Lese majeste in other places

10 12 2009

A few days ago PPT posted a link to a story on an Institute of Security and International Studies meeting at Chulalongkorn University and presentations was by the ambassadors of Japan, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands. Since then, the Bangkok Post has had a report or summary of some points masquerading as an op-ed by Achara Ashayagachat (9 December 2009: “Public support is key to royals’ survival”). Netherlands Ambassador Tjaco van den Hout seems to have a problem with her reporting and the Postbag has this letter:

Re: the article “Public support is key to royals’ survival” written by Achara Ashayagachat (Bangkok Post, Dec 9). On behalf of Netherlands Ambassador Tjaco van den Hout, hereunder is the correction of the statement attributed to the ambassador in the above-mentioned article. What the ambassador said, verbatim, was:

“Nowadays, Dutch law enforcement authorities must determine whether prosecution of a violation of lese majeste law is genuinely in the interest of the monarchy. Sometimes it is not. On the contrary, prosecution can be counter-productive and actually undermine that which the lese majeste law sets out to protect. Prosecuting acts of lese majeste not only draws more public attention to the offence itself, which might be undesirable, but also inevitably to a judicial practice that in today’s society is seen to be blatantly at odds with the principle of equality under the law _ a principle cherished by most democratic societies.”

PANNAWAT WONGSASITHORN

Secretary, Political Affairs and Development Cooperation

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands


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20 01 2010
“15 years in a tiny Thai apartment without running water”?

[…] in recent months, the Dutch Ambassador to Thailand, Tjaco van den Hout, has made various public statements on the contentious issue of lese majeste.  His diplomatic interventions are receiving regular […]




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