Further updated: Nitirat pushes reform

16 01 2012

The various royalist and ultra-royalist groups have been preparing for it for weeks, and it has now happened: Nitirat have held their meeting to activate a campaign for amending the lese majeste law.

The revised proposals by Nitirat are available at Prachatai.

At The Nation it is reported that the Nitirat law scholars group “called yesterday for the amendment of Section 112 of the Criminal Code relating to lese majeste, saying the law is outdated and in need of an overhaul.” The proposals include legal protections for royals as well as reduced penalties. In addition, it urged that “only the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary be granted the authority to file complaints against violators,” and wants “exemption from punishment of those who honestly express a political opinion, as well as those whose allegations are proven to be true or useful to the public.”

Nitirat wants to collect “10,000 signatures in support of the amendment within 112 days.” That will likely prove difficult as the ultra-royalists are likely to make signing a measure of “loyalty,” thus threatening potential signatories.

Nitirat claims its campaign is a “first step toward reforming the monarchy to ensure the institution continued in Thai society…”.

Meanwhile, at the Bangkok Post it is reported that Nitirat’s campaign is officially “The Campaign Committee for the Amendment of the Article 112 (CCAA112).” In addition to Nitirat, several other “academic and activist groups” are involved: “Midnight University, Nitimon, Nitirat, People’s Poets, Red Siam, Sang Sumneuk Writers, Santi Prachadham, Silpakorn Community for the People and Student Federation of Thailand.” Nitirat drafted the proposal.

As expected, the ultra-royalists immediately opposed to the proposal. The Nation reported that yellow-shirted Tul Sittisomwong, leader of the so-called multi-coloured group, vowed to oppose any change to Article 112. He was sure that the “proposal for a lighter punishment will cause the number of lese-majeste offenders to rise…”. So much for the great love for the monarchy amongst all Thais.

Update 1: Readers may be interested in a Businessweek report that contextualizes the Nitirat meeting and program. PPT thought it noteworthy that: “Hundreds of people in a standing-room only crowd at Bangkok’s Thammasat University cheered yesterday as the Campaign Committee for the Amendment of Article 112 listed proposed changes to the law…”.

Update 2: Readers will be interested in these photos and story (in Thai) on yesterday’s meeting.



2 responses

17 01 2012
Thai Political Prisoners Blog Blocked | gjbkk news blog

[…] Further updated: Nitirat pushes reform […]

17 01 2012
We are back up! « Politicalprisonersofthailand's Blog

[…] Further updated: Nitirat pushes reform January 16, 2012 tags: 2006 coup, Article 112, lese majeste, Nitirat, Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary, red siam, royalists, students federation of thailand, Tul Sitthisomwong, ultra-royalists, yellow shirts […]

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