Managing lese majeste

21 05 2009

Update: Bangkok Pundit has more critical commentary on the Bowornsak article. Recommended reading.

In an article in the Bangkok Post (21 May 2009: “Europe’s lese majeste laws and freedom of expression”)  Dutch ambassador to Thailand Tjaco van den Hout has a useful account of the application of the various lese majeste laws in Western Europe.

The ambassador specifically points out some shortcomings in recent articles by Bowornsak Uwanno, published in early April in three parts in the Post (see PPT’s commentary here and here) . Specifically, he identifies Bowornsak’s failure to address the application of the laws in Europe and the accession of all of the European constitutional monarchies mentioned by Bowornsak to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Hout’s critique is both enlightening and damaging to Bowornsak’s arguments that are essentially royalist apologias for Thailand’s draconian law on lese majeste.

Meanwhile, both the Bangkok Post and the Nation have reports, neither of which are particularly clear, that briefly state that “action websites deemed offensive to the monarchy” are now under the purview of the Department of Special Investigations (DSI). One of the reports seems to indicate that this relates to just cases currently being investigated.

The impact of this change is unclear, but as the DSI is supervised by Democrat Party power broker Suthep Taugsuban it may be expected that the cases will indeed receive special attention. This is probably not a positive development as the DSI, often seen as somehow “independent” is actually highly politicized.


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24 07 2009
New: DSI and lese majeste « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] DSI and lese majeste PPT posted previously about the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) being requested to take over 5 criminal cases. […]

16 08 2009
Attacking Bowornsak on petitioning the king « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] PPT has posted on Borwornsak previously, here, here, and here. […]

25 05 2015
Disingenuous Bowornsak | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] As well as having the For Sale sign hung around his neck for several years and most recently being a notorious royalist poseur, Bowornsak has trampled on the memory of those who died under military guns in 1992, demonstrated an incapacity to distinguish between elected and appointed parliamentarians, considered politicized royalist courts unimpeachable, been a messenger to the US for military juntas, taken orders from the Privy Council, worked to ban books and supported the draconian lese majeste law. […]

25 05 2015
Disingenuous Bowornsak | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] As well as having the For Sale sign hung around his neck for several years and most recently being a notorious royalist poseur, Bowornsak has trampled on the memory of those who died under military guns in 1992, demonstrated an incapacity to distinguish between elected and appointed parliamentarians, considered politicized royalist courts unimpeachable, been a messenger to the US for military juntas, taken orders from the Privy Council, worked to ban books and supported the draconian lese majeste law. […]