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Thai Gov't Sets Up Site For Snitching On Royals' Critics 329

Posted by timothy
from the yes-yes-the-king-is-good dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a move that would make the old eastern German Stasi green with envy, the Thai government has modernized a system that allows citizens to snitch on fellow citizens. 'Internet users are being urged to show their loyalty to the king by contributing to a new website called protecttheking.net, which has been set up by a parliamentary committee. On the site's front page it is described as a means for Thai people to show their loyalty to the king by protecting him from what it calls misunderstandings about him. It calls on all citizens to inform on anyone suspected of insulting or criticising the monarchy.' An large unknown population of political prisoners are currently being held for 3 to 15 years in Thai prisons for being interpreted as insulting the monarchy."
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Thai Gov't Sets Up Site For Snitching On Royals' Critics

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  • Fair enough (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05, 2009 @10:49PM (#27471193)

    Report every government official (from diplomats to police), every relative of a government official, and everyone related to the king.

  • Re:Slashdotted? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @10:49PM (#27471197) Homepage Journal
    Maybe they have a pf rule in to block non-Thais.
  • Re:Fair enough (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05, 2009 @11:00PM (#27471291)
    This is exactly what needs to happen. We'll need some thai translators though to make it harder for them to sift through.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05, 2009 @11:15PM (#27471421)

    How long before someone tries this shit here in America, oh wait they already tried it in Missouri.

  • by Eth1csGrad1ent (1175557) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @11:16PM (#27471427)

    If you think they aren't serious, check out the following recent story about a lucky Aussie who supposedly criticised the Thai Royal Family. I say lucky because, after much protest and legal fighting, he was deported after he'd been jailed for 6 years !

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/jailed-author-back-on-australian-soil-20090221-8dx7.html [theage.com.au]
     

  • by NewsWatcher (450241) on Monday April 06, 2009 @01:21AM (#27472195)

    Well, it looks like it is time to sink the boot into Thais again, and their over-the-top laws in relation to Lese Majesty (criticising the royals).

    I agree that people should be free to criticise anyone in a free society, and that locking people up for up to 15 years for something as minor as criticising a royal is ludicrous, here are some facts you may not be aware of:

    1. Thailand's king Bhumibol Adulyadej said a few years ago in a birthday speech that the law of lese majesty was outdated and he would pardon anyone found guilty of the crime. He has since kept his word.

    2. The crime of lese majesty came about in Thailand because under their constitution it is illegal for the royal family (who are supposed to be above the rest of society) to comment on the day-to-day running of society. They cannot respond to political attacks, nor can they react if people personally attack their character.

    3. Because the Thai royals cannot respond to attacks, and take legal action or comment at any defamatory comments about them, the crime of lese majesty was inserted into the country's constitution, as a safeguard against political attacks on the royals.

    4. Every time there is a general election the parliament has to vote on whether to can the lese majesty laws. Despite the king saying the laws no longer need to be in existence, the Thai people revere the king, and would vote out of office any politician who voted to abandon the lese majesty laws, hence the laws remain.

    People in Thailand do not have the same freedom of speech rights that people in the west do, but to portray the king as some sort of evil ogre who is so sensitive to criticms that he cannot deal with an insult is just ridiculous.

    This website will no doubt create a bureaucratic headache for the king, but should not be seen as evidence that Thailand is a dictatorial state.

  • by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo@nospaM.gmail.com> on Monday April 06, 2009 @03:08AM (#27472757) Homepage Journal

    Thailand has effectively had its economy destroyed in the last year. First, a group of people closed down the airport for weeks and caused the tourism industry to lose 50%. Later, the export economy failed because of the economic downturn worldwide. Millions of people have lst their jobs in the last year.

    When you add the political unrest happening their now, the high unemployment is sure to cause some real problems in Thailand over the next year or two.

    I wouldn't make any Thai travel plans for the foreseeable future.

  • Advise as many folks as possible at the State Department of your next trip, post a bunch of blog entries about your plans, call your Senator to let him/her know you'll be taking lots of pictures and keeping detailed notes on your trip, and once everything is confirmed as "high visibility" go ahead and post your thoughts on the new site. Be sure to call a couple of CNN anchors to let them know about all the steps you've taken, and dare Thai officials to do a goddamned thing about your online activities once you get there.

    Worst case scenario: you get detained for a couple of days, get international exposure from human rights groups and major media outlets, and sell a book deal on the whole charade. I'd do it myself, but frankly I'm too busy with other pursuits.
  • by terjeber (856226) on Monday April 06, 2009 @03:31AM (#27472871)

    "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
    - Denis Diderot

  • After, including the rubber stamp apology from those who detained you temporarily. In case you honestly believe it won't work out (assuming you took all the prerequisite steps I mentioned), might I recommend Costa Rica for beach lounging? It certainly has a certain allure to it, and if you're not otherwise engaged (read: married) there are certainly other benefits to the social atmosphere. Personal taste may vary, of course.
  • Re:Ants (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:18AM (#27474891)

    I don't think that any of this is the King's doing. It is the major parties which have made hyper-loyalty to the King a kind of shibboleth. A bit like the McCarthy era in the US, when it almost became UnAmerican to admit to having a left hand. You protest your loyalty to the King loud and long to prove your patriotism, then when anybody accuses you of thinks like taking bribes, you call them unpatriotic. So there is a huge "more respectful than thou" campaign going on - but none of it supported in any way by the King himself.

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