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Army to raise pressure over lese majeste cases

The Army will push for police action over cases of lese majeste, amid concern over spread of messages deemed damaging to the monarchy on the Internet.

Deputy Army spokesperson Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said on Friday that the Army would provide information about such acts against the monarchy to the relevant authorities.

"The Army will attempt to stop acts that are offensive to the public. Information will be supplied to relevant authorities and agencies for further action. The Judge Advocate General's Department will work with the police to keep track of the progress of such cases," Sirichan said.

She also said Army commander-in-chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has expressed his concern about the spread of information deemed offensive to members of the Royal family.

The legal action would be taken along with social sanction against people responsible for such acts and comments, according to the spokesperson.

The move followed a controversy in which Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a History lecturer at Thammasat University, posted some messages in the social media that were described by the military as inappropriate and violating the monarchy.

Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Thanathip Sawangsaeng said that honest comments by academics about the monarchy could be done under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. However, he did not think Somsak's recent remark was appropriate. He said the Defence Ministry and its personnel were "deeply concerned" about this matter.

"Such an act has caused bad feeling for military personnel and public members who are loyal to His Majesty the King. His Majesty has long made great contributions to the country," the spokesman said.


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