Friday, September 30, 2005

lese majeste

Over on the forums there is a topic asking people what their biggest fear of moving to or living in Thailand would be. One poster said "Fearing what may become of Thailand when the King passes on."
A subsequent poster enquired (naturally enough I might think) what the implications of the King passing away might be.
The answer this poster received was as follows:

"dont go there... as the forum rules state

"Discussion of topics concerning the King or other current or deceased members of the Thai Royal Family is forbidden. "

I understand that this probably has a lot to do with Thailand's "lese majeste" laws, which call for stiff punishment for making any critical or defamatory remarks about the King or the royal family. Also included is " Purposely tearing or destroying Thai bank notes, which carry an image of the King, may be considered such an offense, as can spitting on or otherwise defiling an official uniform bearing royal insignia." source This crime is punishable by a prison sentence of 3 to 15 years (plus I wouldn't want to imagine the treatment you would receive in prison at the hands of the guards and the other prisoners.)

Notwithstanding this, I would still like to know what the implications for Thailand would be upon the passing away of the King. This is not meant in anyway to be disrespectful by any means. I just thought I would start a discussion outside of Thailand and away from censorship.
If anybody has any opinions on this I would welcome them to discuss them here. Please do keep it respectful though.

It appears that the Lese Majeste laws even prohibit linking to any sites where free discussion is allowed. The link to this site at the abovementioned site lasted 10 minutes before it was "edited" read: deleted.


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