Friday, 11 November 2011

Thai officials fiddle while Bangkok Drowns





As is probably well known Thailand is suffering under very severe flooding with the capital itself is under threat. The banks have been bursting for over three months now with no sign that they'll be dissipating any time soon. The death toll has been placed at around 530 and Thai industries (including hard drive manufacture) and agriculture have been gutted.



However despite this quite severe crisis Thailand's Administration have some how managed to schedule some time for the important work of tightening up its anti-criticism (read pro-censorship laws) to protect its beloved Monarch (and the system he props up) from hearing negative words, by trying an independent journalist and blogger Chiranuch Premchaiporn for a maximum sentence of 20 years because someone left a comment on one of her web site that prosecutors believed to be critical of the Monarchy.

Yes you read that right at a time of national disaster Thai authorities are wasting time trying a women for something someone else did. Sadly this kind of asinine censorship exists even in this country as these twoposts make clear. But in the British examples the worst punishment possible was a fine and a mandated grovelling apology, still stupid and out of line and a graphic illustration of why the UK needs to reform are Libel laws.

But any jail time at all because someone else posted something on your site, that is ridiculous. Its bad enough Thailand has a law against criticising anyone in power but to enforce that with a hefty prison sentence is just overkill. It also brings into question the claim that the King is universally popular in Thailand (I have no doubt he is popular with large sections of the population as it isn't hard to have a positive image when every time your mentioned in the media its to get credit) but if his as beloved as the government would have you believe then surely the law is a complete waste of ink and paper.

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