Confusing terrorism and lese majeste

14 09 2015

In a Khaosod report on the investigations into the recent Bangkok bombings, which seems to be yielding a remarkable number of suspects, we noted an odd statement from The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Prayuth is reported to have commented on the likelihood of Chinese authorities arresting and then extraditing an alleged “mastermind” of the bombings. Remarkably, Prayuth “hinted at skepticism it [extradition] may be granted,” due to what he said were “cultural differences.”

In explaining his skepticism about extradition and “cultural differences,” Prayuth cited the example of Thailand’s lese majeste laws which Khaosod states “has never been recognized by any nation as valid grounds for extraditing Thai exiles charged with the offense.”

Prayuth stated: “It’s like our Section 112. They don’t send us the suspects, because their countries have no such law…”. He added: “There are differences in cultures.”

Prayuth is confused. Lese majeste is a law, not a cultural edict, and even in countries that do have lese majeste laws, they would be unlikely to send exiles back to Thailand where the law is applied in mad ways and where the rule of law is ignored, most especially by military courts. Prayuth also seems to confuse terrorism with mild criticism of the monarchy. Perhaps in his rather narrow mind, there is no difference.