Warped world royalism and lese majeste

3 02 2013

Following our links to the comments by ZenJournalist in a recent post, PPT also wants to link to a report of a discussion of lese majeste at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, reported in the Bangkok Post. It is worth noting that the FCCT has a record of putting lese majeste on its agenda. This time they had  Sukunya Prueksakasemsuk who has been vigorous in campaigning for her husband, Somyos, academic David Streckfuss, and Chiranuch Premchaiporn, a victim of the lese majeste-like computer crimes law. They also had the dreadful and dull royalist Tul Sitthisomwong. We will highlight just a couple of parts of the report.

Chiranuch noted that while the Somyos case had some similarities with her own in that both “were charged over material written by someone else,” Somyos was kept in prison and “presented at court in heavy shackles, transported hundreds of kilometres to various provinces for hearings headed by several different judges and allowed only limited access to family and lawyers. Chiranuch was allowed bail and had unhindered access to lawyers and family.” Chiranuch added that this treatment amounted to an “attempt to dehumanise Somyot.”

The defense of lese majeste and all things royalist came from Tul, a self-appointed defender of the monarchy and its political system. His story is “that it was inappropriate to look at the lese majeste issue from the perspective of human rights and free expression.” He sees lese majeste as a law that protects “national security,” by which he means that “red shirt stage rhetoric had become so inflammatory that it was clear they desired a new state no longer defined as a constitutional monarchy.” Tul’s view is that “Somyot had been a prominent voice of that movement…” and states that Somyos needed to be locked up to protect monarchy and the system it underpins: “Somyot’s case, he argued should be seen as a necessary action to protect the state and its institutions against a movement intent on undoing them.”

Remarkably, Tul expresses what other ultra-royalists often feel when he insists that the lese majeste law is “as vital to Thai society as prohibitions against murder or drug trafficking. Like those laws, lese majeste cases serve to remind the public about what acceptable behaviour is in society.” He adds that to “repeal Article 112 would be tantamount to pulling out the foundations of Thai society.”

In Tul’s warped world, the fact that  there was an escalation of lese majeste charges following the 2006 military coup and when military-backed governments were in place “was proof of a movement to undermine the Thai state and its institutions…”. This warped logic is not uncommon amongst the yellow shirt brigade of ultra-royalists. Thankfully, Streckfuss pointed out that the rise in cases “was due to a political and military will to preserve the status quo.”

And, we’d add, don’t forget the crusty lot in the palace. Their fears meant that they demanded action that, like Tul, they saw as threatening “their” system and its economic and political privileges.

 


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4 02 2013
Debating lese majeste and responses to it « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] also mentions the debate over lese majeste at and about the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand. On the debate held there, a useful link is made to a transcript of the statement by the […]

4 02 2013
Debating lese majeste and responses to it « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] also mentions the debate over lese majeste at and about the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand. On the debate held there, a useful link is made to a transcript of the statement by the […]

7 02 2013
FCCT on lese majeste « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Debating and damning lese majeste, Chiranuch at FCCT, Debating lese majeste and responses to it, Warped world royalism and lese majeste, “Somyos should be the last one” and FCCT failure on media […]

7 02 2013
FCCT on lese majeste « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Debating and damning lese majeste, Chiranuch at FCCT, Debating lese majeste and responses to it, Warped world royalism and lese majeste, “Somyos should be the last one” and FCCT failure on media […]

12 02 2013
What if we are not worthy of sympathy? « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Debating and damning lese majeste, Chiranuch at FCCT, Debating lese majeste and responses to it, Warped world royalism and lese majeste, “Somyos should be the last one”, FCCT failure on media freedom and FCCT on […]

12 02 2013
What if we are not worthy of sympathy? « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Debating and damning lese majeste, Chiranuch at FCCT, Debating lese majeste and responses to it, Warped world royalism and lese majeste, “Somyos should be the last one”, FCCT failure on media freedom and FCCT on […]

13 02 2013
Streckfuss at the FCCT « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] begins with some apparent refutation of remarks by royalists including Bowornsak Uwanno and  Tul Sitthisomwong and then turns to comparisons of Thailand’s lese majeste law with analogous laws in […]

13 02 2013
Streckfuss at the FCCT « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] begins with some apparent refutation of remarks by royalists including Bowornsak Uwanno and  Tul Sitthisomwong and then turns to comparisons of Thailand’s lese majeste law with analogous laws in […]

17 02 2013
Continuing the LM discussion « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Debating and damning lese majeste, Chiranuch at FCCT, Debating lese majeste and responses to it, Warped world royalism and lese majeste, “Somyos should be the last one” and FCCT failure on media […]

17 02 2013
Continuing the LM discussion « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Debating and damning lese majeste, Chiranuch at FCCT, Debating lese majeste and responses to it, Warped world royalism and lese majeste, “Somyos should be the last one” and FCCT failure on media […]




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