Diplomacy: China in fresh play of Thai Royalism card as UN & USA in fresh condemnation of Thai lese majeste

  • By Tammy, Thai Intel humanity journalist

Yesterday, as I was sitting there watching Thai TV News, one of Yingluck’s minister, Chalerm, was answering the Thai press corps question about his fresh created anti-freedom of expression unit to crack-down on lese majeste offenses-and Chalerm uttered the type of xenophobic behavior one typically associates with the Hitler reign of Germany.

  • What Charlerm uttered, in that whole 5 minutes of TV News, was nothing less than “Foreigners are F-ckers” type of comments. After the interview, I hit Twitter, and saw it with my own eyes, that the ultra-royalist in Thailand, went praising Chalerm, as cutting-edge. What is cutting edge, is that the language Chalerm used to describe foreigners, were very “Dirty and Graphic.” If you know anything about the ultra-Thai royalist, is that they have the worse foul mouth in Thailand.

The following is from the wiki on xenophobia:

Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity.[3] Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an “uncritical exaltation of another culture” in which a culture is ascribed “an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality”.[4]

Dictionary definitions of xenophobia include: deep-rooted antipathy towards foreigners (Oxford English Dictionary; OED), unreasonable fear or hatred of the unfamiliar, especially people of other races (Webster’s)[5]

The Dictionary of Psychology defines it as “a fear of strangers“.[6] As defined by the OED, it can mean a fear of or aversion to, not only people from other countries, but other cultures, subcultures and subsets of belief systems; in short, anyone who meets any list of criteria about their origin, religion, personal beliefs, habits, language, orientations, or any other criteria. While some will state that the “target” group is a set of persons not accepted by the society, in reality only the phobic person need hold the belief that the target group is not (or should not be) accepted by society. While the phobic person is aware of the aversion (even hatred) of the target group, they may not identify it or accept it as a fear.

The problem for Chalerm, is that he is about as “Ignorant” a human being as they come.

Anund Panyarachun, Thailand’s former prime minister and a staunch Thai Royalist, have said several times, quote: “The problem with Thai royalism is the ultra royalist….. the strict use of lese majeste in Thailand is hurting Thai royalism.”

  • Off course, the globe is watching every move of Thailand:

God forbid, Thailand’s competitor from translating that Chalerm ultra-xenophobic behavior and YouTube it for the globe to see-because Thailand would lose about half of its tourism business right away, with global tourist saying something like, “F-ck Off Thailand.”

The UN and the USA, just made a fresh condemnation of Thailand’s lese majeste usage. One message came out of Washington DC, by the USA State Department and the other statement out of Geneva, by the UN. And within Asia itself, the Asian Human Rights unit, also blasted away at Thailand’s usage of lese majeste.

  • But Chalerm would probably feel comfortable:

That is because a global giant, China, has just announced that it will publish 10,000 books on a member of the Thai royalty, to be distributed in Thailand and China-to cement ties between the two countries, in these times of negative global reaction to Thailand lese majeste. The book will be published by the Chinese news agency, Xinhua. The news was announced by Thailand’s mouth-piece, MCOT as a very major news.

Then Chalerm can also take comfort, in Thailand’s Democrat Party, that called for Thailand to terminate Facebook and YouTube, to protect Thai royalsim-with the Democrat Party words, quote, “Like in China.”

  • The problem is, apart from what Anund Panyarachun said, is that Thailand under Abhisit, saw Freedom House, re-rate Thailand from a “Semi-Free country to a “Not Free” country.

That is the lowest ranking by Freedom House, and puts Thailand already with Burma and North Korea league. Perhaps, Thailand, with the xenophobic Chalerm running around, will see Freedom House, create a new category.

The name Thai Intel propose for Freedom House of this special category, is “The F-cked Up Country with Idiots in Control.”

By Prach Panchakunathorn

Spokesperson to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the press conference (Source: UN website)

Earlier today (9th December 2011), the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated in a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland:

“We are concerned about the ongoing trials and harsh sentencing of people convicted of lèse majesté in Thailand and the chilling effect that this is having on freedom of expression in the country. Such harsh criminal sanctions are neither necessary nor proportionate and violate the country’s international human rights obligations.

We urge the Thai authorities to amend the laws on lèse majesté. In the meantime, guidelines should be issued to the police and public prosecutors to stop arresting and charging individuals under these vaguely worded laws. In addition to the disproportionate prison sentences being handed down by the Courts, we are also concerned about the extended periods that accused persons are being held in pre-trialdetention.”

Thailand signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1996. (See here.) The Covenant obliges signatory states to uphold the right to “hold opinions without interference” and the right to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds”. The Covenant only allows these rights to be restricted for the “respect of the rights or reputations of others” and the protection of “national security” or “public order” or “public health or morals”.

Some may argue that the lese-majeste laws are necessary to protect “national security”, and hence they abide by the Covenant. But the UN Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression has made clear that the Thai lese-majeste laws do not meet these criteria”. “The laws”, the UN Rapporteur said, “are vague and overly broad, and the harsh criminal sanctions are neither necessary nor proportionate to protect the monarchy or national security”.

Some UN member states have also called for amendments of what many have called “the harshest lese-majeste laws in the world” (see herehere and here). In October, fourteen UN member states, including kingdoms like the UK, Norway and Sweden – as well as an ASEAN member state, Indonesia – called for Thailand to amend Article 112 and the Computer Crimes Act. (See here.) The United States was silence back then. Only after the trial of Amphon Tangnoppakul, or “Uncle SMS”, would the United States start to be “troubled by recent prosecutions and court decisions that are not consistent with international standards of freedom of expression”. (See here.) The US statement of concern came only days before the trial of a Thai-born US citizen, Joe Gordon. The European Union also expressed a “deep concern” about the lese-majeste laws.

Prach Panchakunathorn received his B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Oxford University. He is now a graduate student in Philosophy at Cambridge University, UK.

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