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Monday, March 12, 2007

The Monarchy in Thailand

I note that a Swiss Man, Oliver Jufer 57, has pleaded guilty in Thailand to charges of insulting the king. He was arrested after drunkenly spray-painting several portraits of the monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A bit daft really since he did in front of surveillance cameras and had been in the country 10 years.

He'll be sentenced later this month and faces a maximum term of 75 years in jail. His lawyer says the minimum term is 7.5 years!!

The image of the monarchy is carefully managed and prosecutors tried to get the media to leave, saying the case had been postponed. The local media are only allowed to lavish praise. Apparently the King is popular but the strict laws prevents most Thai's even discussing the moanrchy.

To be fair the King himself appeared to question this. From a recent speech

"I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know,"

"If you say the king cannot be criticised, it means that the king is not human."

Apparently a handful of foreigners have fallen foul of the law in the past and most have been allowed to leave eventually.

I bet our Royal Family would like similar laws!!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Wow, the sentence is pretty harsh - I wonder what you get if you do something serious.

It's probably a good job that we don't have similar laws here, lets face it, most of us would be doing time by now LOL