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Opposition MP could face Lese Majeste charges over parliament speeches

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After bringing a no‐confidence censure motion to the PM and his cabinet, the opposition MP is now facing potential charges of lese majeste for allegedly defaming Thailand’s monarchy at yesterday’s censure debate. Rangsiman Rome, a Move Forward lawmaker, allegedly claimed that a certain few “government favorites” and a “royal aide” have been given powers to shuffle around members of the police force at their own discretion.

The Assistant Minister to the PM Office, Suphon Attawong said Rangsiman’s speeches were transcribed word for word and included referencing the monarchy. According to Khaosod English, their legal team looked into it and found that the information is sufficient for prosecution under Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, which is also known as the lese majeste law.

Section 112 prohibits anyone from insulting or defaming the royal family. Violators, if found guilty, can receive a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison per count of defamation.

The 27 year old activist, who switched over to lawmaking, was met with protests by pro‐government leaders during his speeches. In those speeches, he said that police officers could obtain promotions without going through the legal hiring process if they receive a “ticket” that was signed by General Torsak Sukvimol, who is the Ratchawallop Police Retainers Commander, King’s Guard 904.

Rangsiman’s presentation showed a document that can be submitted directly to the Royal Thai Police Commissioner to recommend certain police officers’ promotions or rank changes. The final decision, according to his presentation, is then endorsed by PM Prayut and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan. According to Khaosod, he asked “Does General Prayut have the courage to insist that this is a fair and transparent way to appoint police officers?”

Back in 2018, police colonel Kantapong Nilkham posted on Facebook that a career advance within the police is near impossible without the “ticket,” according to Khaosod.

“If you have a boss, if you have money, if you have The Ticket, you’ll get everything. How can this nation survive? And who will the people depend on?”

Khaosod English also reports that Rangsiman made a “damning allegation” concerning a so‐called “Elephant Ticket,” which allegedly could fast track promotions by cutting through the police force structure. He allegedly went on to say that the scheme was run by a man that serves as Lord Chamberlain to the royal palace, without having any formal position in the police force.

The accusations by Rangsiman sparked immediate protests for him to essentially stop talking. He was encouraged to wrap up the speech and leave out any further mentions of the monarchy.

Rangsiman allegedly followed the recommendation but insisted he was just doing his duty as the Representative of the People. According to Khaosod, he says he’s aware that it could be a “dangerous mission,” but people chose him for the job and he has to carry out his duty to the best of his ability.

But Rangsiman allegedly kept talking by bringing up the allegations at a news conference.

“These Tickets cost millions of baht. So in the end, police have to live off bribes from gambling dens, illegal businesses, and human trafficking,” he said, according to Khaosod.

The 4 day debate ended yesterday, with the no‐confidence vote taking place this morning. Since the coalition parties retain a majority of the seats in parliament, it was expected that all Cabinet members would survive the session, and they did.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

 

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    IAMSPECIALTOURIST

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!

  2. Avatar

    Grumpy John

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Ah, the tools available for Richard Tator to use to keep the opposition suppressed….are all at hand. The student protesters keep getting their numbers thinned, politicians and their friends as well, slowly but surely they will all end up in jail or feeding the crocs…..or will they???

  3. Avatar

    Ian

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    Total kangaroo court just jobs for the boys and so good of this man and many others to oppose and speak out against this brutal regime the quicker they go the better Thailand will be

    • Avatar

      funny coz its true

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 8:09 am

      yup, this place needs a change very soon before these criminals embed themselves further

  4. Avatar

    Bill

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    isaan john should face lese majeste charges.

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      Why? How has Isaan John defamed HRH?

    • Avatar

      Joe

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      But he is their biggest poodle or has he fallen out of favour?, You need to kiss backsides more vigorously Issan John.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    If he only said royal aid they are stretching it to make a charge.
    But this is a corrupt government who will use any excuse to put down opposition..

  6. Avatar

    Political Observer

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 1:34 am

    Lese Majeste is a legal tool to suppress dissent. To maintain the status quo. To keep the elites in power. To keep a large segment of the Thai population living in a quasi-feudal system.

  7. Avatar

    Michael

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 3:49 am

    And while a few thousand students are protesting, 70 million Thai people are more concerned about their Facebook profile.

    Thai people are like sheep. They get what they deserve.

    Maybe as foreigners we should just accept this and not worry or complain about it. Nothing will change in this country anyway.

    • Avatar

      Rip255

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 5:13 am

      All people are sheep. Not just Thai people.

      Worldwide, seems healthy people would rather lose everything they spent their life working for than get covid.

      Problem is policy makers are usually old and have secure jobs in a pandemic. Governments use fear to control the population and cement their power.

      In no world is the life of an 85 year old on his last legs, or a stage 4 cancer patient, more important than a father who needs work to put his kids through school and food on the table.

      From the start, the goal should have been to minimise the spread and protect the elderly while letting anyone under 60 go about their usual business.

      People living in fear can self isolate in the same way that I choose not to go into dangerous neighbourhoods where my chances of survival decrease.

      • Avatar

        Michael

        Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 8:52 am

        This is not about Covid.

        If only 10% of the Thai population would show up at a protest you have enough people for a revolution. Only 10% to make a change. That’s 7 million people. But there are only a handful of students.

    • Avatar

      Steve

      Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      I agree 100%. Its got nothing to do with us forigners. We are guests in Thailand. We should just let them get on with the wranglings!

  8. Avatar

    bushav8r

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 7:01 am

    They always make it too easy.

  9. Avatar

    Alan

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    The day is coming when this law will be unlawful. It has its use, but this is bordering on extremism.

  10. Avatar

    Stardust

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    What a farce this will put them now at th UN, EU and USA o he radr like Myanmar. This will backfire and some will be no more allowed to enter europe or USA and many other countries. Sonn they will freeze many accounts around the world

  11. Avatar

    Stardust

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Go ahead and shoot in your own foot, destroy the country, join the club with North Korea and Myanmar. Oh and not to forget drive the economy to the wall.

  12. Avatar

    Wayno

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Well done Rangsiman Rome, i applaud your commitment to expose these corrupt weasels. Buddha be with you and keep you from persecution

  13. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    WATCH VIMEO!!!!!

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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