Sulak’s lèse majesté case

3 05 2009

As PPT has reported on its Pending Cases page, Sulak Sivaraksa was charged with lèse majesté back in November 2008 for comments he made in lecture at Khon Kaen University in late 2007.

Now Sulak is concerned that he could find his case proceeding with him being jailed as his six-month bail term expires Monday Bangkok time (The Nation, 3 May 2009: “Sulak could find himself behind bars”). Sulak is claiming that this is a part of a plot by the police against the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva: “The police want to slap the government’s face [by forwarding the case]…”.

According to the report, Sulak has “denied the charge and insisted that he was a true royalist who believed in the need to honestly offer critical views and dissent so the monarchy could review itself from time to time.” This has been Sulak’s long-standing defense against the various lèse majesté he has faced over the past three decades.

Sulak added: “The government has set up a committee to verify who’s really defaming the institution and who is defending it. This also includes a Senate committee. I am a royalist.”

Asked what would happen to those who were deemed by such committees as being non-royalist and to have committed lese majeste, Sulak said: “Well, I don’t know.” Earlier, Sulak had argued that there were anti-monarchists associated with Thaksin Shinawatra who should be charged.

Sulak’s partisan approach to the law is to be deplored.  PPT believes that all uses of lèse majesté are necessarily political and should be rejected and the law abolished.

Confirming the political nature of the charge, Sulak opined that on 26 March he had “petitioned the permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office for justice and urged the authorities to drop his charge, saying a Cabinet minister had told him the premier was aware of his case and would have his case dropped by Songkran Day, April 13.”

Update: Sulak’s bail was renewed.


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