Updated: Abhisit’s lese majeste committee is MIA

22 07 2010

PPT is being flooded by news of ever more lese majeste cases. The latest is from The Nation and is, frankly, a big surprise. It involves actor and yellow shirt supporter Pongpat Wachirabanjong. The actor made a declaration of “his love” for the king at Nataraj Awards ceremony and essentially stated that those who didn’t love and respect the king should “leave the king’s house/nation.”

Now Pongpat has been “summoned to hear his lese majeste charges on July 29, and if he fails to show up after two summons have been issued, police will seek an arrest warrant…”. It is claimed that singer Phumpat Wongyachavalit filed a lese majeste complaint against the actor on 23 June “accusing him of using inappropriate words.”

PPT thought Pongpat’s comments immature and stupid at the time, but people should be able to make stupid comments in public without fear of 15 years in jail.

PPT recalls that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he’d set up a committee to oversee lese majeste charges. Actually, if this committee is not missing in action, then all it is doing is accelerating the cases and putting through as many as possible. That may be the plan. Despotic regimes need to scare everyone!

PPT reaffirms its opposition to all lese majeste charges. All lese majeste charges are political and the law must be done away with. Reform is not an option. This is a bad law that is used for repression and censorship.

Update: Bangkok Post has an account of Abhisit claiming that his committee is not being used by the police when proceeding on lese majeste cases. If that were true – and DSI chief Tharit recently claimed otherwise – then the premier should get rid of a useless committee. He can’t consider getting rid of the lese majeste law precisely because it is politically useful to his regime and its longevity. PPT suspects Abhisit, the authoritarian wolf who tries desperately to put on a liberal sheep’s clothing, loves the law for its politics but dislikes the international attention it draws to the wolf and his regime.



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23 07 2010
Lese majeste and double standards « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] majeste and double standards Yesterday PPT posted regarding actor and yellow shirt supporter Pongpat Wachirabanjong being accused of lese majeste – […]