As anticipated, Liberal Thai is carrying a Thai translation of “Thailand’s succession: As father fades, his children fight” (rendered as “р╕Бр╕▓р╕гр╕кр╕╖р╕Ър╕кр╕▒р╕Щр╕Хр╕Хр╕┤р╕зр╕Зр╕ир╣М – р╕Юр╣Ир╕нр╕Чр╕гр╕Зр╕гр╣Ир╕зр╕Зр╣Вр╕гр╕в р╕ер╕╣р╕Бр╣Жр╕Хр╣Ир╕▓р╕Зр╕Вр╕▒р╕Ър╣Ар╕Др╕╡р╣Ир╕вр╕з”), which was published by The Economist earlier in the week. The English language version has already been the subject of some useful discussion here and elsewhere, but I expect that its ready availablity in Thai will generate even greater interest.
The Liberal Thai website is habitually blocked in Thailand; and this is the kind of material that reinforces the site’s motto: “We translate, you decide. We inform, you block”. Most of the commentators in this discussion agree that anyone who translates The Economist article, and is in Thailand, faces a serious risk of arrest.
Are we now going to see a witch hunt from the Thai authorities? We will have to wait and see. But if this translation is broadcast by the Prachatais, Pantips and all the rest then its Thai readership could quickly expand into, at a guess, the many tens of thousands — even when the original at Liberal Thai is blocked. I assume that the proliferation of this content could be considered threatening in some quarters of the Thai government. Of course, other parts of Thai society, even among the highest echelons, could entertain their own reasons for wanting this article to spread far-and-wide. Is it smart to assume that there aren’t at least some parts of the “Thai elite” who are quietly cheering The Economist (and Liberal Thai)?
For some wider context — but still on the general topic of the Internet in Thailand’s current political battles — I did an interview with the ABC’s Linda Mottram late last year. The transcript of that interview (where I briefly mention Liberal Thai and its translation work) is available here.