Academics support lese majeste repression

19 12 2011

As is usual when the political temperature rises in Thailand, and especially since the military coup in 2006, there are academics who regularly come out to support the royalist position. As the debate on lese majeste heats up, several academics have taken up the cause of supporting the draconian law.

In the Bangkok Post, “Nakhon Chomphuchat, a lawyer on human rights cases [PPT: really??], said state mechanisms were to blame for much of the conflict over the law.” The point seems to be that the problem can’t be the law itself!

Nakhon identies a “threat”: “Those who oppose enforcement of the law have campaigned against it so much that it threatens to affect the monarchy…”. And, of course, the average citizen is also partly to blame: “The public’s lack of understanding of the law could be dangerous. Some could criticise court verdicts in a way that offends the judiciary and the monarchy, which could further widen conflicts.”

The well-know yellow-shirted intellectual from Thammasat University’s political science faculty, Nakarin Mektrairat is clearer still: “Section 112 itself, in fact, causes no problems…”. Like Nakhon, he is sure that criticism of Article 112 is a secret attack on the monarchy: “Some groups which criticise Section 112 are trying to undermine the royal institution, by using violent and rude language to stir up hatred…”.

Of course, both Nakarin and Nakhon “agree the lese majeste law is important because Thai society still needs the monarchy.” The argument is the standard royalist one: Article 112 is just the same as defamation. The problem is that neither of them are logical in this claim for defamation cases never result in 15-20 year jail sentences.

It is good to know that yellow-shirted academics are keen to have people locked away for expressing opinions about a political system that is hierarchical and repressive.

We can only imagine that the death of Kim Jong Il and the impact this has on the cult of personality will worry yellow shirts more and cause even more frantic efforts to shore up the existing system.


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13 09 2015
Old men and old ideas | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Constitutional Court of yellow-shirted historian, 2014 coup supporter and constitution drafter and supporter of the lese majeste law, Nakarin […]

13 09 2015
Old men and old ideas | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Constitutional Court of yellow-shirted historian, 2014 coup supporter and constitution drafter and supporter of the lese majeste law, Nakarin […]

11 03 2019
Defending the Constitutional Court as farce | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] quite some time ago. A yellow-shirted historian, a 2014 coup supporter and constitution drafter and supporter of the lese majeste law, there seems little to assure “foreigners” that Nakarin is anything other than a junta […]

11 03 2019
Defending the Constitutional Court as farce | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] quite some time ago. A yellow-shirted historian, a 2014 coup supporter and constitution drafter and supporter of the lese majeste law, there seems little to assure “foreigners” that Nakarin is anything other than a junta […]