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From the blog of Assoc. Professor Giles:

Associate Professor Giles Ji Ungpakorn, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, has been summonsed to Pathumwan police station for questioning at 13.00 hrs on Tuesday 23th January 2009.

The summons was issued as a result of a complaint filed by Special Branch Police Lt Col. Pansak Sasana-anund.

Professor Ungpakorn has been accused by the above individual of les majesty. No details have been given of the allegations.

Such details should be revealed after the initial police interview. Professor Ungpakorn has not yet been officially charged.

Professor Ungpakorn will give a press conference outside the Pathumwan police station at 12.30 and will also be available to answer questions after the police interview.

As a political science lecturer, Professor Ungpakorn has written a number of academic articles concerning the monarchy.

These can be read on his web blog: http://wdpress.blog.co.uk/ and in his book “A Coup for the Rich”. The book was withdrawn from sale by Chulalongkorn University and Thammasart University bookshops.

It can be down-loaded from his weblog for free.

The Monarchy has been quoted and used by various political factions in Thailand to legitimise their actions.

The most notable cases are the 19th September 2006 military coup and the illegal protests by the yellow-shirted P.A.D., which included shutting down the international airports.

Les Majesty charges in Thailand are notorious for being used by different political factions to attack their opponents.

Many believe that this law is actually counter-productive to defending the Monarchy.

This is why it is very important that political scientists attempt to analyse the real role and nature of the Thai Monarchy in an atmosphere of freedom and democracy.

Professor Ungpakorn is prepared to fight any les majesty charges in order to defend academic freedom, the freedom of expression and democracy in Thailand.

Since this accusation was filed by a Special Branch officer, the present Democrat Party Government should be questioned about its role in this and many other cases.

The new Prime Minister has stated that he wants to see a firm crackdown on les majesty.

In late December, the police filed allegations of les majesty against the BBC correspondent in Bangkok, Jonathan Head.

Many other cases are also pending.

What you can do:

1. Write a letter of protest/concern to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Government House, Bangkok, Thailand
2. Write a letter of protest/concern to the Ambassador, The Royal Thai Embassy, in your country.
3. Demand that Amnesty International take up all Les Majesty cases in Thailand.

7 responses »

  1. Batu Ferringhi says:

    Aiyoh Susan, we don’t even have the time to write to our own Sleepy Head and friends and the head of the 5 Pakatan state government and here you are asking us to “bother” about les majeste in the land of smiles?

  2. Susan..

    Let’s vote for our own freedom first yah…!

    But i feel sorry for the Thai ppl.

  3. johanssm / khun Pana says:

    Even he is guilty , he is free to go.
    King of Thailand is not happy when people goes to jail because he is the king and have such laws in his kingdom. Do refers to the Thai king’s speech on his birthday 2 years back.

  4. monsterball says:

    I recalled one foreigner was jailed two weeks for defacing the Thai King portrait with red paint.
    He was released…ordered by the King.
    I think Thai King is quite open minded. It’s the police or military that make a mockery out of freedom of speeches.

  5. Jean (of X-Men) says:

    Just want Susan’s opinion on what Monsterball said
    on January 12, 2009 ;-
    “I think Thai King is quite open minded. It’s the police or military that make a mockery out of freedom of speeches.”

  6. A.Wales says:

    Jean (of X-Men),

    I’m Malaysian lawyer but have undertaken a lot of academic research work on HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and her work, so I’m kind of familiar with the lese majeste law. Based on what little I know so far, I’m inclined to agree with Monsterball’s statement that HM The King of Thailand is quite open minded, especially with regards to lese majeste. HM delivered a speech some years ago (you can see the video in youtube but it’s in Thai) saying very clearly that he is not beyond criticism. If the people think that he has done something wrong, he wants to know about it. HM also said that it is rather insulting for anyone to say that he cannot be criticised because it means that they don’t consider him to be human since every human inevitably commits mistakes.

    On a personal note, I really admire HM’s work and devotion towards his people. And I can’t begin to express how much I look up to HRH Princess Sirindhorn who has practically given her life to her people.

    Song Phra Charoen!

    A.Wales

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