posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 09:18 AM
Getting 37 years for insulting the King's dog is in my opinion utterly ludicrous. However, I have lived in Thailand for almost two years, and I can
honestly say that the people love their King (I would say at least 95+%) and to my knowledge mostly agree with the hard punishment for people
insulting the royal family. They show genuine love and have deep appreciation for this man. According to the Thai people he has done a lot of good for
the country throughout the decades and he is indeed seen as a true father figure, demigod and role model for society. Of course, in Thailand you are
getting bombarded (some people will say brainwashed) by endless amounts of huge billboards and "propaganda" feel good video's before cinema movies,
but the fact remains that they truly admire and love him. Every house I have seen has at least a photograph of him hanging at the wall and/or a yellow
flag waving in the wind.
But coming back to the news story itself, I live in a monarchy myself, the Netherlands, and also here it is forbidden by law to insult the King. There
have been a couple of stories recently of people that have insulted the King here in the Netherlands and who have gotten punished for it. Obviously
the laws in the Netherlands are less strict than in Thailand, but also here you need to watch what you say and do when it comes to the king.
For insulting the king, the heiress apparent, and their relatives, an offender may receive up to five years imprisonment plus a fine. In October
2007, a 47-year-old man was sentenced to one week imprisonment and fined €400 for, amongst other things, lèse-majesté in the Netherlands when he
called Queen Beatrix a "whore" and told a police officer that he would have anal sex with her because "she would like it".
Then there was also this man in 2013 who got 5 months in jail for throwing a tea light holder at the royal coach. It fuelled a hot debate and got wide
media attention. Personally I absolutely disagree with one person or a family standing above the rest of society and I think most of the Dutch people
would agree with me on this. But you have to understand that Thailand is a very collectivistic society while almost all Western societies are
individualistic societies, which makes it harder for Westerners to really understand the culture and workings of a collectivistic society such as
Thailand. For anyone who is interested to know a little bit more about cultural differences in societies, I advise you to check out the works of
. He has done extensive research on cultural differences around the globe.
And for us it may seem as a crazy, dictatorial law, but according to the Thai people it's the King who keeps society together and uses his ruling hand
when necessary. It might also be important to know that the King is old and his health is quickly deteriorating. The people are scared of what might
happen when he dies. His successor should be his son, but he apparently has been involved in a lot of controversial acts. Anyways, Thailand's future
is very uncertain now that King probably won't live much longer and it's hard to predict what will happen if that day comes. Hopefully their society
won't break down as much as I expect it to do.
is by the way an
excellent read on the sudden changes that Thailand might face in the very near future.