When the king is in residing in his beloved Germany, he is prone to behave in ways that are not seen in Thailand. The German media paparazzi has shown the king dressed in casual, indeed, in odd ways (see left).
No Thailand-based media outlet has dared to publish pictures or video of the casual king, although in the past they did publish photos of his father in casual – but not odd – attire such as Hawaiian shirts and shorts.
It seems that the military junta is engaged in efforts to prevent Thais in Thailand from seeing the king in all his foreign “fashion” glory.
Prachatai reports that the junta has managed to convince Facebook to block pictures of the “German king” in Thailand.
On 4 May 2017, the exiled academic Somsak Jeamteerasakul announced on his Facebook that he has received an email from Facebook informing that one of his statuses violates Thailand’s 2007 Computer Crimes Act (CCA). Facebook has subsequently decided to restrict access to the post in Thailand.
“We’re contacting you because the Ministry of Digital Economy & Society [MDE] has sent us a Court Order issued by the Judge Tassanee Leelaporn and Judge Somyod Korpaisarn of the Criminal Court of Thailand stating that the following post you made on Facebook violates Section 14(3) of the Computer Crimes Act B.E. 2550 (2010),” read the email.
A court order from royalist judges is, for the dictators, a bit like sitting on the toilet – easy, normal and convenient. As we have stated previously, the courts in Thailand have been made a royalist tool for political repression.
Section 14(3) is about national security. As many readers will recall, a military junta has determined that the monarchy is a matter of “national security.” In the small military mind, this means that seeing photos of the king dressed casually is a threat to national security.
That Facebook accepts this kind of bizarre claim means that any crazy regime can enact any law it pleases and the Facebook money counters will comply (at least when they have a decent market in that tinpot dictatorship).
So now, instead of seeing Somsak’s post of a king in odd clothing users in Thailand get a message: “Content unavailable in Thailand.”
Prachatai states that:
According to Somsak, the blocked post is a video clip of a man believed to be King Vajiralongkorn walking in a shopping mall in Germany. Before its removal, the video had generated over 400,000 views.
That bit about “a man believed to be the king” is odd indeed, but there you are, Thailand under the military dictatorship and mad monarchists is an odd place. It resembles a children’s tale made very scary for its reality.