Thailand madness… Lèse majesté laws as political bludgeon


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Bath, United Kingdom
Yeah, Covid or not, no way I will be visiting again for the foreseeable future.
Which is a great sadness. It has always been one of my favourite holiday destinations.

Thailand to charge opposition leader over ‘royal vaccine’ remarks

A popular politician who has already been ousted and had his party banned and is now charged with defaming Thailand’s monarchy for questioning the government over its Covid vaccine procurement.

Thailand will charge the country’s leading opposition figure under its harsh lèse majesté law after he accused a company owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorn of seeking to profit from distributing the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The move against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit comes as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government attempts to silence criticism of Thailand’s billionaire monarch by opening cases under the law, which carries a maximum 15-year prison term, against dozens of supporters of a six-month-old democracy movement.

The Thai company is 100 per cent owned by the Crown Property Bureau, which manages the king’s wealth portfolio, estimated to be worth in excess of $40bn. The politician first aired the accusations in a Facebook Live presentation on Monday about what he called the “royal vaccine”. “The Prayuth government pays for the vaccine using taxpayer money,” Mr Thanathorn told the FT before news emerged that he would be charged.
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