Thailand: Lese majeste as a tool for political gainBy Bangkok Pundit Apr 20, 2011 8:00AM UTC
Voranai Vanijaka in an op-ed in the Bangkok Post. Key excerpts:
If one uses lese majeste as a tool for political gain, is that not the same as using the royal family to further one’s personal interests? Could this then be considered defamatory and insulting to the royal family? Threatening to the prestige of the royal institution, in fact?
But what if some of the above [lese majeste] charges are frivolous? What if some of the charges are filed by those who simply want to intimidate and silence the voices of political dissidents? What if there’s a case where someone is manipulating, exploiting and abusing the royal institution to further a personal agenda? Should the court, the authorities and the citizens of Thailand, the King’s loyal subjects, stand by and let this happen? If it turns out that evidence is falsified, unsubstantiated or simply non-existent, should the accusers be in turn charged with lese majeste?
To charge lese majeste frivolously is to exploit the King frivolously.
Veera in an op-ed in the Bangkok Post also mentions those who refer to the monarchy to attack others:
The same warning must also be applied to the other parties in the political divide, particularly Bhumjaithai and the military, who also seem hell-bent on politicising the monarchy and the lese majeste issue for their own ends.
BP: There is a common trend for people to state they are doing something or taking action for the institution, but as Voranai ponders are they not using lese majeste as a tool for political gain?