BBC interviews Joe Gordon

9 11 2012

In an earlier post, PPT drew attention to an AP interview with lese majeste victim Joe Gordon as he prepared to leave Thailand and return to the United States. A reader pointed us to a BBC interview, with video, of Joe leaving. It is well worth watching.

We noted a couple of things. First, Joe states that The King Never Smiles is “a good book.” It is indeed! Second, on the lese majeste law, Joe is said to be “still fuming” about it, and who can blame him. He states: “it’s an obsolete law…. [It’s] an 18th century law…”. Third, there’s the ludicrous statement by a person identified as Pichai Ratanatilaka na Bhuket, claimed to be at the National Institute of Development Administration, and we assume that means he is some kind of academic. Pichai makes the extraordinary claim that (if he is translated correctly) the lese majeste law in Thailand is like anti-terrorism laws in U.S. Even for someone from the remarkably yellow-hued institute, this is an amazing fabrication. If Pichai believes it, then he gets our Homer Simpson award for the dumbest claim we’ve heard today.

We also observe that the BBC gets it wrong when it is stated that the Yingluck Shinawatra government has pursued the lese majeste law with increased vigor. There’s simply no evidence for this claim. That the government is spineless in pushing for change or abolition of the obsolete law is certainly true.