A book seller has just been taken to court under Lèse Majesté. He sold two books that were not allowed to be sold in Thailand. The first book is “The Devil’s Discus” by Rayne Kurger. According to Wikipedia the book discussed the death of King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII), the older brother of the present king. The book was published in 1964 and was translated into Thai in 1974. In that period the tide of struggle against injustice in Thailand was very high. The banned book was sold on the black market and the printing press that printed the book was burnt down. The second book was a book from the “Same Skye” publishing company which discussed the role of the Monarchy, and was published in 2005. The book was banned and also the editor was charge with Lèse Majesté in 2006.
The trial started yesterday and the judges demanded that this case be held in secret. On the first day, the judges gathered evidenced from two witnesses, who were undercover police. The trial is utterly lacking in transparency and hence it cannot be a fair process. It is totally disgraceful.
Another event that we need to talk about is that Ajarn Somsak Jeamteerasakul’s house was attacked. Two thugs shot at his house when he was at home working. It is obvious why this outrage happen now. A few days ago a top spokesman for the army said that they were considering charging Somsak with Lèse Majesté. This precipitated threats against him and the physical attack.
Recently Somsak has criticised extreme royalists for their views. He is now asking whether Lèse Majesté also protects people who claim that they love the king. The military is creating a climate of fear to shut up people who want to ask questions about what is going on in Thailand.
Naturally, Pua Thai and their friends have stated firmly that they do not want to abolish Lèse Majesté. They do not care how many people will become victims of this authoritarian law.