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Deputy PM refutes claim that using lèse majesté law damages Monarchy

Maya Taylor

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Deputy PM refutes claim that using lèse majesté law damages Monarchy | The Thaiger
PHOTO: VOA News
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Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam has dismissed claims that invoking Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law is damaging to the Monarchy. He insists the law has been in use for years and can be applied in the case of current protesters who violate it through their public speeches.

Wissanu was responding to a claim from renowned academic Sulak Sivaraksa, who has slammed the government for resorting to Section 112 of the Criminal Code. Section 112 forbids insulting, defaming, or threatening the Monarchy, and a violation carries a punishment of up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Earlier this week, police confirmed that 12 protesters have been summonsed to face lèse majesté charges, a move which some say is designed to leave protest movements leaderless. Sulak addressed a large rally in front of the Siam Commercial Bank’s headquarters in Bangkok on Wednesday, to accuse the government of harming the Monarchy by its use of the law. He has pointed out that the late King Bhumibol described the law as an assault on him and that the current Monarch, His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn, has also asked for it not to be used.

Sulak says the government must stop invoking the law in order to allow for a peaceful debate to take place on the role of the Monarchy. The current anti-government protests, which have been running since mid-July, are calling for reforms that will make Thailand’s highest institution more accountable to the people. The demand is highly controversial, broaching as it does, a topic that has until now been completely taboo. Protesters are also calling for the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and a re-write of the Constitution, followed by the dissolution of Parliament and fresh elections.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    B.T.

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is devoted coupe makers man.Last 2 coupe he was active and help draw interim constitution overnight.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 10:51 am

    It seems pretty clear – if both the present and the previous King said they don’t want a law concerning them used and despite that it’s still used then those doing so can’t be respecting their wishes.

    QED.

    • Avatar

      Pedro

      Friday, November 27, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Absolutely agree. Surely if the Deputy PM goes against the wishes of the Monarchy, then it could be said that he is actually insulting the Monarchy by doing so. If that is the case then he should be subject to the same lèse majesté law he is invoking against others.

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 12:50 am

        What is puzzling is that if there is such an opinion expressed, why is there no change?

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Exactly.
    But the government is using the law to suppress demonstrators who object to the government.
    It is just a tool of the government, and they are acting against the will of the king.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 27, 2020 at 9:27 pm

      For once we’re in complete agreement. HM the King has made his views on this very clear, as his father did, as he has his view that “compromise” is the way ahead.

      Some people seem to be overlooking that.

  4. Avatar

    Political Observer

    Friday, November 27, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    The Monarchy is a tool of control and repression.

  5. Avatar

    Alan

    Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 11:02 am

    There should be a modification of the law. But it is up to the monarch to earn the respect of the people. The deputy PM is wrong, because its his use of the law that damages the Monarchy, not the law itself.

  6. Avatar

    James Pate

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 3:05 am

    One thing about Section 112 that I’ve never been able to stomach is that just about anyone can be a plaintiff. Perhaps that’s where reform could start.

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Thailand’s PM asks people to avoid political gatherings over concerns for their health

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s PM asks people to avoid political gatherings over concerns for their health | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM is asking people to avoid political gatherings over concerns for their health due to the recent cooler weather. As the country is still not out of the woods with the recent Covid-19 breakout, the cold weather, in the northern half of the country, is adding to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s health concerns for Thai people.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri says the situation still warrants the government’s role to exercise its power under the emergency decree and Communicable Disease Act to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

He says all gatherings should be avoided, but is emphasising political ones and is thanking the “majority who have cooperated.” Now, he says the government is set to introduce more measures to help those affected by the new round of Covid and are preparing new economic stimulus programs.

Anucha says another high pressure system from China will cover northern Thailand starting from today and lasting through January 19. The system would see temperatures drop by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius in the northern and central areas of Thailand with the northeastern area seeing a drop of 4 to 6 degrees. PM Prayut has also asked people to be careful when setting up bonfires to keep warm during the cold spell.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Student arrested in dormitory at night, charged with lèse majesté offences

Maya Taylor

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Student arrested in dormitory at night, charged with lèse majesté offences | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TLHR Twitter / Lawyer Center for Human Rights

A student at Thammasat University’s Rangsit Campus has been arrested and charged with violating Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law. Ironically, it was his calls for the law to be abolished that led to Sirichai Natueng, aka, “New”, being charged. The group, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, has confirmed the student’s arrest on its Twitter page.

After being taken into custody, the pro-democracy activist was driven to Khlong Luang police station, in the central province of Pathum Thani, just outside Bangkok. Other anti-government activists, including Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (“Rung”) followed, accompanied by representatives from TLHR.

Since the arrest, the hashtags #saveนิวมธ (Save New) and #ยกเลิกม112 (Cancel Section 112) have been trending on Twitter. Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code is the law governing lèse majesté, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Sirichai, a member of the pro-democracy group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, has been charged with 2 lèse majesté offences. He is accused of defacing an image of the Monarchy, as well as the Rangsit campus sign, with graffiti calling for the abolition of the lèse majesté law.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

Leaders of German Embassy rally meet with police, prosecutors

Maya Taylor

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Leaders of German Embassy rally meet with police, prosecutors | The Thaiger
PHOTO: iLaw

13 political activists who led thousands of protesters to the German Embassy in Bangkok last October have met with police and prosecutors in the capital. They face charges of violating section 112 of the Criminal Code for the October 26 rally at the embassy. The aim of the gathering was to submit a petition calling on the German government to ascertain if His Majesty the King was conducting state business from Germany. Section 112 of the Criminal Code is also known as the lèse majesté law, which prohibits criticism or defamation of the Monarchy. Violators could face up to 15 years in prison.

During yesterday’s meeting at Thung Maha Mek police station, officers were on duty in front of the station, to bolster security, while others in plain clothes photographed those who’d turned up in a show of solidarity with the 13 activists. The rally at the German Embassy was organised by the pro-democracy group, Khana Ratsadorn. The group’s leaders face multiple other charges in addition to lèse majesté.

One protest leaders, named as Atthapol Buaphat, aka, “”Khru Yai”, says the group is waiting to see if prosecutors press ahead with charges. He says they have provided additional handwritten evidence to police and asked officers to question more witnesses. Another leader, Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon, says she just received a summons issued 2 months after an October 14 rally. She adds that the resurgence in Covid-19 means pro-democracy activists are pausing their political action but vows that it will resume again at some point.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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