Lèse-majesté and Thailand travel advisory

Flashback 2012: I attended one of the many meetings of managers in our company and this time the CEO of our enterprise walks in and everyone stands up. I didn’t. Why? Well the person is more used to action than appeasement and if he walks in to a meeting he better get comprehensive status reports than mere gestures of obedience. But some people are not wise enough to understand this and think the CEO of a company of that size must be gullible to such ‘overtures’. Well, rest is history.

Fast forward today: NYT has piece which also mentions that Thailand has a form of law called Lèse-majesté (also lese-majesty, lese majesty or leze majesty)  and “is the crime of violating majesty, an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state.” It covers a broad spectrum of mishaps you can incur if you fail to accord proper courtsey to the king, queen, heir to throne or other royalty in the kingdom.

Sounds OK right?

Well, no!

They should put this in the travel advisory to Thailand because such misdemeanours (if I can call it that without offending any Royalty) are punishable with prison of up to 15 years.

Now, I consider myself wise in respecting the feelings of the people around me at the cinema in Bangkok this year, when I stood up during their national song of the King before the movie was started. An act of simply respecting the local folk, which now I understand could have made the difference between me writing this post here or cooling off in a remote prison by the sea.

#peace and glory to the Royalty of this world and a request to take it easy. But I also know the Spanish Royalty is much naughty in this area.

Source for legal definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lèse-majesté

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