Connect with us

Politics

Thai PM not fazed by Facebook lawsuit threat

Maya Taylor

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Morning Brew on Unsplash

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, says he is prepared to take on Facebook in the courts if necessary, while refuting an accusation from the social media giant that he used dictatorial power to have an anti-Monarchy group shut down.

The PM says everyone in Thailand is obliged to follow Thai law and as the Facebook group in question violated the country’s strict lese majeste law, which prohibits defamation of the Monarchy, he was acting in accordance with the law in having it shut down.

He has taken aim at the group’s founder, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, who has long been critical of the Monarchy and has lived in exile in Japan since 2014. He remains wanted in Thailand on lese majeste charges. The Thai historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul, who lives in exile in France, and is also wanted on lese majeste charges, has also been singled out by the PM.

“No need for me to name names or to choose whether they will sue us. They are from the same group, called ‘Royalist Marketplace’, with Somsak and Pavin being the driving force.”

The PM accuses both academics of stirring up trouble in Thailand while living overseas, insisting that the move to shut down the Facebook group complied with Thai law.

“You know who and where these people are. Do they take responsibility for the damage to our country? No matter what happens in Thailand, they are not affected at all. The trouble is in Thailand. All actions against offending pages comply with Thai law. I do not use any dictatorial power that I no longer have to close them. These actions are based on court orders. We confirm that we are acting in accordance with Thai law.”

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, Don Pramudwinai, echoes this sentiment, saying the government reserves the right to act against social media content that contravenes Thai law, adding that Facebook is normally cooperative.

“Freedom under international laws is another matter. Whether it can apply to what happens in Thailand depends on the quality of the websites concerned, whether they present what is beneficial to Thai people and society or not. Otherwise, they cause problems. Whatever violates Thai law is not right. Whenever there is wrongdoing in Thailand, we seek cooperation from Facebook Thailand, and it always cooperates.”

Meanwhile, the Digital Economy and Society Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, says any breach of Thailand’s laws cannot be ignored and action must be taken.

“We do not ignore violations of the law. This is the first time we are taking action against a platform owner that does not comply with Thai court orders. If they do not respond, we will take action against the platform. We are acting in accordance with law. We are not abusing any party, because all actions are based on court orders. Actions respond to court orders. It applies to all platforms, not only Facebook.”

For its part, Facebook says it plans to mount a legal challenge against the government’s order, saying it was forced to remove the Royalist Marketplace group after being threatened with legal action and describing the order as a violation of human rights law.

“Requests like this are severe, contravene international human rights law, and have a chilling effect on people’s ability to express themselves.”

The social media giant also points out that the government’s actions may impact on its ability to invest in the country, protecting its local employees, and supporting businesses that rely on the platform.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Pavin has already created another Facebook group, which garnered over half a million followers in one day. He says each time his group is closed down, he will start another one.

“If you want to close it down again, then I’ll set up another group. To promote freedom of expression, I would do it.”

Yesterday, a pro-monarchy group calling itself a Group for the Nation, Religion and the Monarchy, submitted a letter to the Japanese embassy, calling on officials to stop Pavin’s actions and extradite him to face charges in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | Bangkok Post

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Oyakodon

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Multinational companies should not be able to interfere in country politics. Facebook is a breeding ground for soft political power and global changes.
    Smart governments like Chinese ousted their influence accordingly. They will keep on pushing to get what hidden powers in America want for South East Asia. Don’t let them do this

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs3 hours ago

Record drug bust in Laos follows pandemic’s methamphetamine boom

World3 hours ago

Alec Baldwin could face criminal charges for shooting on set

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | No more Lisa for new years, Abduction linked to Reused gloves | Oct. 28

Sponsored2 days ago

Top 5 dental clinics by Dental Corporations PLC in Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Transport4 hours ago

Bangkok public transport back to normal capacity on Monday

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand’s Industry Ministry is backing hemp as a new cash crop

Economy4 hours ago

Reform urged for foreigners to invest or buy condos in Thailand

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs5 hours ago

55 million meth pills seized in Laos in biggest SE Asian bust ever

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 9,658 new cases; provincial totals

Phuket6 hours ago

BlackPink’s Lisa says “no” to Phuket New Year countdown event

Bangkok6 hours ago

Khao San Road expects very slow recovery, even after reopening

Thailand7 hours ago

Truckers and tour bus drivers plan strike over diesel prices

Malaysia7 hours ago

World’s first unisex condom invented by Malaysian gynaecologist

Thailand7 hours ago

Floating stage, 2nd hand medical gloves, Thai superstar Lisa, Crack ups | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 48

Property7 hours ago

Covid-19 has accelerated Thailand’s property market disruption by 5 to 10 years

Thailand7 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to outline Thailand’s path to net zero at UN Climate Change Conference

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending