New Mandala readers who follow Thailand’s long-running lese majeste reform saga, centered on Article 112 of the Criminal Code, may be curious about a letter written by a group of eight royal descendents, including architect Sumet Jumsai na Ayudhya and interior designer MR Powari Suchiva.
Political Prisoners in Thailand has picked up the story and offers some interesting comments. They write:
PPT doesn’t know much about any of these minor royals, although we did once comment on Sumet’s somewhat liberal attitude on republicanism and updating the monarchy. We have no idea if they have links to the palace and whether there views are representative of a broader royal view. Even so, that a coterie of the high and mighty see lese majeste as a negative for the monarchy is likely a significant intervention.
Earlier in the month I noted the recent and high-profile assertion that “Thailand’s law of lèse-majesté has one very prominent critic: King Bhumibol”.
After the intervention by these eight minor royals is the palace now going to finally clarify its position? The optimists among us might hope that a clear and direct statement from the royal family, or the king himself, would scupper any further use of Article 112.
But that seems unlikely after so much has been invested in reinforcing its ambiguous deployment in these recent, messy years.