Many New Mandala readers will already know that later today we anticipate a verdict in the lese majeste trial of Prachatai editor Chiranuch Premchaiporn. The Bangkok Post has a quick report. There are also more detailed analyses here and here.

In the Jakarta Globe there is the assertion that:

Many Thais who, due to decades of state- and self-imposed censorship of the media, have only ever heard positive news about the monarchy are fearful and feel an almost religious duty to defend their king against any alleged aggression or attacks. The emotional zeal of this devotion means the room for rational debate in some sections of Thai society is almost non-existent.

We will, with this in mind, be watching the verdict closely. Previous New Mandala coverage of Chiranuch’s legal woes is available here, here and here. And for those with an eye to history the picture of “Chiranuch behind bars” comes from this 2010 post.

Reactions from readers to today’s verdict are, of course, very welcome.

Update: I have just heard that the verdict has been postponed until 30 May 2012. I changed the title to reflect this development.