THAILAND: Online bid to oust Prem 'not insulting to King'

Police confirm there was nothing on the anti-coup activists' website that could be interpreted as insult to the royal family

Straits Times
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Bangkok --- Thai police have decided there was no cause to accuse activists who launched an online campaign against Privy Council chief Prem Tinsulanonda of breaking the law against insulting the monarchy.

Thai police Lieutenant-General Theeradech Rodphot-hong, head of the Special Branch, said on Monday the law on lese majeste did not extend to the Privy Council President. Wrongdoers face possible jail terms of three to 15 years.

Police launched an investigation following a complaint from university law lecturer Yodsak Kosaiyakanon against anti-coup activists responsible for the website.

The activists had sought to attract 100,000 signatories to support their appeal to the King to dismiss General Prem for being the mastermind of last September's coup.

But Lt-Gen Theeradech said police found nothing on the website that could be construed as insulting to the royal family.

But he cautioned that the appeal was improper as it could involve the King in political conflict. He also urged the activists to drop their campaign as it could stoke conflict in the country.