11 July 2024

The Seri Ruam Thai party leader says he is supportive of the lèse majesté law, or Section 112 of the Criminal Code, for its role in protecting the Monarchy, but he suggested that the law must be amended to prevent its use for political persecution.

Party leader Seripisut Temiyavet said today that Section 112 must be amended, to separate the offence of defaming or insulting HM the King, HM the Queen or members of the Royal Family, from that of threatening, and incorporate it in Section 326, pertaining to general defamation.

He made clear, however, that his party will not propose any bill to amend Section 112, but simply wants to offer a suggestion to help solve the current problems regarding the lèse majesté law.

Anti-establishment protesters are demanding that the law to be repealed, while royalists want it to be strictly enforced to protect the Monarchy.

As a former national police chief, he said that he had previous experience in using and enforcing the lèse majesté law and admitted that, when he invoked it, to demonstrate his loyalty tothe Monarchy, he was politically persecuted by his opponents.

While serving as the national police chief, Seripisut said he learned that then King Bhumibol did not want the lèse majestélaw to be invoked against his subjects and HM the King shares that wish, as claimed by social critic Sulak Sivaraksa.

He warned the government to exercise caution in invoking the law, as it may adversely affect the Monarchy.