Economist edition banned in Thailand

This is the article in The Economist that got it banned in Thailand. (Technically, the distributor voluntarily self-imposed the ban. But we all know better.)

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12724832

Exerpts from The King and them:

Much of the story of how the king’s actions have hurt his country’s politics is unfamiliar because Thais have not been allowed to hear it. Some may find our criticisms upsetting, but we do not make them gratuitously. Thailand needs open debate if it is to prepare for the time when a less revered monarch ascends the throne. It cannot be good for a country to subscribe to a fairy-tale version of its own history in which the king never does wrong, stays above politics and only ever intervenes on the side of democracy. None of that is true.

In reality, with public anger at the queen’s support for the thuggish PAD and the unsuitability of Bhumibol’s heir simmering, Thailand risks the recent fate of Nepal, which has suffered a bitter civil war and whose meddling king is now a commoner in a republic. The PAD was nurtured by the palace and now threatens to engulf it. An enduring image of the past few days is that of PAD toughs shooting at government supporters while holding up the king’s portrait. The monarchy is now, more clearly than ever, part of the problem. It sits at the apex of a horrendously hierarchical and unequal society. You do not have to be a republican to agree that this needs to be discussed.

While I think the article was a little harsh on the king — it’s not just the monarchy, but large sections of the Thai elite who support this vile anti-government movement called the PAD — it does seem to have an element of truth.

Now it appears the opposition Democrat party is trying to seize power without a democratic mandate. It’s really preposterous.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.