Let responsible debate commence
I agree with Thammasat vice rector and law professor Prinya Tevanaruemitrkul, who noted, "The question is not about 'if' but 'how' we should discuss [lese majeste law reform and other contentious matters]. The discussion must be based on civil rights and liberties, which come with responsibility, not with absolute freedom. [Participants] must learn to take responsibility for what they say and respect what others have to say."The need for acceptance of responsibility and willingness, even eagerness, to listen thoughtfully to other points of view is accented in discussing lese majeste, for: (a) it involves one of our highest institutions and (b) We must not abuse the liberty His Majesty has graciously given us when he said: "Actually, I must also be criticised. I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know. The King can do wrong."
In reviewing the lese majeste laws, we should take His Majesty's views into account, for it is his interests that we allege we are defending. Thus, we should note that "Thailand's law of lese majeste has one very prominent critic: King Bhumibol.… In 2005, after an increase in politically inspired lese majeste complaints, King Bhumibol used his annual televised birthday address to convey three concerns: (a) "The King, he said, is a human being and as such should be subject to criticism. (b) Charges against those accused of lese majeste should be dropped, and those held in jail for lese-majeste should be released. (c) The use of the lese-majeste law ultimately damages the monarchy." ("King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life's Work", Grossman and Faulder, 2012, page 313).
Let us be accountable, be open to other views - including those of His Majesty - and debate away.