Harry Nicolaides and his case have now been discussed in all sorts of places, including on this web-board hosted by Sukhotai Thammathirat Open University. The whole thread makes for fascinating reading. It is all in Thai.

To give you a flavour of the exchanges, one comment (in favour of enforcing the lese majeste law) begins:

р╕Чр╣Ир╕▓р╕Щ XXX р╕Щр╕│р╕Вр╣Ир╕▓р╕зр╕Щр╕╡р╣Йр╕бр╕▓р╕ер╕Зр╕Чр╕│р╣Др╕бр╕Др╕гр╕▒р╕Ъ

р╕нр╕Зр╕Др╣Мр╕Бр╕гр╕кр╕┤р╕Чр╕Шр╕┤р╕бр╕Щр╕╕р╕йр╕вр╕Кр╕Щр╕Хр╣Ир╕▓р╕Зр╕Ыр╕гр╕░р╣Ар╕Чр╕и р╕нр╕▓р╕Ир╣Др╕бр╣Ир╣Ар╕Вр╣Йр╕▓р╣Гр╕Ир╕Цр╕╢р╕Зр╕зр╕▒р╕Тр╕Щр╕Шр╕гр╕гр╕бр╕Вр╕нр╕Зр╣Ар╕гр╕▓

р╕Чр╣Ир╕▓р╕Щр╣Ар╕Ыр╣Зр╕Щр╕Др╕Щр╣Др╕Чр╕в р╕Цр╣Йр╕▓р╣Др╕бр╣Ир╕Юр╕нр╣Гр╕Ир╕зр╕▒р╕Тр╕Щр╕Шр╕гр╕гр╕бр╕Хр╕гр╕Зр╕Щр╕╡р╣Йр╕Бр╣Зр╣Др╕Ыр╕нр╕вр╕╣р╣Ир╕Ыр╕гр╕░р╣Ар╕Чр╕ир╕нр╕╖р╣Ир╕Щр╕Фр╕╡р╕Бр╕зр╣Ир╕▓

Why does XXX [a user name] bring this news [about Harry Nicolaides]?

Foreign human rights organisations may not understand our culture.

You are Thai. If you are not satisfied with this part of our culture it is better for you to go and live in another country.

It struck me that this is not an unusual sentiment and it is not unique to the Thai situation. Not everybody thinks that a stomach for accepting dissent and a diversity of opinion is healthy. In Australia they even make bumper stickers to emphasise this position: “Love it or leave it”. This one is available alongside classics like “Ute Country No Bullshit”, “Australian and Proud of It”, and my personal favourite “Real men drive Aussie Utes” (more about “Utes” can be found here).

But I digress.

Back in Thailand, the cultural defence of the lese majeste law will, no doubt, continue to be a standard line of argument. To run down somebody’s rights to live in the country because they disagree with this part of the “culture” seems risky. Under such conditions is the only good option to do an Ajarn Ji and step, in Dudeist’s memorable phrase, outside the tent?