Saturday, March 7, 2009


I have been thinking more about why I removed the link to that video.
At first I thought I did not want to be actively involved in passing on details of what would normally be a persons private life, but I now think that is not an appropriate reason in this case (because of the number of other people who were clearly also present at the event)
If those people were able to participate in the days celebrations, why shouldn't all Thai people be able to at least see a recording of the days events? - after all, they are provided with nightly television showings of other events, why not this one?
If the video is indeed authentic, then IMO it should be widely diseminated, so that everyone knows what the situation is - and they can each draw their own conclusions about it.
The reason I removed the link is that I cannot be 100% certain that the video is authentic, and therefore I do not want to be actively involved in it's disemination.
(that, and I'm basically gutless!)

Original post
Looks like even some non Thailand based sites are getting extra sensitive - One of my comments has been removed - It was published for several hours but now it has disappeared.

The comment they removed read something like this:
"btw, I never did get answers to my questions raised at ### above"

Sounds like a fairly innocuous comment doesn't it, especially as my comment ### is still there.

OK, I admit I was in a mischievous mood after reading the usual blurb from defenders of LM, and I can understand why the comment was removed - they no doubt don't want this sort of attention in the light of the current proposals to have the LM laws amended.

Well, I'm still in a mischievous mood, so here is my original comment I made more than a year ago:
"I just checked out the video link above, and found it fascinating, sad and somewhat titillating all at the same time. I realise the video is old, and this has probably all been discussed before, but I noticed what seemed like camera flashes going off during the video: - I wonder who else was present, or was it the servants taking photo’s? Also, has it been established whether the filming was done openly, or was the camera hidden?"

The video link I was referring to is [LINK REMOVED] - it no longer works, but......
(I have removed the link because I'm not feeling quite so mischievous, and don't wish to be too active in the gossip trade)

In addition to the questions raised in my original comment, I now have a few additional questions:

- Is the video authentic? (are the stars real and not just actors?)

Assuming it is authentic:
- If the filming was done openly, who leaked it? (and why?)

- Does the behavior depicted in the film really matter?
I think it does, but only because there were others present at the scene - the couple were presumably consenting adults, but the situation clearly was not private to them only.

- Should a revised LM law apply to the disemination of such videos, or should general libel/defamation/privacy laws be sufficient?

PS. Sorry if this post offends my one reader.

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!