Holidays in Thailand: Guide to a safe journey
Source: New Europe
DECEMBER 22, 2015
New Europe’s guide to a safe journey in Thailand:
1° Flying there
blacklisted as unsafe by the US authorities and under the scrutiny of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) .The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) believes “the country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas”
2° Freedom of speech
Watch what you say about the King or the government, you can easily fall foul of lese majeste Art. 112 Law. Even Ambassadors can be censured and threatened with charges. Last month, the Thai police opened an inquiry into remarks made by the US Ambassador to Thailand, Glyn Davis. He said: “No one should be jailed for peacefully expressing their opinion. We’re also concerned by the lengthy and unprecedented prison sentences handed down by Thai military courts against civilians for violating the lese majeste law.”
3° Freedom of the press
Get used to censored international press blanking out articles. In three months, four articles were removed from theInternational New York Times Thailand edition, leaving the following comment: “The article in this space was removed by our printer in Thailand. The Times and its editorial staff had no role in its removal”.
Be aware, there is slavery in Thailand. Global supermarkets such as Carrefour, Tesco, the Co-operative and Aldi for instance, sell those lovely prawns in abundance caught by slave labour and peeled by enslaved children. A 22 years old boy enslaved in a port close to Bangkok testified: “I was shocked after working there a while, and I realized there was no way out.”
5° Facebook with care
Liking the wrong Facebook post can get you 15 years in jail. A Thai factory worker was recently charged under the Art. 112 for clicking the “Like” button on Facebook of a doctored picture of King Bhumibol.
6° Don’t mess with the dog
King’s dog you could be prosecuted by the military court. The royal insult law is also valid for royal pets since Thanakorn Siripaiboon was charged over online remarks about Tongdaeng, the King’s dog. The dog is seen as a symbol of the obedience and manners expected in Thailand’s hierarchical society. The monarch even wrote a book about Tongdaeng’s good behavior.
7° Taxi banter is dangerous taxi driver was jailed for 2 and a half year for criticising the monarchy in his car. The passenger recorded the driver and handled the record to the police.
8° Don’t speak, but also don’t write
Harry Nicolaides was sentenced to three years of jail after writing a novel featuring characters that resemble members of the Thai royal family. The writer wrote one paragraph calling into question the romantic affairs of an unnamed Thai prince, which caused him to be accused of lese majeste.
9° Not even an SMS… 20 years of prison for sending text messages that were allegedly insulting the monarchy. He died in prison one year later. The Financial Times reports that “in at least two recent cases, people accused of lese majeste have died mysteriously in custody.
10° Karaoke might also be dangerous… social media campaign to free 68 years old musician and businessman known as “Opas”, who is currently in jail term for writing anti-monarchy graffiti in October 2014.