Lese-Majeste campaign : woman arrested in Korat

The Lese-Majeste Campaign continues, unabated. The grinding machine doesn’t stop.

It would have been rational to think that after the riots, the authorities would want to “calm down” things a little bit, and would pause the campaign.

But on the contrary, there could be a stiffening.

On April 18, Matichon reported that police arrested Thossaporn Ruethaiprasertsung, 48, at a photocopying shop in Nakhon Ratchasima, and seized several leaflets whose contents reportedly were offensive to the monarchy and the Privy Council.

Thossaporn told the police that she worked for hire. Each morning, she would walk from home to get a bus to a market. While waiting for the bus this morning, she found a stack of leaflets. She picked up some to read, and found they were about the monarchy. She brought them to the market and wanted to share with friends, so she went to the shop just to make copies, with no other intent.

The police charged her under Article 112 of Criminal Code on lèse majesté, which carries a penalty of 3-15 years in prison, and sent an investigation team to find the source of the leaflets. (Matichon, via Prachatai).

This case is interesting because it puts (apparently) the Privy Council on the front. But the lese-majeste law doesn’t cover the Privy Council.

Article 112 states : “Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, Queen or the Heir-apparent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years.”

But… the conservators tried, are trying and will continue to try to extend the law… And it’s not new. Here is the proof :

“A group of 64 members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is seeking to extend protections against criticism for members of the royal family and Privy Council members as well as representatives appointed by the monarchy. The group, led by Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, an NLA member and Supreme Court chief judge, plans to propose amendments to the Criminal Code in which Their Majesties’ children, privy councillors and representatives appointed by the monarchy will be protected from defamation, insults or threats. (Bangkok Post, and ThaiCrisis)

Yes it was in october 2007… 😉 And you’ll note that the guy who launched this initiative… was chief judge at the Supreme Court !

Scary, huh… ?

Anyway. As for this poor woman… well I think it’s pointless to think that Abhisit could do something and could stop the current insanity. He’s too busy trying to save his arse… It seems that a lot of sharks are swimming around… the spectacular attack against Sonthi is the best proof…

Abhisit will certainly not take the risk to go against the conservators, right now… So this woman is likely to rot in jail for a long time…

22 Responses to “Lese-Majeste campaign : woman arrested in Korat”


  1. 1 Bedwyr 19 April 2009 at 12:49 am

    Yes, I am afraid Abhisit is no longer even pretending to be a liberal.

    Or a Democrat

    He is showing his true colours right now.

    Bedwyr

  2. 2 Prokster 19 April 2009 at 5:31 am

    And those colours are Mudmee. The new shirt crew. Not sure he wears it with pride, but his supportes do, and they want away with both yellow & reds.
    The reds and yellows are quickly finding out they have more in common than issues to fight, and the recent efforts by the blue mudmee boys probably wil be the catalyst for a new paradigm in coloured activites in TH. The reds and yellows will mostly change their colours for civvies, and episode 3 of the shoit fight will begin.
    I still can’t beleive they missed Sondhi L. When he starts spouting off – which he will certainly do, team mudmee will get creative, not that they haven’t been so far.
    This is getting very nasty, and a full time job to follow. Really is 16th stuff. With AKA’s.

  3. 3 antipadshist 19 April 2009 at 5:59 am

    TC

    you’re right about Abhisit:
    Abhisit will certainly not take the risk to go against the conservators, right now…

    actually it is said that Abhisit is very well connected – “up to the highest level”.

    Abhisit should’t be underestimated anymore as sfot, it should be mentioned another aspect which lately was touched upon only breifly (as I recall by BP) – that Abhisit is not what he looks like on the surface – the real Abhisit, while not in public, is very tough and even ruthless. first ite was pointed out by Sunai, PT MP (quite old guy who has almost white hair) who was one of the main speakers during recent censure debate against government in Parlament. That time Sunai certainly touched the nerve, and during coffee break or launch, Abhisit came to his table, banged the table hard by hand and spoe quite touugh to Sunai. like “so, what do you want? are you gonna continue this ?…” Which caused Sunai’s revealation about it in the next part of his debate speech: “I know you, Abhisit ! For public you’re polite and smiling. But it is not who you really are. Actually you’r very angry man …” some other details were given by Sunai to expose and embarrace Abhisit in front of MPs.

    from his speech (March 21, 2009) :
    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/search/read.php?newsid=30098474
    “The real Democrat Party’s leader is outside the House…
    “The real Democrat Party leader is giving orders from the outside…
    Eventually, Sunai suggested that the truth would be revealed by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra when he phones in on Sunday….”

    meanwhile though Abhisit made statements that he is ready for dialogue (“open for debate” as he was quoted in media) and I read yesterday that even he initiated a process of 2007 Contitution ammendment…

    debate ? with all the alternative opinions silences and supressed, LM hunt getting harsher ?

    the Amart is definetely on offensive. as you might have noticed, no one of PAD has mentioned UDD in relations to the attack on Sondhi. Instead, they time and again say it was most likely some from army.

    many people on Thai webboards in last few days discuss certain video by Sondhi, named by someone “He knew that bureaucratic polity will kill him” (BP blogged on it already quite explicitly; also read example in
    “Media role is more important than ever” :
    “amatayathippatai” or what political scientists have tried to translate into English as “bureaucratic polity“… The red-shirt protesters claim they want to abolish this “amatayathippatai” system… ), or what Reds usually call by short word “Amart” (see some transcript here) in which he talks about some former members of CNS who wants to dispose of him because he is no longer needed. He says that he is not afraid and challenges them “if only 1 bullet … ”

    Sondhi’s son Jintanat quoted: he “urged the PAD to exercise caution and not fall into the trap of the enemy; Sondhi was “vengeful” but not sure yet who was behind the assassination attempt.” “According to Sondhi’s media firm Manager, he is furious with his attackers.”
    BP has more details today:
    “there is a new form of war by a group who want to create a new government consisting of the police and army in neutral gear (ie who won’t take the “necessary action”), one Minister who has great desire, and politician(s) behind the blue shirts.”

    Note that they do not say that this particular “enemy” is Thaksin or Reds.

    so, I bet that as soon as he is able to appear in public again (he can speak already) – he will lash out again and stat revealing more. this guy smiply can’t control his mouth and managed to say many bad things about many people including army top brass and quite recently even Viriya Chavakul.

    Chamlong was quoted on TV yesterday, as saying on ASTV that “PAD people must be careful now. army will try to take over and supress both sides… ”

    the same thing was mentioned by Sondhi himself on Apr 16th, day before attack on him in his talk show “Good morning Thailand” on ASTV (watch it here – it’s Part 1, there are 5 more parts, see related videos). Among other things (as attacking Abhisit, Anupong and of course Thaksin and Reds – hell! guy has managed to say many bad things about so many people in those few min ! 🙂 ) he mentioned like : “I have already warned our PAD people before the riots to leave Bkk and stay out of city for a week or more – because I know what’s the plan… But we’ll not play along this plan.”

    by this plan he meant that army would love to create a situation where PAD mob would fight Red mob on the streets.

    this corresponds with said by Sondhi on Apr 12th:
    “Another PAD leader. Sondhi Limthongkul said that Mr. Abhisit must perform his duty more seriously, but if he fails, the PAD will come out to display its public referendum and power.

    However, the PAD membership will not come out on the street and become targets themselves by clashing with the “Red Shirt’ protesters, Mr. Sondhi said, which is wanted by Army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda so that it is necessary to suppress both sides, which would eventually lead to a military coup.
    http://enews.mcot.net/view.php?id=9469

    that’s why despite natural expectation by many, Yellows were not seen on the streets openly confronting Reds (well, at least not wearing Yellow shirts 🙂 ). coz they were already warned by PAD leaders of the “plan”, which as I understand was to implicated Yellow as well to get sufficient reasons to crackdown on them and prosecute in extention of the last year’s events. Bravo, Mr. Abhisit, very smart indeed : to shoot 2 rabbits with 1 shot and ensure that resemblance of “Justice for all” (or “everyone must follow the law”) ! 🙂

    I bet Abhisit was quite dissapointed when PAD didn’t take a bait as easily as Reds (falling for provocation by Blue in Pattaya). that is why a second, more temptatious bait was thrown – attack on Sondhi. By all the logic, taking into consideration how easily Yellows are “trigger happy” on slightest provocation, and also taking into consideration a very good opportunity of takin advantage of current crackdown on Reds – we must have seen angry Yellow crowds on the streets and perhaps all over the country attacking the Reds as culprits behind attack on Sondhi !

    but Yellows are surprisingly quite and extremely cautious !

    Sondhi has pissed off many powerful people.

  4. 4 chinesethai 19 April 2009 at 6:04 am

    I don’t share your view here.

    Although I am not a big fan of Lese-Majeste law, but the law is very important in this precarious time.

    Can’t you see why Prem has been Thaksin’s sweet target for 3 years? The King appoints Privy Councilors in his judgment. I believe a secondary school kid can tell what constant attacks on a Privy Councilor mean.

    .
    .

    Abhisit showing his true colours? What colours? I believe one who keeps alleging Abhisit as showing true colours have, in turn, shown his true colours…that he is no well-wisher to Thailand even though he has taken a lot from this country. No condemnation on Red’s violence ever comes out from the same man. (As a Thai, I need to voice my utmost anger about this. Free Speech is not equal to an insult to the respective country.)

    Abhisit has no control over many arrest cases involving Lese-Majeste. He even has no control over Nevin’s faction and the Blue Shirt.

    As you can see from the arrest of Sanan Kajornprasart’s close aid on an alleged attempt to assassinate a Privy Councilor, the arrest was totally committed by the Police. You all know that the Police has taken Thaksin’s side and are no longer functional. The result is that the impotent Thai Police released him later on as there is not enough evidence and the allegation is groundless.

  5. 5 chinesethai 19 April 2009 at 6:09 am

    Prokster has a point. Sondhi’s assassination gives similar hint.

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 19 April 2009 at 6:33 am

    It’s not because Thaksin attack Prem, that Prem has to be protected ! What kind of strange logic is at work there ?

    Prem is not the King. Prem does not belong to the royal family.

    Prem is supposed to be just an advisor. And he should stay at this position…

    And after Privy Council, then what ? Extension of lese-majeste law to the chief of Army ? The Prime Minister ? The maid ? My driver ?

    Enough of this insanity. The more people talk about, use and want to extend the lese-majeste law… the more this law will become diluted… absurd… ineffective… and eventually totally counterproductive.

  7. 7 chinesethai 19 April 2009 at 7:19 am

    ThaiCrisis:

    I knew that you were going to argue as to to what extent the law would be extended like the Army Chief, PM, maid, driver……

    Yes, Prem is not the King. He does not belong to the Royal Family member. You’re absolutely correct.

    Here’s the difference. The Army Chief is not the same although constitutionally he is appointed by the King but on PM’s advice. PM is also appointed by the King on the advice of the Parliament Speaker.

    But the Privy Councilors are directly appointed by the King. They serve represent the King on many occasions. Politically, IMO, they serve as “the last cushion”. We don’t need to ask why a sovereign of any nation needs similar cushions.

    The precarious situation we are having now is that Thaksin and his Ex-CPT republican strategists are attacking the Privy Councilors, mainly Prem, as a symbolic attack on the monarchy and divide the people. There are no more secrets about that.

    Check out these pictures that I showed to you the other day. It happened in Koraj (Nakornrajasima) on April 8, 2009.

    pics.manager.co.th/Images/552000004268103.JPEG

    pics.manager.co.th/Images/552000004268104.JPEG

    I do not believe think this is insanity now. From the country’s stability point of view, it is necessary in this unusual time.

  8. 8 ThaiCrisis 19 April 2009 at 7:36 am

    Sure, you start to know me now. 😉

    From a political point of view, I think it’s dangerous to dilute the monarchy principle. To say that the King appoints directly his advisors so that those advisors become like an extension of the King himself… for me it’s a dilution. Of powers. And responsabilities. It undermines the monarchy principle.

    Furthermore, make Prem protected by lese-majeste law, and you put mechanically the King on the same level than Prem ! This is why they try to extend, but I’m not sure they can manage to do it… Too sensitive, particularly in a country where symbols and etiquette are so important.

    As for Thaksin, I’m not sure he tries to attack the monarchy… Actually, Thaksin as a Super Prime Minister would be very happy to have… a King he can control. A weak King.

    I don’t believe Thaksin wants a republic… Thaksin is smarter than that : he wants to use the monarchy. He wants to suck out the monarchy’s powers… and keep the symbols… Symbols are good for the people…

  9. 9 Mythbuster 19 April 2009 at 7:39 am

    Tc ,

    Remember this is Thailand. The land where logic, common sense and intelligence are obliterated by the daily brainwashing in schools, in papers , on radio , on Tv, in theaters…

  10. 10 chinesethai 19 April 2009 at 8:09 am

    “As for Thaksin, I’m not sure he tries to attack the monarchy… Actually, Thaksin as a Super Prime Minister would be very happy to have… a King he can control. A weak King.

    Well, yes, you are correct. That’s what he wants. But wouldn’t the result be the same? Very scary.

    I don’t believe Thaksin wants a republic… Thaksin is smarter than that : he wants to use the monarchy. He wants to suck out the monarchy’s powers… and keep the symbols… Symbols are good for the people…”

    That’s already clear. But his Ex-CPT strategists beside him may want to go futher. Who are they? One fat man and two doctors – the real team behind Veera-Nattawut-Jatuporn-Weng-Prateep and the Reds. The coup makers made big mistake by letting them at large. Also there are still a number of university professors that share the same view. And they have begun to make their true positions known.

  11. 11 fall 19 April 2009 at 8:15 am

    @CT

    Hold-up a little there. The argument that Privy Council was directly appoint by the king and hence an extension of power goes both ways. Power must come with responsibility.

    Does this also means EVERYTHING the Privy Council does and was not contradict otherwise are/as binding as officially sanction by the king?

  12. 12 starter 19 April 2009 at 8:44 am

    “But the Privy Councilors are directly appointed by the King. They serve represent the King on many occasions. Politically, IMO, they serve as “the last cushion”. We don’t need to ask why a sovereign of any nation needs similar cushions.”

    By the same logic, we can conclude that the King must be content with the interference by privy councilors in politics – because it’s his call who comes to and stays on the privy council. He is the source of their extra-constitutional power. And THAT equals being personally involved in politics.

    You can’t point out the close link between the King and the privy council and at the same time continue to spout the old ‘above politics’ mantra. Using LM to protect privy councilors and arguments like yours only make this more obvious.

  13. 13 chinesethai 19 April 2009 at 8:58 am

    fall:

    I know what you mean. I agree. But as I said, this is a very precarious time.

    A thing has already cracked. It will crack and become extinct by itself, had it not adjusted. You don’t need to do anything to force the process.

    I don’t want to see something like 2,500 extrajudicial killings, Tak Bai, Krue Se, Arj-Samart Reality Show, Bht 4-billion Finance Ministry-guaranteed loan to Myanmese Junta, hooligans torching buses and threatening to blow up a gas tank on the street, etc, again.

  14. 14 KV 19 April 2009 at 8:50 pm

    To add: this is to say that there is nothing new how Thaksin might want the situation. Everyone in this lousy country is using the constitutional monarchy to control their nation. The monarchy is just a tool. It protects the politicians. It gives them a blanket under which to make their bad things. It is a tool, misused thing and hence I think Thailand would be better off with going back to absolute monarchy, dictatorship OR to republic. BECAUSE for me it would be nice to have this kind of constitutional monarchy but it seems that Thai population are not really acting under it the way I feel personally would be productive. I say, monarchy is great. Nations can achieve great things under it, look at UK, but here, now, it seems that the monarchy system is just played by ppl who should not do so.

  15. 15 Tarrin 20 April 2009 at 6:13 am

    Yeah chinesethai
    so you preferred closing down international air port, illegal occupation of the government house, assault of national broadcasting station, the rotten milk/fish, money that appear from no where and disapear some where, etc, instead right??

    Dont be a hyprocrit chinesethai, while you are attacking the UDD leaders, then, for your own convenion you never mentioning anything about the PAD or the Dem.

    Anyway, I agree with TC, about the extend that this law should be using on, why putting the royal family on the same ground as the privy counsil. If Prem didnt get appoint then he will be an ordinary soldier same as any high ranking officer in the thai army.

  16. 16 chinesethai 20 April 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Tarrin,

    I am definitely not a hypocrite. YOU are.

    Tarrin, use your commonsense. Do you equate the severity of rotten milk/canned fish to that of Reds shooting 2 residents dead and instigate riots?

    Once again, Suvarnabhumi Airport was ordered shut down by the Airport Director. The Cargo Terminal is 2 kilometers away from the Passenger Hall, totally unaffected by the protesters. And there were no deaths. My business is related to export. And I know people in courier services. They share my view.

  17. 17 chinesethai 20 April 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Anybody that travels to Suvarnabhumi Airport and is in or related to import/export businesses know that the person who ordered total close down of the Airport is the Airport and AOT Directors.

    If PAD is the culprit, why is the owner of Pranda Jewellery, Thailand’s largest jewellery exporter, who should have been most affected, still supportive of PAD?

    Distortion doesn’t help in discussion.

  18. 18 Lloyd 20 April 2009 at 2:40 pm

    chinesethai:

    Stop and Think for a minute, whilst the airport was closed by the AOT none of the lease holders would be required to pay rent and most likely they had insurance for the closure to cover other wages, overheads and possibly even any loss of income.

    As there were no other major airports open to fill the void and nearly all the stranded tourists eventually left from Suvarnabhumi when it was reopened then in effect the actual number of likely customers was not greatly reduced.

    Talk about distortion!

  19. 19 antipadshist 21 April 2009 at 4:30 am

    @Lloyd

    talking about “distortion”

    there is a saying which is I think quite relevent here: “when you point finger at someone – other 3 fingers point back to you” 😉

  20. 20 ThaiCrisis 21 April 2009 at 4:43 am

    I prefer the chinese version with the finger that points to the moon. 😉

  21. 21 tigger 30 April 2009 at 3:09 pm

    The Lese Majeste laws of Thailand’s purpose are not censorship. Their purpose is to provide a practical and equitable solution to defamation cases where the victims are members of the Royal Family. Private defamation rights for all persons do exist in Thailand and such cases may have criminal penalties. However, lawmakers consider it unfair for the Royal Family to have to defend itself through private action by hiring private Thailand lawyers and using the court systems for several reasons. For example, the situations typically giving rise to defamation against Royal Family members usually come in the context of the Royal Family’s official and symbolic role. Some persons may desire to defame Thailand by defaming the Royal Family. It would be unfair for the Royal Family to have to privately defend defamation cases when the defamation is caused by their role as public symbols and official representatives of Thailand.

  22. 22 ThaiCrisis 30 April 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Tigger… this is just a copy-cat of the “official” blabla.

    Now, if it’s enough for you, fair enough.

    But, you should stop reading the law book and open your eyes on the ground, and grasp the reality around you.

    And then you’ll notice that this law, whatever the lawmakers had in their minds when they wrote it, whatever the initial justifications, this has become a tool of censorship, a tool for political repression. A leverage, used without any shame by politicians (against each others, and against common people).

    You might not like it, or disagree with it, but this is the harsh reality.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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