Love it (the monarchy) or leave it (the country)

19 03 2013

PPT isn’t exactly sure what to call a group of dinosaurs, but herd comes to mind, especially as we see herd-like behavior amongst rabid royalists in Thailand.

As might be expected, the Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha “has lashed out at the Tob Jote TV programme for broadcasting a debate over the role of the monarchy.” That’s according to a story at the Bangkok Post. He considers the “broadcast was inappropriate at a time of political conflict.” So the timing was wrong? Probably not. Prayuth doesn’t want any discussion of the role of the monarchy that goes outside the narrow boundaries of the official treacly narrative.Prayuth

At least the bellicose general agrees that the media has “constitutional rights … to present a programme,” and is reported to have made the remarkable claim that “there are many other pressing problems to be tackled other than the role of the monarchy.” We say remarkable because most of the main political issues revolve around the monarchy: think amending the junta’s constitution, reforming the courts, amnesty, lese majeste, inequality and double standards and more.

The army boss’s real views are then cited when he:

insisted the programme was inappropriate. He said the monarchy is part of the country’s history and prestige and must be preserved. He said he has served the royal family himself and can testify that the institution provides happiness to the people…. The monarchy has been under the constitution since the 1932 revolution. Gen Prayuth said the only way the monarchy can be protected is by Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law…. He said this is not the right time to make changes to the lese majeste law.

We aren’t sure that Prayuth would know many ordinary people, but in any case this is just the usual royalist blarney. And he issues one of his warnings to those who do not agree with him and the ruling class he serves:

Gen Prayuth said he was confident most people in the country revere the monarchy and want it to be protected…. “People who are in the minority must accept that,” he said. “If they are uncomfortable living here because of the lese majeste law, then they can find somewhere else to live.” … The lese majeste law should be respected, he said. “If you know you will be prosecuted if you defame the monarchy, then don’t do it.”

Love it (the monarchy) or leave it (the country). For the reactionaries, there can be no room to discuss the monarchy or lese majeste.


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