Petition against the lese majeste law and the ambiguous roles of the monarchy in Thailand sign now

Your Majesty

We, the undersigned, are Thai citizens who sincerely and devotedly love our native country and regard a true democracy as the best, long-term solution to most sociopolitical, cultural and economic problems encountered in developing countries across the globe, including Thailand. As Your Majesty knows best, the peace and prosperity of a country are based on its democratic values. As responsible citizens, we are deeply concerned about the sociopolitical development in Thailand that has divided the people ideologically, damaged harmony and peace, sabotaged the rules of law, abused the people's democratic powers, and destroyed the economic strengths that we once had. With due respect and loyalty, we believe that Your Majesty is in the best position to help alleviate the current situations and pave the way for a better future of Thailand. Hence, we, supported by our foreign friends who care about the future of Thailand, respectfully request your kindest attention to the following petitions.
First of all, we plead Your Majesty to consider the lГЁse-majestГ law because of its highly destructive consequences. Such a law is regarded as anachronistic and undemocratic by people in democratic countries the world over. In democratic countries, slander and libel laws provide protection for their prominent citizens, and simple common courtesy prevails among citizens and as a sign of respect for the monarchy in any democratic country. In Thailand, the lГЁse-majestГ law is being abused nastily again common Thais and scholars seeking to bring truth to the dialogues among Thais. Historically speaking, the law was politically enforced with the underlying motive for killing innocent Thai exercising their democratic rights as evidenced in the massacres of October 1973 and October 1976. In recent years, the unfair or ungrounded accusations against innocent people and politicians for political gains by oppressive groups have led an increasing number of people in Thailand and overseas to believe that the Thai monarchy has allegedly been part of the conspiracy behind the increasingly violent development at present. They believe that the monarchy was the mastermind of the 2006 Coup D'etat that toppled the democratically elected government, ordered the military and civil servants to disobey the PPP government, tipped the high court to dissolve the peopleвs political parties, and provided the shield to the PAD who used the law indiscriminately to accuse and tarnish people with opposing views. In addition, the PAD, claiming to be under the banner of the monarchy, committed illegal acts like the occupation of the airports that had devastating international repercussions for Thailand and your Majestyвs reign. Were these acts not a far worse lГЁse majestГ than anything else? In fact, accusing everybody else as insulting the monarchy, the PAD alone is spreading hatred and negating many of the beneficial and positive works that Your Majesty has established for the improvement of poor Thais.
The abuse of this law has yielded the unfortunate consequence of tarnishing the reputation of Your Majesty as an enlightened, exemplary, and most beloved king. In the past, it led to imprisonment of many persons who exercised their freedom of speech, a main element of democracy. Each time the law is applied and reported in the media both in Thailand and overseas, it makes Thailand look ridiculous and barbaric, like a country stuck in past times, and it hurts Your Honored Majesty's reputation in the world. Thai people love their king. Of all the monarchies around the world, Your Majesty is the most revered and honored king of any country. Your Majesty's life-long work for the good of the country has ensured the enduring love and reverence among the Thai people. Your Majesty's true love for the Thai citizens, secured by your Majesty's royal dhamma, is indeed the source of a safe and sustained royal house in a democratic Thailand, not the lГЁse majestГ law. Therefore, we, citizens of Thailand, would like to request Your Majestyвs noble consideration for an appropriate act toward having lГЁse-majestГ abrogated in a seemly fashion. We also beg Your Royal Kindness in addressing, either in written or spoken form, the Thai people clearly about your position on this issue and exactly what you would like to see happening in association with lГЁse-majestГ.

The second petition concerns the role of the monarchy in Thai democracy. Despite the accepted notion that the democratic powers belong to the people, Your Majestyвs duties include endorsing governments and legislative documents, appointing military generals, judges, and other civil servants, etc., which are not only contradictory to the democratic notion but also risky in tarnishing Your Majestyвs own reputation. Such stipulations, with sadness, have led Thais and people around the world to see another shocking coup dвГtat in Thailand in 2006. In the 21st century, Thailand does not need such political upheavals anymore. Your Majesty has the power to not endorse governments that have risen to power via undemocratic means. Democracy in Thailand can only gain strength by following the democratic path, not by repeated abrogation of the constitution and its laws. Democracy is the best path for maintaining a constitutional monarchy, in fact. Even in a country like Sweden, which has been dominated by socialist governments for decades, the approval rating of the monarchy is still very high, like in Japan and several other democratic countries. In contrast, any illegal government, such as a dictatorship, can wipe away a monarch on a whim. Hence, Your Majestyвs actions can guide the democratic process by only endorsing legal governments. With sadness, we have had to see that the constitutional obligations of Your Majesty have put the monarchy in the center of current political problems, and the actions of a few hate-mongers, who labeled themselves as royalists, have immensely tarnished the monarchy's benevolent image. By clearly refraining from endorsing, even only implicitly, any polarizing political activities, the monarchy can stay above the political disagreements, foster the development of a harmonious Thailand, and retain the love and loyalty of all Thais. We believe that your Majestyвs noble wisdom and public support for a democratic process will lead to actions that can get rid of the vicious cycle that has persistently sabotaged Thai democracy and delayed the growth that Thailand deserves.

The third concern that we feel compelled to address for Your Majesty's attention is related to the role of Your Majestyвs Privy Council. Despite the written words about the council being politically neutral, it is public knowledge, both in Thailand and abroad, that Members of the Privy Council have intervened in the appointment of military and civil officers, made partial political comments and given unsolicited political advice that has caused confusion among those concerned. Oftentimes, those concerned do not know if the members speak for themselves or represent the voice of the monarchy. Oftentimes, Privy Council members have depicted themselves as the representative voice of the monarchy, or Your Majestyвs, creating unfair political advantage for those supported by the voice and frustration among those disadvantaged by such an elusive voice. While free speech is a critical foundation of a democracy, it is important to distinguish what is really the voice of the monarchy and what is the opinion of Members of the Privy Council. It is your Majestyвs prerogative to ensure that the members of the Privy Council state clearly about whose opinion they voice, and that they have no inappropriate roles in political decisions.

In conclusion, we, the undersigned, who are concerned Thai citizens residing in Thailand and overseas along with caring foreign friends, would hope that your Majesty can give your kindest considerations and actions regarding the aforementioned issues. We strongly believe that your Majestyвs considerate responses will not only strengthen the love and loyalty that we Thais have reserved for Your Majesty and Your family, but that they will also lead Thailand to a more peaceful, harmonious, prosperous, civilized and brighter future.

We humbly apologize for having to address Your Majesty in this fashion, but we feel that Your Majesty's support is indispensible in efforts to undo the deep divisions and damages in Thai society.

Respectfully yours,
The Undersigned

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Kathrine HaydenBy:
Petition target:
The Thai King


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