Watchara Phromcharoen

112Watchara Phromcharoen has been reported to police on 3 April 2015 and accused of lese majeste.

A news report stated that several complainants have gone to the police to urge them to investigate a recent comment made to media by Wat Kalayanamit’s chief adviser for a violation of the lese majeste law.

Watchara was a phone-in guest on the “Kom Chad Luek” programme aired on Nation TV on March 19. Those claiming to be descendents of the founders of the temple in Thon Buri say that when Watchara provided information about a temple restoration project, he claimed these were carried out under the auspices of the Crown Property Bureau. The police have been urged police to investigate if Watchara’s comment amount to lese majeste.

Of course, the CPB is not included in the jurisdiction of the lese majeste law. But that doesn’t seem to bother the complainants. They are miffed because they say the “renovations at the temple destroy our good memories and the history of our family legacy so …[we] can’t accept it and will fight [via legal actions] until the end…”. Some of the temple’s residents have been fighting eviction.

The Department of Fine Arts confirmed that some of the temple’s renovation, of four buildings, was under Crown Property Bureau sponsorship. However it is disputed whether the temple has gone beyond this. Renovation is currently postponed.

Lese majeste seems to be a law for all seasons, all disputes and all people. This is the result of monarchy madness and mad monarchists. Lese majeste is a political crime and under the military dictatorship this use of the draconian law has been substantially enhanced.

Media accounts of Watchara’s case:

The Nation, 5 April 2015: “Wat founder’s heirs want adviser probed for lese majeste