Lese majeste (sort of) debated

25 02 2011

PPT is reluctant to post regarding any goings-on in parliament based on The Nation’s assessment following its most recent failure to get anything right…. Yet they have a story that can’t be ignored.

The report states that “parliamentary debate on the government’s second-year performance report was dominated by nearly four hours of argument about whether the government had done enough to protect the monarchy, especially in the case of one particular WikiLeaks’ cable. Both sides ended up accusing each other of being disloyal to the throne.”

This would seem to be an account that confirms a definition of ideological hegemony. Here we see even the opposition trying to occupy the turf that defends a symbol of control, repression and, indeed, the murder of very many political opponents over several decades.

That Puea Thai MP Jatuporn Promphan should claim that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government “had done nothing to prosecute senior citizens, including two members of the Privy Council, who were quoted in the controversial WikiLeak” is, at once a statement of double standards and a collapse onto the political and ideological turf of the ruling class.

Jatuporn claims to have “made a complaint to the Crime Suppression Division to arrest Abhisit for neglecting his duty.” Does this mean he is claiming lese majeste? Remarkably, Jatuporn “accused the government of not doing anything to block the website of the London-based newspaper The Guardian, claiming ‘millions’ read the cable in its online report.”

Double standards or not, Jatuporn is walking into a quicksand of repression and censorship and deserves criticism for this failure.

Worse in terms of politics, Abhisit is given a free hand to turn the debate against the red shirts: “But who protested that their rights of expression had been violated when their websites [alleged to defame the monarchy institution] were shut down”? Abhisit was able to accuse Jatuporn of associating with anti-monarchists.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Peeraphan Saleeratwipak said “17 lese majeste cases were in the pipeline and three new arrest warrants had been issued.”



One response

27 02 2011
Optimism on LM is not justified when human rights are not protected | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] addition, the justice minister has stated that there are a further 17 lese majeste cases under investigation with another 3 cases put to the […]

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