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Insult the king's dog, go to jail

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I don’t pretend to know what this Thai film, Khun Tongdaeng: The Inspiration, is about, but it’s partly animated, it’s partly anthropomorphic, and it shows Thai King Bhumibol Aduyadej’s pet dog, Tongdaeng (Copper), as a canine superheroine.

Thailand has the strictest laws against lese majeste (insulting the king) in the world, which have been interpreted to prohibit any news criticism of the king’s government. Recently Thanakorn Siripaiboon, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on charges of violating those laws for possibly insulting the king’s dog by posting a “sarcastic” photograph of her on Facebook. The 88-year-old king is in a wheelchair, and in the photo it looks like the happily-panting dog is pulling the wheelchair. Siripaiboon’s lawyer says that the charge is ridiculous for several reasons, including an absurd stretching of the laws against insulting the king.

Here is a trailer for Khun Tongdaeng: The Inspiration. Nothing wrong here; this is approved by the Thai government. The movie, a live-action/animated adaptation of a book about Tongdaeng written by the king, is #2 on Thai box office charts at the moment.

Tongdaeng was a stray rescued by King Bhumibol Aduyadej in the late 1990s, so she must be at least 16 years old today. She doesn’t look it.

Hmmm; could this trailer have some of the animation from the Thai 2012 Yak: The Giant King, by Workpoint Pictures, an animation studio near Bangkok, reused in it?

Comments

Your rating: None

Do not pass go, do not collect 200 bones.

Your rating: None

Fred,

There is nothing wrong or against the law anywhere in Thailand if you wanted to talk about the king or the monarchy, provided that what you said should fall under that 'all love the king', 'all hail the king' narratives. Just like there is nothing wrong in the movie you mentioned here because its'all the rage under that narratives which is not only permitted but also a highly encouraged by the Elites in Bangkok. And when I say the Elites I means the yellow shirts, the PDRC, and the army. Those are people who are always on the rage about enforcing this draconian laws anywhere. According to them, you can only love the king and the monarchy, and should remind yourself again and again that 'the king can do no wrong'. They'll baffled and hate you for thinking or doing otherwise. They had shut down the country once and I guess they'll close the Internet and take on the whole world too if they had to, just to 'protect the king'.

And You know what? what is kind of ironic about the said law though, is that you never seen the King himself endorsing, encouraging, or even addressing it in public, even once.

Hell, I talk too much already, my jail term could be just as long as that guy who insulted the kings dog in the news just for saying something borderline (to their ears) like this.

Your rating: None

And You know what? what is kind of ironic about the said law though, is that you never seen the King himself endorsing, encouraging, or even addressing it in public, even once.

The king did address it back in his 2005 birthday speech (a kinda clunky English translation of the highlights, unofficial Thai transcript of full speech: "They said that the King can do no wrong, as the privy councillors like to say in English. But when you say the King can do no wrong, it is wrong. We should not say that."

Ever since the 2006 coup, the lèse majesté law has turned into a political tool, both for trying to get rid of one's political enemies, and for showing off how loyal to the king one is. The number of cases filed skyrocketed after the coup.

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics