Friday, November 07, 2008

Ajarn Sulak arrested

I just received the news that Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa has been arrested for lese majeste. I don't know any details apart from what has been published in news reports on the internet. The BBC reports:

One of Thailand's best-known social activists has been arrested on charges of insulting the monarchy.

Sulak Sivaraksa is often described as the founder of Thailand's movement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The 76-year-old was detained in connection with a speech he made last December. He has been released on bail.

I will update the blog again if I receive any more substantial news.

Update: Report from The Nation:

Somchai said that what Sulak had said in a public speech last December in Khon Kaen was very mild. Somchai also said the military had had a role in this by raising ultra-royalist fervour in recent weeks and this might explain why Sulak had been arrested.

Sulak was later given bail and flew to London last night for a pre-arranged engagement; he will return to Bangkok in November to fight the charge.

From Reuters: Arrest of Thai academic raises free speech fears


Anonymous said...

David, I just found your blog after a reference to your work by Ajarn Sulak in his Bangkok Post column on Nov. 12. I look forward to reading more here. Have you located the text of Sulak's speech that is the basis for the new charge against him? Doug

David said...

anonymous, I haven't seen the 12 November article of Ajarn Sulak. However, the reference is probably not to me but to another David, David Streckfuss who has a great deal of academic expertise about lese majeste in Thailand.

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