Home 5 News 5 Banning a Book on Thai Monarchy Sparks Rights Concern

Banning a Book on Thai Monarchy Sparks Rights Concern

by | Aug 7, 2023 | News

 

 

Thailand has taken the controversial step of banning an upcoming book centered on King Maha Vajiralongkorn, citing concerns that it ridicules the monarchy – a subject that has become increasingly politically sensitive in a country known for its strict laws against royal defamation.

The book, titled “Rama X: The Thai Monarchy under King Vajiralongkorn,” has faced backlash from rights groups and its exiled Thai editor, a prominent critic of the monarchy and conservative political elite. They argue that the ban infringes upon the country’s purported commitment to protecting freedom of speech and expression.

The government’s decision to prohibit the publication and import of the book was published in the Royal Gazette and authorized by police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas. The order contends that the book’s content and cover attempt to defame, insult, or pose a threat to the King, the Queen, the Heir to the throne, or the Regent. It also alleges potential risks to national security, social stability, and moral values.

Citing the 2007 Printing Recordation Act, the order imposes severe penalties, including up to three years of imprisonment and a substantial fine of approximately $1,730, for anyone found in violation of the ban. Additionally, any copies of the book that manage to enter the country may be seized and destroyed.

Erik Harms, chair of Yale’s Council on Southeast Asia Studies, has come to the defense of the book’s publisher. He highlights that the book is the result of meticulous scholarly research by renowned experts in Thai studies, subject to rigorous peer review adhering to the highest academic standards. Harms suggests that a more constructive approach to challenge the book’s content would be to encourage other experts to write and publish their counter-views in reputable, peer-reviewed journals.

Harms criticizes the ban, questioning its efficacy in engaging with opposing academic perspectives, and argues that readers should be free to decide for themselves whether the book deserves such censorship or not. The ban has ignited a debate about the limits of freedom of speech in Thailand, raising concerns about academic freedom and the country’s commitment to open discourse.

 

Recent News

23May
Alice Oseman’s Auction Supports Gaza Aid Efforts

Alice Oseman’s Auction Supports Gaza Aid Efforts

Alice Oseman, bestselling author of the YA Heartstopper books, has raised nearly £20,000 for children in Gaza in a special auction organised by Save the Children.  Not Alone: The Alice Osman Fundraiser for Children in Gaza included Alice Oseman bookplates and Heartstopper enamel pins as well as ‘signed and doodled’ Alice Oseman books.  Save the […]

23May
‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

The 2024 International Booker Prize has been claimed by “Kairos,” a poignant German novel delving into a tumultuous love affair set in 1980s Germany. Authored by Jenny Erpenbeck and masterfully translated by Michael Hofmann, this literary gem captivates readers with its exploration of love against the backdrop of political turmoil.   Eleanor Watchel, chair of […]

23May
Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

  A letter describing the contents of Lord Byron’s lost memoirs revealing how he “set his mind to evil” has been discovered in a university library. It was written by Elizabeth Palgrave, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1823 after a visit to a publishing house. The “bad boy” poet gave his memoirs to a friend […]

Related Posts

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

‘Kairos’ Claims Victory at International Booker Prize 2024

The 2024 International Booker Prize has been claimed by "Kairos," a poignant German novel delving into a tumultuous love affair set in 1980s Germany. Authored by Jenny Erpenbeck and masterfully translated by Michael Hofmann, this literary gem captivates readers with...

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

Lord Byron’s Lost Memoirs Were “Evil”

  A letter describing the contents of Lord Byron's lost memoirs revealing how he "set his mind to evil" has been discovered in a university library. It was written by Elizabeth Palgrave, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1823 after a visit to a publishing house....

Healing Fiction: A New Genre Emerges

Healing Fiction: A New Genre Emerges

We’ve had chic lit, cosy crime and romantasy – now make way for ‘healing fiction’, the latest genre to be identified by publishers.  In a fascinating article in the Bookseller, Justine Taylor, managing editor at the Zaffre Publishing Group, described healing fiction...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest