Protecting the King

I suppose the Thai have a different way of thinking about words than we westerners do:

Wearing his special “cyber scout” polo shirt with pride, Thattharit Sukcharoen scans the Internet pages on his computer in search of remarks deemed offensive to┬áThailand’s revered monarchy.

He is one of several dozen volunteers recruited by the Thai justice ministry to patrol cyberspace in search of anybody violating the kingdom’s strict lese majeste rules — an offence punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Fifteen years for offending the, arguably, powerless sovereign.

In March a webmaster was jailed for 13 years after the Internet site he ran — linked to the opposition movement — allegedly published comments insulting the monarchy.

Another website editor is facing up to 70 years in prison for failing to remove reader comments about the Thai monarchy quickly enough.

Anyone can make an accusation of insulting the monarchy and the police are duty-bound to investigate.

If you see something, say something, right? Good thing we don’t have all of that here in the US of A.

2 thoughts on “Protecting the King

  1. I would say “some” westerners. I’ve no doubt, given the speech codes on campuses, the attempts by liberals to shut down dissent and debate, and Obama’s infamous “I won” attitude, that our Dear Leader at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would very much like to have the same sort of deference.

    1. Good point. There is quite a difference between disagreement and declaring the king to be beyond reproach, isn’t there.

      I hope that more people wake up to the knowledge that while all speech has consequences (see AFLAC voice actor), speech is not free unless it includes the stuff one does not like.

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