Saturday, March 7, 2009

The LM circus continues

from The Nation

Suthep against relaxing criminal code on lese majesty offences

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban Friday expressed opposition to the academics' call for the abolition of Criminal Code's provisions on lese majesty offences.

He said the government has not yet discussed the academics' call for the amendments to the Criminal Code.

"But as a Thai, I see that the Royal Institute is the centre of Thai hearts … The laws state that non one can look down on or defame the Royal Family. So, I be against any attempt to amend the laws," Suthep said.

"As the deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, I will not allow anyone to violate the honour of the Royal Family. But I won't allow anyone to abuse the Royal Family's name to harass others either."

Bangkok Post has translated it as:
"Whoever tries to persuade me to amend the law, I won't agree with them. I won't let anybody defame the monarchy. At the same time, I will make sure no one can use the monarchy as a tool to abuse others"

He should be kept to his word on that last sentence (whichever translation is correct), but the LM abuse goes much further than that.

Personally, I think clearly offensive & insulting posts should be removed by website administrators (forums & blogs) as a matter of courtesy, but journalists and academics need to be free from harassment in doing their work, and if that includes examining, or even calling into question royal actions, then so be it - The King has said as much in his 2005 speech!

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