Category Archives: General

The King and Pai, Part 9: “The Hidden Meaning of their Names”

Thai people usually have a long official first and last name, and very short nickname that is much more often used. Both Pai and King Vajiralongkorn fit this pattern.

Vajiralongkorn is pronounced “wa-CHEE-raa-long-gon” with the accent on the second syllable. According to the English version of the BBC article that Pai is in jail for sharing on Facebook, this name means “adorned with jewels or thunderbolts.”

The King’s full name at birth was: “Vajiralongkorn Borommachakkrayadisonsantatiwong Thewetthamrongsuboriban Aphikhunuprakanmahittaladunladet Phumiphonnaretwarangkun Kittisirisombunsawangkhawat Borommakhattiyaratchakuman.” On December 28, 1972, when Vajiralongkorn was named Crown Prince, his name was changed to Somdet Phra Boroma Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman.”

But more recently, Vajiralongkorn was given the name that he will be using as king: Somdet Prajao Yoo Hua Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. The first part “Somdet Prajao Yoo Hua” is a title that directly translates either “His Majesty, King of our hearts” or “His Majesty, King over our heads.” So English speakers are only asked to call him:

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

Maha, just means “Great.” For the reasons described in earlier episodes of “The King and Pai,” I personally can’t bring myself to call him that. As for “Bodindradebayavarangkun,” I’m going to wait and see if it catches on before I go to the trouble of learning it. So for the moment, he is “King Vajiralongkorn” to me.

In fact, until recently, even his first name “Vajiralongkorn,” which he has always had, sounded very unfamiliar – and not only to me. On the couple occasions when I asked people how to pronounce the name of the Thai Prince, they’d check with each other and the Internet before settling on an answer. Continue reading

International Law on “licensing of media workers”

From the Article 19 organization on the international law pertaining to “licensing of media workers”:

The Article 19 organization takes it’s name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

19) Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

“Responding to the argument that a licensing regime is simply the ‘normal’ way to regulate certain professions . . . In contrast to lawyers and physicians, the activities of journalists – the seeking, receiving and imparting of information and ideas – are specifically protected as a human right, namely the right to freedom of expression.”

“The three special mandates for protecting freedom of expression – the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression – adopt a Joint Declaration each year setting out standards relating to important freedom of expression issues. In their 2004 Declaration, they stated: “Individual journalists should not be required to be licensed or to register.

It is thus clear that, under international law, licensing and even registration of media workers is prohibited. In practice, licensing schemes for journalists are virtually unheard of in established democracies.”

Thailand: Draft Media Law Threatens News Reporting 2 Years in Prison for Reporting Without License…/thailand-draft-media-law-threatens-ne…

For Immediate Release

Thailand: Draft Media Law Threatens News Reporting
2 Years in Prison for Reporting Without License

(New York, April 29, 2017) – The Thai government should immediately withdraw the latest draft law that seeks to tighten control of news reporting in Thailand, Human Rights Watch said today. The Media Reform Committee at the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), whose members are appointed by the military junta, announced that the National Assembly will consider the bill on May 1, 2017.

The Bill on the Protection and Promotion of Media Rights, Freedom, Ethics and Professional Standards provides for a government-appointed national media council to regulate all media platforms – print, broadcast, or online. It also subjects anyone who directly or indirectly earns income from reporting news to the public without a license – and their company, agency, or organization – to up to two years in prison and a 60,000 baht (US$1,715) fine.

“The misnamed media rights and freedom law is the junta’s latest attempt to increase government interference and control of any independent news reporting,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Passage of this draft law would mean that reporters in Thailand will be constantly looking over their shoulder at a government-appointed panel that can have them jailed.” Continue reading

The Truth about King Vajiralongkorn

By Red Eagle (a member of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights)

King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, King of Thailand, inherited the throne from his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was known as the Father of the Most Coups in the World and was secretly called an invisible hand behind the coup and the politics of Thailand during past 70 years.

All Thais know that King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has behaved inappropriately in many ways since he was young. Most of Thais don’t as accept and trust him as they do to the previous King. He is known as a playboy who has many wives and mistresses and was called by his mother, previous queen Sirikit, as “Don Juan of Thailand.” He is also known as a mafia person who has exploited Thais and broken laws continuously publicly. For example, he ordered Junta prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, to edit the Constitution’s laws about the power of the King without a public hearing claiming that this part was not involved with citizens, therefore, it was not necessary to do a public hearing in this case.

He has extremely and directly intervened in the entire system of Buddhism, including organizations, temples, priests and believers. Continue reading

Thai Paradox and Hypocrisy

By Narisara Viwatchara

คำพังเพยไทยที่เสี้ยมสอนกันมาตั้งแต่สมัยปู่ย่าตายายดิฉันคิดว่าเป็นคำพังเพยที่ใช้ไม่ได้เห็นแก่ตัวเสี้ยมสอนให้เด็กไม่กล้าท้าทายกับความจริงหรือสิ่งที่ไม่ถูกต้องใช้ไม่ได้กับสมัยปัจจุบันใน ศตวรรษที่ 21 แล้วค่ะ
Thai Paradox and Hypocrisy
By Narisara Viwatchara

Thai elders always teach their children to be obedient no matter what and that , “The dogs won’t bite you!”

On the contrary, despite the wise old saying, in Thailand the dogs will always bite you.

When I was growing up in Thailand, I was taught many Thai proverbs by my teachers and asked to strictly adhere to such maxims.

These gems of common sense included the following:

A man is like the forelegs of an elephant, while a female is like the hind legs.

That’s to say, a woman must always conform, follow and be docile.

Another one similarly plays on the animal motif:

Always follow the elders and the dogs won’t bite you.

Simply, never question the elders and you will be fine.

These are only two of many such teachings that elder Thais have forced on younger generations for ages.

Looking over the above statements, which are still being taught in Thai schools, it’s no wonder Thais are the most passive people in the world. Continue reading

The King and Pai, Part 7: “Thailand Needs Equal Justice under the Law NOW!”

by Ann Norman

Between 2,500 and 3,000 people shared the BBC news article about the new Thai King that Pai Daodin shared on Facebook. Yet only Pai was charged with lese majesty for sharing it. This selective enforcement is easily explained. Those on upper levels of Thailand’s rigid social hierarchy (similar to the racist social heirarchy of the US South prior to the Civil Rights era) are eager to punish leaders in the fight for democracy and respect for human rights (including free speech), such as Pai. Continue reading

Meet My Friends in Exile: เราคือเพื่อนกัน

By Ann Norman

Full disclosure: Some of my best friends (and plenty more casual friends) are Thai broadcasters in exile who want a Federal state in Thailand, or at least, they want to discuss it as an option and to report the news. Plenty of my friends are the so-called “lese majesty suspects,” ordinary people, liberal and sensible, who stand accused of saying something negative about someone with “royal blood.” They have been accused of stepping over an invisible, pretend line that has no conceivable moral justification in a civilized society. Why do I bring this up? Because the junta very conveniently has just found a weapons stash said to be left behind at the house of an exiled Thai broadcaster who advocates for a Thai Federalist state. Koh Tee, or Ma Noi, had to flee Thailand three years ago after being accused of lese majesty (which, as I just mentioned, is not really a “thing” except in the minds of royalty-supremacists). Koh Tee says the weapons were planted at his house and have nothing to do with him. But having linked the weapons to Koh Tee, at least in people’s minds, these royalty-supremacists are eager to link a now-tainted Koh Tee to all the other exiled opposition leaders they wish to neutralize.

And yes, they are all connected. In fact, everyone who hates this dictatorship is connected in the following ways: We get on the Internet and chat with each other. We meet at conventions and protests. We listen to each other’s broadcasts and read each other’s articles. We criticize the human rights abuses and call out the lies from a junta that is increasingly giving up on even the pretense of democracy. Continue reading

You’re as Guilty as the Rest of ‘Em!

Injustice handed down from on high has a special smell, it makes one feel at once energized with rage, and sick with a feeling of hopelessness.

They want us to believe that there is nothing we can do about the descent into authoritarian servitude that lese majeste is really all about. The stupidity of it all, the great tragedy, the loss of what was once so solid, bright and reassuring about Thailand is all that remains. Memories forgotten by the blind legion of yellow clad zealots. All the while the brutality is reinforced.

I am nobody’s king and nobody is mine. Sooner or later, we have to take sides against Thailand’s lese majeste insanity if we are to remain human, that is, if we want to remain human and want to be seen to be human to an ever increasing number of humans who see Thailand’s behavior as inhuman. — Declan Lakes

Last Voice of Democracy

By Red Eagle

In the day of darkness, people are tired, exhausted, and depressed. They are weak, lost, poor, and hopeless. People have been deprived of liberty, freedom, and human dignity. They live as if dead. Absolute Monarchy and its network have dictated and backed-up military coups to take democracy from Thais more than 10 times in past 70 years since Thailand proclaimed revolution under Constitutional Monarchy in 1932. In fact, Thai society has never been a real democracy because absolute monarchy and its network have been controlling and have all absolute power in the country by constitutional laws. The more they have coups, the more power and benefits they gain. “Thailand is democratic” is just a sentence to advertise to other countries that Thailand is civilized and attractive to foreign investors and tourists.

The battling between dictators and civilians has been going on more than 70 years directly and indirectly. Directly, civilians who have been supporting democracy, demonstrating or protesting for justice have been destroyed, discredited, smashed, injured, lost, and killed en mass. Indirectly, not only have people been brainwashed by media and propaganda that the King, royal family, and junta militaries have done good things for them, but also they have been controlled by laws, such as, article 112 and 44, etc. In general, people have been taught to hate politicians and democracy. Eventually, people have been set up to believe they should protect the King and royal family with their lives, meanwhile, the opponents who disagree to the dictators have been forced to remain silent, especially inside the country. Whoever would speak up for democracy would be hunted, defamed, accused of something, jailed, or killed, whether publicly or mysteriously. Not only have Thais been hunted by the government, but people have also been hunted and killed by fellow Thai civilians who have brainwashed into zombies.

While civilians have lived hopelessly, there was born a group of people consisting of Uncle Sanamlaung, Sahai Manoi, and the staff of Faiyen Channel. These people have been broadcasting through their own 2 channels called Faiyen Channel and Yammy Revolution Channel to reveal the truth about dictators, the bad things that the King, royal family, and junta militaries have done, and these channels have spoken out for all Thais who have been blinded and exploited by dictators. Thais have not ben able to publically speak out against the King without being penalized. Uncle Sanamlaung and his team have announced their standing points, fearless of the cruel dictatorship. They have lived in constant danger of being hunted and treated maliciously from junta militaries and their networks. They have boldly declared they don’t accept the junta militaries who have robbed the power from Thai people––and that they will no longer accept absolute monarchy, which is exploitation, injustice, cruelty, a hidden devil, and a violation of human rights.

With a clear ideological stance and consistency, Uncle Sanamlaung, Sahai Manoi, and Faiyen Channel staff have opened many eyes; many people have been awaked and acquired knowledge of Thai politics and history. Therefore, Uncle Sanamlaung and team are a center of hope to release all Thais from the darkness of an era of dictatorship. They are founders of Thai Federation, an organization that aims to reform Thailand to be absolute democracy. Therefore, they are being targeted by the Thai government, to seize their voice because they are currently the last hope of Thai democracy: “The last voice, last hope, in the struggle to change the country, to change lives which have fallen into darkness for many generations”

เสียงสุดท้าย Last Voice of Democracy

เขียนด้วย Red Eagle สมาชิกคนหนึ่งแห่งภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน

ประชาชน อ่อนล้า หมดแรง หมดกำลังใจ ไม่รู้ทิศทางชีวิตว่าจะไปทางทิศไหน ไม่มีที่พึ่ง เหมือนชีวิตจะหมดสิ้นทุกสิ่งทุกอย่าง ทุกสิ่งทุกอย่างมืดมนต์ หมดหนทาง เหมือนตายทั้งเป็น ชีวิตความเป็นอยู่ สิทธิเสรีภาพ ถูกริดรอนไปทุกวันๆ ประชาชนแทบกินนำ้ตาแทนข้าว ความทุกข์ยาก ความลำบากสุดที่จะบรรยาย รัฐประหารครั้งแล้วครั้งเล่า และด้วยความเห็นชอบจากกษัตริย์ที่ไร้คุณธรรม ที่ไม่เห็นความสำคัญ ประชาชน

ความทุกข์ยากของประชาชนที่ต้องเผชิญ ช่างเคว้งคว้าง.ไร้จุดหมายปลายทาง ต่อสู้เผด็จการณ์ มากกว่า 70 ปี ผ่านแพ้มาทุกครั้ง.ลุกขึ้นสู้คราใด มีแค่แพ้กับแพ้ มีแต่ความหวังอันหริบรี่ กี่องค์กร กี่อุดมการณ์ กีชีวิต ที่ออกมาต่อสู้เพื่อประชาธิปไตย ก็ต้องพ่ายแพ้ หลายชีวิตต้องมาสังเวยกับความโหดร้าย ตามล่า ตามฆ่า จากเผด็จการ บ้างก็หักหลังกันเอง เพื่อความอยู่รอด บ้างก็ทนความลำบากไม่ไหว ทั้งอ่อนล้า หมดสิ้นกำลังใจ หดหู่ ก้อต้องกลับไปยอมรับสภาพการกดขี่.

ขณะที่ความหวังทั้งหมด ความหวังครั้งสุดท้ายกำลังจะเลื่อนลอยหายลับไปกับสิ่งว่างเปล่านั่น วันหนึ่ง ลุงสนามหลวง หมาน้อย และวงไฟเย็น ก็ได้ออกมาเป็นความหวัง และเป็นปากเสียงให้คนไทยอีกหลายล้านชีวิต ลุงสนามหลวงและทีมงานได้ประกาศจุดยืนอย่างโดดเด่นและท้าทาย ไม่กลัวฟ้าดิน ไม่กลัว แม้จะถูกเผด็จการกษัตริย์ทรราชย์ ตามล้าง ตามฆ่า พวกเขาได้ประกาศอย่างกล้าหาญ ว่าไม่ยอมรับการปกครองแบบกดขี่ ไม่ยอมอยู่ใต้ระบอบกษัตริย์ทรราชย์ ซึ่งหลายคนทราบดีว่าปัญหา ทุกอย่างก้อล้วนมาจากระบอบ และกษัตริย์ทรราชย์ทั้งสิ้น ที่ต้องการจะครอบงำ ต้องการให้อำนาจทุกอย่างอยู่ภายใต้การควบคุมของกษัตริย์ทั้งหมด

ด้วยจุดยืนอย่างเด่นชัด อุดมการณ์ที่แน่วแน่ของลุงสนามหลวง หมาน้อยและทีมงานไม่กี่คน ที่ได้ออกมาเป็นตัวแทนเรียกร้องให้ประชาชนได้ลุกขึ้น เสียงๆนี้ที่เป็นเสียงสุดท้าย และความหวังสุดท้ายของคนหลายล้านชีวิต ที่ต้องออกมาลุกขึ้นสู้กับเผด็จการกษัตริย์และทหาร. กษัตริย์ทรราชย์และผู้มีผลประโยชน์ทั้งหลายเกรงว่าจะต้องสูญเสียอำนาจและผลประโยชน์มหาศาลและหลุดไปต่อหน้าต่อ แม้ว่าจะใช้กฎหมาย มาตรา 112 สารพัดกฏหมาย ก่อยังไม่สามารถหยุดลุงสนามหลวงและทีมงานได้ เม็ดเงินมหาศาลที่ทหารและราชวงศ์ได้ทุ่มเท เพื่อทำลายลุงสนามหลวงและทีมงาน ก็ไม่สามรถทำอะไรได้ .

ประเทศชาติ อยู่ในภาวะเศรษฐกิจพังทลาย แต่เผด็จการไม่เคยใส่ใจเรื่องปากท้องและความเป็นอยู่ของประชาชน ประชาชนเต็มไปด้วยความเดือดร้อนไปทั่วทุกย่อมหญ้า ประเทศชาติล่มสลาย กลายเป็นประเทศที่ล้มเหลว ณ เวลานี้ขีวิตคนไทยอีกหลายล้านชีวิต อยากฝากความหวังไว้กับ ลุงสนามหลวง หมาน้อย และทีมงาน ความเคลื่อนไหวที่ทีมงานได้ทำอย่างต่อเนื่อง “เสียง เสียงสุดท้าย ความหวังสุดท้าย ในการต่อสู้เพื่อเปลี่ยนแปลง ประเทศ เปลี่ยนขีวิตที่ตกอยู่ในความมืดมาหลายชั่วคน”