The lesè majesté case against Giles Ji Ungpakorn was due to be heard in Thai court today, Monday, 9 February. Giles, who holds both Thai and British citizenship, fled to England. He said, “It is clear that the charge is really about preventing any discussion about the relationship between the military junta and the monarchy,” adding, “This is in order to protect the military’s sole claim to legitimacy: that it acted in the interests of the monarchy.” Giles stated that he did not believe that he would get a fair trial.
Read about it here in The Guardian, “British professor flees Thailand after charges of insulting king”.
By 11:45 GMT, neither The Nation nor Bangkok Post had dared release this news. The Nation finally posted a story about 17:00 GMT, dated 10 February 2009: “Ji ‘flees’ to London to ‘escape’ lese majeste charge”; the use of inverted commas is interesting sub-editing. The Post finally reported at 21:45 GMT, 10 February 2009: “Lese majeste suspect flees”. Prachatai had reproduced The Guardian’s report almost as soon as it appeared along with the Red Siam manifesto (but self-censors) and the call by RWB for a cyberdemonstration on Harry Nicolaides.
Update: Prachatai site now has the Red Siam reported this way:
Giles’ `Red Siam’ manifesto
09 February 2009
After fleeing Thailand to the UK, Giles Ji Ungpakorn, on Feb 9, releases his ‘manifesto’ first in Thai and subsequently in English with some modifications. The ‘manifesto’ is so strong, one of the strongest statements made by an identifiable Thai individual in decades, that Prachatai has to censor parts of it.
Due to Thailand’s Article 112 of the Criminal Code and computer-related law, Prachatai provides no links to Giles’ statement, both in Thai and English. Just use your search engine of choice.