Will Yingluck amend Thailand’s lese majeste law?
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Will Yingluck amend Thailand’s lese majeste law?

By Saksith Saiyasombut, in Bangkok

Earlier today, fellow blogger Bangkok Pundit wrote about whether Yingluck Shinawatra will amend, reform, change or even do away with Thailand’s draconian lese majeste law. He quotes from an interview in The Independent where she states that she wants this law to not be “misused”. BP continues

If BP’s memory serves BP correctly, the last time that lese majeste law was amended was in the 1970s by a military/military-installed government so don’t expect any amendments immediately because to do so will just invoke Thaksin-wants-to-overthrow-the-monarchy-argument.

”Yingluck on Thailand’s lese majeste law“, Bangkok Pundit, July 9, 2011

Earlier this morning, Yingluck faced the foreign press at a conference inside the Pheu Thai Party HQ, where she was also asked about this. TAN Network tweeted later today:

Yingluck says she is considering amending Article 112 involving lese majeste; denies she’s meeting Thaksin

Tweet by @TAN_Network, July 9, 2011

Erm, no she didn’t! Here is what she actually said ad verbatim:

Question: “Do you have any plan to change the 112 law?”

Answer:  “No, for me, I don’t have any idea to change the 112. I would not reform it, because it is not my policy and also this is an issue which is quite sensitive so we have to leave it to the people who have expertise to comment on that. I don’t want to see the misuse of this law regarding his majesty.”

TAN Network were in the same room as us, how could they get this so wrong?!

I do agree with BP (and several other Twitter users as discussed on Sunday) that even thinking about amending Article 112 would give their enemies an opportunity to paint the Pheu Thai Party and the red shirt movement (since they’re all under Thaksin anyway, from their point of view) as anti-royalist. One has to question how the next government will reduce the misuse of this law without any form of change in one way or another…?

Saksith Saiyasombut is a Thai blogger and journalist currently based in Bangkok, Thailand. He can be followed on Twitter @Saksith.