Pretending Democratic Web Sites
( Last edit 2008-09-12 )
This below is an exerpt from a foreign expat's pretending-to-be a democratic web site (with minimal modification) commenting on Thailand's situation and presenting only selective negative views on Thailand's Lese Majesty laws and PM Abhisit's government
The WebMaster wrote:
The King has so much power on the soul of his people, that this event could have tremendous consequences on the country. The purpose of this blog is to help foreigners (us, farangs) to avoid the propaganda, to try to correctly assess the situation. Many of us have interests and affection for this country.
As for myself, I live most of the time in Thailand. But hopefully, I do travel a lot in Europe. It allows me to… balance my views. And to keep a relative sanity. .....
Ronayos 3 November 2008 at 5:34 pm wrote:
What you write above
“The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable disparition of the establishment, and his succession.”
I do not agree.
The current problem is primarily "Thaksin". There may be more complicated matters which I have explained in my website. http://www.antithaksin.com which do not comply with your suggestion here.
What you write above
“The King has so much power on the soul of his people, that this event could have tremendous consequences on the country.”
The problem is Thais have to sort themselves out before we loose the superior beloved institution because of the course of the nature. Thaksin gets in the way of our path to an evolving democracy, like Thailand’s democracy were still a toddler. Before the parents take the course of the nature, the todler has to turn strong.
Actually, how the toddler can turn to be a strong teenager or a mature adult is not that difficult, through good education through public media. But Thai public media are full of rubbish. I believe that is the real issue, not the problems like what you raise.
Though you have been in several parts of the world and spend very long time in Thailand, you may have fair visions on Thais. Still, I do not believe you would appreciate some important aspects of Thais which would enable you to get to some of the actual problems.
Your approach with using tangible figures, statistic, or solid facts presentation on Thailand are very good while the touch on numbers of Lese Majesty cases with a description of hysteria are unfair. Hysteria may be on the Thaksin’s supporter side who some of them used to be or remain to be communists and anti-royal. As opportunists, they are now campaigning against the monarch to push Thaksin up to be a president.
WebMaster 3 November 2008 at 5:54 pm wrote:
Ronayos, you do have a point. Thaksin is of course part of the equation, of the problem should I say.
(when i say Thaksin, it’s a shortcut of course. Thaksin is not alone, it’s not only a matter of man, because he represents a real political force, we can’t deny it).
Without Thaksin, the royal succession would be of course… easier, less dangerous. Albeit we could discuss this point.
Even without Thaksin in sight, the next establishment would be obviously very different than Rama IX… It will be in any case a whole new page (maybe less prestigious or powerful) for the thai monarchy.
As for the “lese-majeste hysteria”, I stick to my point. It is indeed a form of hysteria. It’s negative. There is no way you can pretend to solve the political situation in Thailand by using, promoting such law.
Furthermore, this law has been totally perverted by politicians and other forces.
The bottom line, the basic principle is : the situation in which a man or an institution needs such a repressive law to be loved or respected is not… a healthy one (understatement…).
Ronayos on 4 November 2008 at 5:52 pm wote:
Thank you for your reply to my comments. I would say that as you are a foreigner, i.e., you are really not a Thai, you have got a lot of the issues about Thailand on the table already. I would like to see, however, the right stress on the right cause, that is "Thaksin", not "The Changing Course of the Monarchy".
HM the King has been highly respected and morally trusted by majority Thais as high as a father, a god or a religion prophet. On the other hand, he has a lot of limitation to react to criticisms. Certainly, Thais do not want anybody to insult or make use of the monarchy such as what happened in UK, with British Royal Family in TV comedies, or the late Princess Diana who was very much violated until one leading to her pityfull death. The laws are supposed to effectively protect him.
My believe supported by a lot of evidences is that Thaksin is seriously trying to lead the change as supported by his left-wing subordinates to be like Nepal, Russia, France rather than Sweden, Japan or UK.
Please let me make some more clarification further about the Lese Majesty charge. If you have the actual statistic, you would notice that obviously under Thai military or dictaror governments in the age of cold war (more than three decades ago), this was definitely an effective dangerous political tool. I absolutely agree if you call that hysterical.
However, after the reconciliation with communist guerrilla in Gen.Prem Tinasulanond’s PM term, upto the first term of ex-PM Thaksin in 2004, the charges were not significantly abused.
Until later, it is likely that the number of Les Majesty charge has been rising up eversince the second term of Thaksin to now. Thaksin got only one charge of this by 2006-coup junta while he was in exile in 2007 but the attorney general lifted the case. More particular, I believe, it has been much higher recently under civillian governments of Samak and Somchai. Does this prove that these governments are abusing the laws to use against PAD like what they filed the lethal Treason charges on PAD core activists? YES!!!
Also, on Thaksin’s supporters’ side, Jakrapop, DaTorpedo, Suchart Nakbangsai, and some anti-royalists (later in 2009 including Giles Ungpakorn and several others both foreign reporters and Thai red-shirts) because of their obvious actions may be justly alleged as against the law. YES!!! Therefore, it is not hysterically overreaction of the law enforcement. Actually, it is the hysterically fashionable for left-wing Thaksin’s supporters to run campaigns against the monarchy.
Though the immediate effects of the charge may be the same because of the laws and the code for legal proceedings have not changed, but the final verdicts of the cases are different between the old age hysterical charges and the last decade charges. The differnt factors between the cold-war era cases and the last-decade cases are that the latter cases need to be more transparent upon reaching the verdicts.
- the collateral reports of the media such as newspapes, internet, TVs.
- the generations of people with domestic and international views across the globe.
- the judiciary system.
So, should we not get so hysterical about the laws, in order to really appreciate the actual crisis?
To be fair, we should look carefully into the detail case by case. The rising numbers of Lese Majesty do not come from the presence of the laws. It is from the people who willingfully commit the crimes either to abuse the laws or to abuse the monarchy and these people are the cause of Thai crisis.