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His Majesty doesn’t want Thailand to use the lèse-majesté law

Caitlin Ashworth

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His Majesty doesn’t want Thailand to use the lèse-majesté law | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Prachachat

His Majesty the King does not want to use Thailand’s strict lèse-majesté laws, which make it a crime to insult or criticise the royal family, but Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says people should still be careful what they say about the Thai monarchy.

While the PM says the lèse-majesté law will not be used, other similar laws can still be invoked, such as a section in the Computer Crime Act which charges people who write posts online critical of the Thai monarchy. The PM is warning student activists and those involved in any anti-monarchy movements to be careful about what they say and write online.

“The law was not used because His Majesty has mercy and asked that it not be used. This is what he did for us, and you’ve abused it. What does it mean? What do you want?”

Some Thais charged with minor offences, have fled the country. Political activist Wanchalearm Satsakit, who was allegedly abducted in Cambodia, fled Thailand after he was charged with violating the Computer Crime Act for running a Facebook page critical of the military government.

The PM says he has no idea why some have fled. He says the lèse-majesté law has not been used for a few years, but there are consequences for distorting information about the monarchy.

“I plead with everyone. As a Thai, you must not believe distorted information or news from hatemongers because it’s not true. You must look behind (their motive) and see what they really want … Why would you become their tool?”

Only yesterday the PM issued a warning to people allegedly involved in what he describes as… “a movement to undermine the monarchy”, but said His Majesty the King “has mercy and has told him not to use the lèse-majesté law against them”. Speaking separately, the deputy PM and Prayut stalwart Prawit Wongsuwon said security officials were investigating the people involved and their posts shared on social media in recent months.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Bangkok Post| Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Crime

Bangkok Military Court issues arrest warrant for medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok Military Court issues arrest warrant for medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/Royal Thai Army

The Bangkok Military Court has issued an arrest warrant for a Royal Thai Army medic who is accused of injecting troops with a fake Covid-19 vaccine. He reportedly made more than 100,000 baht by charging troops, who were on a United Nations mission, 500 baht each for a tetanus vaccine and a fake Covid-19 vaccine, which an internal army investigation determined was just saline solution.

The Thai Army held a press conference after the medic’s fake vaccine scam made headlines, saying the incident had tarnished the army’s image. The field medic, who was also a lieutenant, injected more than 250 Thai troops stationed in South Sudan on a UN peacekeeping mission with the fake vaccine, claiming it was the head doctor’s order, Army Army spokesperson Santipong Thammapiya confirmed. He says the medic was in the Thai-South Sudan Horizontal Military Engineering Company.

“This incident affects the image of the Thai Armed Forces and Thailand in the United Nations mission. It is a serious disciplinary offence and also violates ethical standards as the wrongdoer is a doctor.”

The medic injected troops with a legitimate vaccine for tetanus as well as a saline solution shot he claimed was a Covid-19 vaccine. He charged 500 baht for the vaccine package, adding up to more than 100,000 baht, according to a UN investigation.

The medic had been sent back to Thailand. The Bangkok Military Court has now issued a warrant for his arrest. Previous reports said the medic’s license was revoked, but a recent report by Nation Thailand says the Medical Council is considering whether to revoke his doctor’s license.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral

Caitlin Ashworth

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Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ ยงข่าวร้อน

A gunman shot and killed a woman running for mayor and wounded 4 others at a funeral in Ratchaburi, a province west of Bangkok near the Myanmar border. Police say they suspect the shooting was politically motivated. Out of the 4 people injured, 3 were running in the March 28 municipal election while another was the kamnan, a government official of a tambon, which is a sub district.

The gunman is still at large, but police say they suspect the shooter is Wanchart Niamraksa, a member of the Ratchaburi provincial administration organisation.

The gunman opened fire just as the kamnan of tambon Don Sai, Yingpan Kanket, was lighting candles and incense sticks under a Buddha image to start the ceremony, witnesses say. Shots were fired from behind the main Buddha image at the temple’s open prayer hall, witnesses say.

Bullets hit 5 people, including Yingpan who is in critical condition. Varaporn Niamraksa, who was running for mayor of the municipality, was shot and died at the hospital. Nakhon Wanpen, Somthawil Srirat and Monthien Jaitham, who are all running for the municipal council of tambon Don Sai, were shot.

Police found 2 spent .22 cartridges and a 11mm spent shell at the scene. The suspect faces charges of murder, attempted murder, carrying firearms and ammunition without permission and carrying them in public without a proper reason.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes | The Thaiger
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Police in Phuket are looking for a suspect who residents say has been stealing women’s underwear. Surveillance camera footage from a resident’s home shows a teenager driving through a neighbourhood, then stopping and stealing ladies panties that were hanging up to dry.

One resident told Phuket News that numerous residents in Thalang’s Baan Lipon area have reported missing underwear.

“Recently neighbors have been reporting that many items of their underwear have been stolen. Many residents are worried about the man hovering around here trying to steal underwear.”

A man told the Phuket News that his wife’s underwear was stolen and he’s now worried about his family’s safety. Another resident says he’s also concerned.

“As a resident in this area, I am worried about the safety of the local residents. Underwear has been stolen, something else could happen as well.”

In a similar case back in October, a 46 year old man was arrested for allegedly breaking into homes in Ratchaburi and stealing women’s underwear. Police says they seized 70 pairs of panties.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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