Lese what? Pandering to palace propaganda

15 10 2013

For many years the Thai monarchy has done very nicely from a largely uncritical media that buys the treacle about great and grand royals inhabiting the expansive and expensive palaces of Bangkok. This lazy reporting has sometimes been buttressed by international institutions and universities that get pressured by Thai royal posterior polishers to make honors available to these royals. We’ve previously posted on some of this, here and here.

So it is disappointing to see the international media taking further palace propaganda as fact. We refer to the widely available “report” on 34 year-old Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol who already has a supposedly stellar career in the law, with a doctorate from Cornell, and diplomatic service, as Thai ambassador in Vienna, and as a “campaigner” for women’s rights.

The report doesn’t think to question how it might be that one so young can do so well. Or ask if it is even possible for someone who doesn’t carry the moniker of “Princess” and is eldest grandchild of the king. A little bit of common sense would suggest that this stellar performance should be considered in a context of the necessity of making every royal appear grander and/or smarter than they really are.

Perhaps the most bizarre element of this bit of nonsense masquerading as news is the claims made about her “campaigns”:

A Thai princess who became a criminal prosecutor and launched a campaign to help incarcerated women is now embarking on a global campaign to promote the rule of law and make “equal justice” a U.N. goal.

… she is also the driving force behind “The Bangkok Dialogue on the Rule of Law,” an international conference in the Thai capital on Nov. 15 [yes, a whole day!].

She is then quoted:

“Society cannot grow if there is instability and injustice,” Princess Bajrakitiyabha said in an interview on Monday.

“Without the rule of law, without a good justice system it’s always chaos,” she said. “I think the rule of law is a very important pillar to development, to economic growth, and of course to human rights.”…

… The princess said one goal of the conference is to broaden the next set of U.N. development goals to include the rule of law.

The report notes this statement:

Princess Bajrakitiyabha said if she could write a rule of law goal for the next U.N. goals, from 2016 to 2030, “I would say the equal justice — effective, efficient and transparent justice systems for all.”

We are not sure if this poor English is accurate, but we reproduce the report as written. The report then gushes about her “prison project”:

An advocate for women’s rights, she said she started a charity project called “Inspire” to help women “suffering hardship in prison, especially those pregnant and having babies … (who) touched me deep to my heart.”

The uninformed reader may be mightily impressed. Mercifully, though, the report does point out:

The princess, who is a staunch advocate of the rule of law, comes from a country whose lese majeste law protects the Thai monarchy from defamation. It is the world’s harshest and mandates a jail term of three to 15 years for violators.

Lese what?

Lese what?

Indeed she does. But the report just lets it drop. But what has she done about lese majeste?

As far as we are able to tell, precious little. Back in 2009, the Asian Human Rights Commission issued a very important open letter on the case of lese majeste convict Darunee Charnchoengsilpakul.  Addressed to this particular princess as the Director of the Kamlang jai Project at the Ministry of Justice, the AHRC reported key information about the mistreatment of Darunee.

We imagine that something might have been done behind the scenes, but it hardly matters as Darunee remains locked up with her human and constitutional rights having been trampled by the justice system and multiple royalists.

The question has to be asked: why isn’t equality and rule of law applied in Thailand? If the princess was serious, wouldn’t she be aware that her “human rights” and “rule of law” position is hopelessly undermined by the failings of her own country to meet international standards on both? We guess she isn’t as this “campaign” is little more than more taxpayer-funded palace propaganda.


Actions

Information

2 responses

30 12 2016
New king and palace propaganda | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] young.” Such things only happen to Thailand’s royals, who are all polymaths and where positions are created for them. No one dares complain that they are dull or […]

30 12 2016
New king and palace propaganda | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] young.” Such things only happen to Thailand’s royals, who are all polymaths and where positions are created for them. No one dares complain that they are dull or […]




%d bloggers like this: