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Caretaker govt must tackle lese majeste law

The interim government's main duty will be reform, and it must tackle "hot potatoes" that lie on our path to becoming a robust democracy but which no party dare touch - including our lese majeste laws.

Our beloved King clearly wants these laws reformed. As Grossman and Faulder note in "King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life's Work":

"Thailand's law of lese majeste has one very prominent critic: King Bhumibol … [who] used his birthday address to convey three concerns: (a) 'The king is a human being and as such should be subject to criticism. Charges against those accused of lese majeste should be dropped, and those held in jail for lese majeste should be released ... The use of the lese majeste law ultimately damages the monarchy' he said".

Both Democrat and Thaksin administrations have harshly administered the lese majeste law to muzzle critics - despite His Majesty's sage advice that such usage would "ultimately damage the monarchy". We should make sure that the law is used as HM would have used it, for he gives us so much and asks us for so little, and we will promote political tolerance and freedom of expression by carrying out his wishes.

Burin Kantabutra

Bangkok


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