“Student Faces Prison for Speaking out in Royalist Thailand”

“Student Faces Prison for Speaking out in Royalist Thailand”

“The fate of Kanthoop, 20, who faces up to 15 years in jail for ‘having opinions’, highlights country’s harsh pro-monarchy laws.”

Feature article on the Guardian yesterday, interesting insight into some of the sticky issues in the Land of Smiles.

Pertinent quotes:
“This is about national security, not just about the king,” said royalist Dr Tul Sittisomwong. “Thai people are not well educated, we’re not open to layers of discussion without fear of violence [regarding this subject]. The king makes peace in our society.”

Or conversely…

“Just look at the hyperbole [used] to describe the monarchy, the religiosity with which Thai people love the monarch and the public participation of all this royalism,” [Thongchai Winichakul, professor of South-East Asian History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison] says. “People are now afraid of their colleagues”– because anyone can bring forward a charge of lese-majeste, he adds.

Worth a read!

(And don’t forget that Thai people aren’t too fond of Bhumibol and Sirikrit’s only son [strangely that link won’t actually open for me… my first run-in with Internet censorship in Thailand?! Or just a dead link?] and heir… Begs the question of how the “religious royalism” will play out when it’s time for him to take the throne.)

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