. Earth Science News .

Thai army targets New Year protests
by Staff Writers
Bangkok (UPI) Dec 21, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Thailand's army will help local police during the New Year period in case of threats to public order, especially protests over the restrictive lese-majeste laws.

The move is designed to dampen plans by protesters to gather in public and cut off Internet campaigns demanding changes to the laws that prohibit insults to the Thai royal family.

The laws have been heavily criticized as a tool for the government, police and military to clamp down on political dissidents and foreigners.

A U.S. citizen, Joe Gordon, was sentenced earlier this month to be jailed for 2 1/2 for translating parts of a banned biography of the king and posting them online.

Thai army commander Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said people shouldn't be calling on authorities to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the lese-majeste law, a report in the Bangkok Post said.

"Personally, I feel we should not talk about this and I don't want it to go overboard," he said. "If people think Thai law is unjust or too harsh, they can go live abroad. I would like Thai people to stop confronting each other and creating conflict."

Prayuth also warned against discussing the possibility of bombings during the New Year holiday.

"Don't start talking about possible bombings and stir up unrest during the New Year because it could hurt tourism," Prayuth said before visiting the restive southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala this week.

Military police will be deployed to support local Bangkok police in areas suspected of becoming protest gathering points, Defense Minister Gen. Yutthasak Sasiprapa said.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung also warned against amending the lese-majeste law and asked whether protesters "have jobs to go to."

He said Thailand has prospered because of the royal family of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

"Because of His Majesty's compassion and graciousness in all areas, Thailand has gone from poverty to prosperity, from being an underdeveloped country to a developing country."

Chalerm also said he would lead a meeting for dealing with Web sites with lese-majeste content and block such sites.

He said he will talk with True Corp, an Internet service provider, while national police officials will meet the heads of other service telecoms companies, including TOT, CAT Telecom and 3BB.

The comments come after Gordon, a 55-year-old, Thai-born U.S. citizen, was sentenced in a Bangkok court under the lese-majeste law, even though he posted the offending content online while living in Colorado.

Gordon lived in the United States for about 30 years until May when he visited Thailand for arthritis treatment.

His five-year sentence was reduced because he pleaded guilty during his trial in October.

Last month a Thai court sentenced a 61-year-old man to 20 years in jail for sending several cellphone text messages allegedly offensive toward the queen.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Flood-hit Philippines prepares for mass burials
Iligan, Philippines (AFP) Dec 19, 2011
The Philippines prepared for mass burials of flood victims Monday to minimise health risks from rotting cadavers after a cyclone disaster left hundreds dead or missing on Mindanao island. Hard-pressed authorities in the port cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, where villagers were swept to sea as they slept in coastal slums, are struggling to cope with the devastation left by tropical storm ... read more

UN calls for Philippine flood aid

Japan PM to ask China for disaster zone pandas

Thai army targets New Year protests

Fukushima reactors may take 40 years to dismantle

Canada hunts for rare earth metals as China cuts back

Split decision in Microsoft smartphone patent case

Landmark discovery has magnetic appeal for scientists

New Take on Impacts of Low Dose Radiation

Nitrogen from humans pollutes remote lakes for more than a century

Data-driven tools cast geographical patterns of rainfall extremes in new light

IDFC: India's water supply at risk

What are the prospects for sustaining high-quality groundwater

Season's greetings from the other extreme

Will Antarctic worms warm to changing climate

Using new technology to record Antarctic Ocean, ice temperatures

Central Asian glaciers resist warming

More Canadian farmers going high-tech

Southampton researchers help to outline world's land and water resources for food and agriculture

Chinese scientist gets 7 years for stealing US secrets

New insight into why locusts swarm

Disease fears as Philippines flood toll tops 1,000

Philippines buries its dead as flood toll tops 1,000

Aquino vows aid as Philippine flood toll tops 1,000

Philippine storm toll passes 900 as cities prepare burials

Fighter jets kill 10 in south Somali air raid: witnesses

Bongo party wins landslide in Gabon vote: official

First Djibouti troops join AU Somalia force

US special forces in Central Africa for LRA rebel hunt

Human skull study causes evolutionary headache

Malaysian 'lords of the jungle' cling to ancient ways

Mind reading machines on their way: IBM

I wanna talk like you


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement