Years in jail for insulting Thai royal dog?


Men pose next to a 10-metre high dog statue, part of the promotional effort for a film based on Thai royal dog Tongdaeng's life. photo: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Thai factory worker faces jail for insulting the king’s dog online

A best-selling book about the dog, named Tondaeng, describes her as a ‘respectful dog with proper manners’

Doug Bolton

A Thai factory worker could go to prison for a “sarcastic” post on social media in which he disparaged the king’s dog, Tongdaeng.

The worker, Thanakorn Siripaiboon, faces years in prison for his crimes, which include sedition and insulting the king.

As the New York Times reports, Siripaiboon’s lawyer, Anon Numpa, said the precise insult towards the dog was not specified in the military court where he was charged.

Siripaiboon is also accused of sharing a post on Facebook that alleged corruption in the construction of a monument to previous Thai kings.

The unusual case draws attention to the increasing harsh penalties handed to those who criticise the country’s king, queen, heir apparent or regent. Since a military coup in Thailand last year, authorities have been cracking down on any type of dissent.

Numpa still expressed surprise that the law that forbids criticism of the royals would be extended to the king’s dog, however.

Siripaiboon was arrested at his Bangkok home last week, and had his arraignment on Monday.

Tongdaeng, or Copper, was a stray rescued by Thailand’s ailing 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1998.

A book, titled The Story of Tongdaeng, was written by the king in 2002 and became an instant bestseller in the country. An animated film, based on the stories in the book, also went to number two at the Thai box offices after its release last week.

In the book, Tongdaeng is described as a “respectful dog with proper manners,” who is also “humble” and “knows protocol.”

The book also notes that Tongdaeng respectfully droops her ears and lowers to the floor in the presence of the King.

According to Numpa, the next step in the case will be Siripaiboon’s indictment, but no date has yet been set by authorities.

The Bangkok-based printer of the International New York Times removed this story from the 14 December 2015 print edition of the paper: here.

LOVE YOUR SHRIMP? IT MAY HAVE BEEN PEELED BY SLAVES Modern-day slaves in Thailand may be providing your favorite seafood dish. [AP]

Slaves are used to peel and process shrimp that finds its way in to many major supermarkets and shrimp companies around the world, according to an investigative report by the Associated Press (AP) published last week. At Gig Peeling Factory in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, slaves work 16-hour days, waking up as early as 2 AM with the command, “Get up or get beaten.” Peeling shrimp in ice buckets, small children work alongside their parents, often crying, as their cold hands become numb in the troughs of shrimp: here.

Thai crown prince’s poodle, Air Chief Marshal Foo Foo, has been cremated. Death has prompted surge in coded social media comments on the subject, in a country where it is illegal to openly discuss royal succession: here.

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15 thoughts on “Years in jail for insulting Thai royal dog?

  1. Tuesday 22nd December 2015

    posted by Morning Star in World

    by Our Foreign Desk

    THAILAND’S government struggled to defend itself yesterday against charges that it was ignoring slavery and forced labour in its shrimp industry.

    Press reports last week revealed gross exploitation of forced labour in the industry.

    But government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd — flanked by police, navy and other officials — held a press conference to answer the claims.

    He claimed that the government had already been aware of slavery in the industry before the report was released on December 14.

    “The report said that government officials ignore this matter … This is not the truth,” he said.

    “Authorities found it first,” he insisted, adding that the Thai government wanted the shrimp industry to have “proper working conditions according to international laws.”

    Thailand is one of the world’s biggest shrimp providers and its export industry is estimated to bring in about £4.7 billion annually.

    An Associated Press report revealed the widespread use of undocumented migrant labourers, many from neighbouring Myanmar.

    Many labourers ended up being tricked or sold into shrimp-peeling sheds where they were forced to work 16-hour days with no time off and little or no pay for sometimes years at a time.

    Many workers are held eunder debt bondage, forced to repay money the company gave to the agents who sold them.

    Some end up locked inside. Others are allowed to go out, but only if they leave their children or spouse behind as a guarantee against running away.

    Mr Sancern did not deny the existence of forced labour.

    But he disputed parts of the story, especially claims that police took bribes and turned a blind eye.

    “This is not true,” he said without elaborating.

    The reports have led to a dozen arrests, millions of pounds’ worth of seizures and proposals for new laws.

    And police anti-human trafficking division chief Kornchai Klayklueng admitted that “a number of things, including the report about debt-bound labourers, interest us. We are looking into it and will prosecute.”

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-e93f-Thailand-Government-flounders-over-seafood-slave-scandal#.VnvqHVJtdSE

    Like

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