Vasit on Nitirat

Considering its public statements, it seems that the Nitirat group has called for amendments to Article 112 of the Criminal Code in order that those who ‘criticize the monarchy in good faith’ are exempted from or given lighter punishments, but this is not all that what they want, said Pol Gen Vasit Dejkunjorn in his Matichon column published on 10 Jan.

In Nitirat’s document No 33, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has made a further demand that the King, whom ‘he calls Kasat’ [instead of Phra Maha Kasat or the Great King or His Majesty the King], take an oath to protect the constitution, Vasit said.

This shows that the Nitirat’s real goal is to ‘control the conduct of His Majesty the King’, he said.

As Article 112 is placed in a section concerning offences against national security, it clearly means that offences against His Majesty the King are against the security of the kingdom, he said.

‘This spirit of the law has its origin in Thai history.  I have no idea how much basic knowledge they [Piyabutr and others] had of Thai history before they received degrees from abroad.  But even elementary school children know that our Thailand has been ruled by kings since ancient times, at least since Sukhothai, until today for over 700 years.  The current Chakri dynasty, in particular, has lasted over 200 years.  Of course, kings and dynasties have been changed all along, but what has remained and been respected since our grandparents is His Majesty the King,’ Vasit said.

When the Absolute Monarchy was overthrown in 1932, those who seized power were aware of the importance of the monarchy, and maintained the institution.  So we have had the Constitutional Monarchy until today.

Every constitution limits royal power and clearly states what power His Majesty the King has.  But it should be known and borne in mind that His Majesty the King has never had a hand in writing any of those constitutions, only giving advice when asked by those who wrote them.

‘So, regarding Nitirat’s idea to have His Majesty the King take an oath to protect the constitution, I have no idea why HM should do this, and how, and when, and to whom, whereas every constitution is written by other people and then presented to him to be signed,’ he said.

‘Nitirat probably don’t know that since Sukhothai, when a king ascended to the throne, there was an important royal ceremony called a coronation.  This important ceremony in the current reign was held on 5 May 1956.  On that day, His Majesty the King ascended to the throne under the royal white tiered umbrella amidst a gathering of dignitaries including parliamentarians, the Senate Speaker and House Speaker, and announced ‘I shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people’, and he then poured water to take an oath to rule the kingdom with Thotsapitrajdham, or the ten Buddhist virtues of kingship,’ he said.

For a Thai like Vasit, His Majesty the King’s initial speech is a pledge to all Thais and is far more meaningful than any futile vows or promises which all politicians have to make when coming into office.

To have no appreciation of a form of government with a constitutional monarchy is an individual’s right and there has always been this kind of view. Even today there are still some people who do not want any kind of government at all, which is anarchy. However, in a real democracy, one must always heed the rights of others who like different kinds of government, he said.

‘Those who call themselves Nitirat may want to change the law so that they or others can criticize His Majesty the King, but they should think about other Thais including me who have grown up and [are old enough to] have seen His Majesty’s influence as a result of the toil and sacrifice of his royal heart and body.  That’s why we respect and worship him, even if this is not written in a constitution or elsewhere.  We do not want to see any acts or hear any words which are deemed offensive, whatever rights and freedoms anyone might claim,’ he said.

‘Particularly acts in an attempt to keep His Majesty under control like the taking of an oath, Thais like myself cannot tolerate and can never let happen,’ he said.

Source: 

http://www.matichon.co.th/news_detail.php?newsid=1326198723&grpid=&catid=02&subcatid=0207

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has made a further demand that the King... take an oath to protect the constitution. This shows that the Nitirat’s real goal is to ‘control the conduct of His Majesty the King’, he [Vasit] said...

[T]he Absolute Monarchy was overthrown in 1932... So we have had the Constitutional Monarchy until today.

Every constitution limits royal power and clearly states what power His Majesty the King has... it should be known and borne in mind that His Majesty the King has never had a hand in writing any of those constitutions, only giving advice when asked by those who wrote them.

This seems to be quite a stir about nothing, really. The Khana Nitirat has put forth a proposal that a 'new' constitution be written, based upon both the 1932 constitutions, the 1946 constitution, and the 1997 constitution, and it will be that constitution, based upon the explicitly acknowledged, absolute sovereignty of the people, that the Khana Nitirat suggests should include this clause requiring the king to uphold the constitution.

I would imagine that it would also explicitly require the Royal Thai Army to uphold the constitution... as they are the ones who habitually do not do so. Perhaps that is the real source of displeasure here?

Next week there will be another meeting at which the Nitirat will again explain its views and seek to hear those of others, this time on its proposal for a new constitution. Perhaps Vasit should attend and gain a more complete understanding of the views of the Khana Nitirat and of the others in attendance and to offer his own.

Question to Thai NHRC: Do

Question to Thai NHRC:

Do you think human rights are important?

Answer from Thai NHRC:

erm...

Answer: It is all too

Answer: It is all too controversial and challenging. Give us a couple of years and we might begin thinking about it.

Hang on! The king can't be

Hang on! The king can't be both "above politics" and at the same time critical to "national security"! If the Thai king is not involved in the running of the nation, then criticising him can't possibly affect the nation, because the two things are seperate.

The royalist argument that everything they say is based on "culture" is becoming a bit tired and irrelevant to a modern democracy.

Look! If a king's authority

Look! If a king's authority and position as monarch do not come from the constitution, then where does his legitimacy as king come from?

The monarch is not above the nation. He is born out the constitution and has clear functions and duties to perform, these include being loyal to his nation and the constitution of that nation.

Emilio, Thais must have a

Emilio,

Thais must have a hero, a talisman, a totem. They're not completely alone in this, there are many in (for example) in UK who are fanatical about the obnoxious royal family there as well, because some psychological categories of people require a hero to fawn and slobber over.

Its just that Thais are much more backward so there are more of them and they are more fanatical. Ask a psychologist to measure the average Thai against the Piaget scale of development in children, and you will see that most Thais never mature beyond the level of about a 12-year-old in the west. This accounts for a lot of their ridiculous, and sometimes bizarre behaviour.

Losing this need for a comfort blanket is a part of growing up. Thais are just slower at growing up because of the mind-numbing cradle-to-the-grave propaganda they are exposed to in respect of the 'royal' family. Keep 'em dim, keep 'em uninformed, keep 'em uneducated and keep 'em frightened. Its a proven formula and the amartya in Thailand are good at it - mainly because it only requires a thick skin, a disconnection from 'lesser' people, and more malice than talent.

If you want a good example of dopey hero-worship, check out Vasit's comment in Prachatai. Silly old sod. The only way to prevent people like this from vacuously venting their irrelevances in public is for reporters to treat them as irrelevant and not shove a microphone in their face.. But that won't happen in Thailand because the Thai press has no dignity and no principle. Its a problem.