Monarchy madness

21 03 2013

Our most recent PPT post observed that the Yingluck Shinawatra government has appeared to buckle all too quickly on yet another lese majeste accusation and we cited the Bangkok Post:

The national police chief will review the entire five-part Tob Jote series aired on Thai PBS to see if it broke any laws. The last programme in the series, which involved a debate on the role of the monarchy, has stirred controversy after it was abruptly cancelled only to be aired a few days later.

If a report in The Nation is to be believed, it is much worse than this. It reports:

The fourth and fifth episodes of the Thai PBS’s Tobjote programme which debates issues surrounding the monarchy carry contents which constitute a criminal offence, Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said Thursday.

Police’s initial check on the tapes on the fourth and fifth episodes found that some words in some parts spoken by guests who joined the programme were in violation of the law.

Any reasonable person knows this is pure royalist nonsense. The Yingluck government appears to not just have buckled but to be actively promoting lese majeste repression.

Sounding as if the the Abhisit Vejjajiva royalist government has been reincarnated, the police spokesman is quoted as saying:

… since the programme has attracted a huge public interest and the issue has ramifications on national security, police have appointed a team of 50 investigators led by Pol Gen Chatchawan Suksomjit, and Pol Lt Gen Saritchai Anekwiang as deputy investigator[s]. Police from stations across the country will be instructed to accept complaints filed by members of the public.

In other words, a public process of lese majeste vilification is underway. The police, who work under the direction of the government, are engaging in an “investigation” that is repressive and reactionary.


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