourse”
Andrew Walker and Nicholas Farrelly, Inside Story, 14 April 2009: “Thailand’s royal sub-plot”
Academic Papers and Articles:
NIASNytt has an issue on the 2006 coup, including discussion of the role of the monarchy: “Thailand and the 2006 coup”
The Journal of Contemporary Asia had a special issue in 2008 that can be downloaded as a zipped file: “Thailand’s ‘Good Coup’, the Fall of Thaksin, the Military and Democracy”. Important articles for the issues of monarchy and politics are by Michael Connors, Kevin Hewison (download it: JCA_38_1_2008), Ukrist Pathamanand and Porphant Ouyyanont. The journal special issue is reviewed in Asia Sentinel.
Michael Connors, “Thailand: Four elections and a coup” (2008).
Michael Connors “Citizen King. Embodying Thainess” chapter 6 from his revised 2011 book Democracy and National Identity in Thailand. Made available by NIAS Press.
Thitinan Pongsudhirak, “Thailand since the Coup” (2008).
Fringer has several useful papers from the 10th International Conference on Thai Studies (scroll down the page):
- Celebrating Kingship, Worrying about the Monarchy by Irene Stengs [PDF, 9 pages]
- Lese Majeste Law and Mainstream Newspapers’ Self-Censorship: The Upward Spiral Effect and its Counter Reaction by Pravit Rojanapruk [PDF, 12 pages]
- Ramification and Re-Sacralization of the Lèse Majesté Law in Thailand by Somchai Preechasilpakul and David Streckfuss [PDF, 22 pages]
- Also this useful paper not from ICTS: The Construction of Mainstream Thought on “Thainess” and the “Truth” Constructed by “Thainess” [PDF, 36 pages] – by Saichol Sattayanurak
E-Books and Excerpts:
Paul Handley, The King Never Smiles, Yale University Press, 2006. Buy it from the publisher. Excerpts at Google Books and Asia Sentinel. The author is interviewed at New Mandala and speaks with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Attempts to prevent publication are outlined in the Yale Alumni Magazine (scroll down the page) and Inside Higher Education. Craig Reynolds provides a commentary at New Mandala. Another commentary is at the New York Times, while Denis Grey reports on discussion of the book at the 10th ICTS in The Irrawaddy. Reviews by Nicholas Farrelly (in The Oxonian Review); Kevin Hewison (in Journal of Historical Biography); and Chris Baker (in Asia Sentinel).
On 25 January 2009, NPR’s All Thing’s Considered did a segment on Thailand, “Thailand Cracks Down on Political Dissent.” Listen here.
On 29 January 2009, Brad Adams from Human Rights Watch talked to WNYC about Harry Nicolaides, The Economist, and the Thai royal family. Listen here.
PRI’s The World included a report by Jason Margolis on the spate of cases involving criticism of the monarchy on 5 February 2009 edit: “Don’t criticize the king”.
We post critical historical documents related to lèse majesté and the monarchy. For many of these papers, the origins are vague and it is not always possible to ensure that we are honoring copyright. If a copyright holder notices a problem, contact us immediately at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith Simpson, “The Violent Death of King Ananda of Siam,” from Forty Years of Murder: An Autobiography, London: Harrop, 1978): Simpson (1978). Simpson was a British pathologist who investigated the Ananda Mahidol regicide.
Edwin F. Stanton’s 1948 cable where U.S. Ambassador Stanton recounts a discussion with former Prime Minister Luang Thamrong Navasawat on Phibun, coups and the death of King Ananda Mahidol.
อธิปัตย์ (Athipat), 18-21 February 1975, pages 1 and 12, “คดีหมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพตัดสิน ๒๘ ก.พ. นี้”
U.S. State Department, declassified cable on how the U.S. Embassy and the palace worked with the international media to ensure the king’s good image, 30 March 1973: palace_nat-geog_1973
U.S. State Department, declassified cable on protecting the king from criticism, 7 December 1973: king_sweden_1973
U.S. State Department, declassified cable on “creative” intervention, 22 December 1973: king_const_1973
U.S. State Department, declassified cable on attempts to censor negative reports on the queen, 11 February 1975: queen-1975
U.S. State Department, declassified cable on claimed links between the CIA and Palace Guards, 25 February 1975: palace-guards_1975
Inoue Sumio, “Lese Majeste Used as Political Trick”, AMPO, 8, 3, 1976, pp. 14-17.
Chang Kuo Tao, “All the king’s men”, AMPO, 8, 3, 1976, pp. 18-26.
Natee Pisalchai, “Village Scouts,” Thai Information Bulletin (Paris), No. 6, January 1977, pp. 10-22, on the notorious state-organized, royal-patronized semi-fascist movement.
Paul Heiecke, “On the role of the king in Thailand”, Thai Information Bulletin (Paris), No. 13, Nov-Dec 1977, pp. 24-32.
Phoo Phaakphoom [Phuu Phaakphum], “The Last Thai King,” Southeast Asia Chronicle, No. 60, 1978, p. 6.
Phuu Phaakphum, “The Ninth King: A Tale of Palace Intrigue in Modern Thailand”, Ampo (Japan-Asia Quarterly Review), Volume 10, Numbers 1-2, 1978.
Thailand Update, Volume 2, Number 5, March-April 1981 (short articles on the Young Turks failed coup and comments on role of the monarchy).
Gareth McKinley, “Knights, pawns … and kings, Inside Asia, November/December 1984, with information on lese majeste and the monarchy’s political role (McKinley, 1984).
UCL Newsletters reporting on Sulak Sivaraksa’s interesting lese majeste case in 1984-5.
UCL, “Case of lèse majesté at Chiangmai Province,” UCL Newsletter, Vol. 2, 1985, p. 7. According to another UCL Newsletter (Oct-Dec 1985) report the case was eventually thrown out for lack of witnesses.
UCL, Oct-Dec 1985, reporting several lese majeste cases and convictions.
Anti-monarchy leaflets, 1987, (quality is poor as these sheets were repeatedly photocopied and distributed by hand)
Mong Doo, How deep are the cracks in the kingdom? Reflections on a king’s birthday”. This is a paper probably written in late 1987 or early 1988 and privately circulated.
Young Turks “assassination plot” case, Bangkok Post Weekly Review, Lese Majeste_5 Feb 1993.
Bangkok Post Weekly Review, 10 December 1993, Lese Majeste_10 Dec 93.