PM says King does not want lèse-majesté law to be invoked against anyone

Thailand’s lèse-majesté law has not been invoked against anyone in Thailand in the past few years, because of the wishesof His Majesty the King, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday.

Admitting that breaching the law is a matter of serious concernto him, he said he didn’t understand why there are people, especially some students, who continue to offend the revered high institution or try to link the institution with an incident which allegedly took place in a foreign country.

The Prime Minister did not elaborate upon the incident to which he was referring, but it is understood that he was referring to the alleged abduction, about two weeks ago in Phnom Penh, of exiled Thai political activist Wanchalerm Seksaksit.

Human rights groups and student organizations have been pressuring the Thai Government to investigate Wanchalerm’s disappearance and to ensure his safe return.

“What happened in another country is a matter for that country,” said the Prime Minister, as he warned students not to implicate the revered high institution.

“I am not threatening. There are laws and everyone should be aware of the consequences of distorting information about the institution,” said the Prime Minister, as he disclosed that the lèse-majesté law has not been invoked in the past few years “because His Majesty is merciful and has not wanted the law invoked.”

He said that he had to talk about this issue today because he wants to see the country in peace, adding that the Cambodian government has been investigating Wanchalerm’s case, and the Thai Government has asked foreign governments, where several exiled Thai political activists, including some with refugee status, have taken shelter, to make sure that they refrain from offending the high institution.

“They are living abroad. They should know what to do and what they should not do, otherwise, one day, they may not be allowed to stay there.  As a Thai, I have pity for them.  I am not a cruel person who can order someone killed,” said the Prime Minister.


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