Thursday, 12 April 2007

Sitthichai Pookaiyaudoom, the Thai communications minister, is pissed off at YouTube, where posters have made the king look foolish. YouTube refuses to take the offending clips down.

He has "accused [Google] of hypocrisy because it had agreed to censor its search engine in China", reports Al Jazeera.

He has a point. Google should never have agreed to Chinese authorities' demands that sites they deem sensitive be blocked. Including mine.

In a related story king Bhumibol Adulyadej is reported to have pardoned a Swiss national who defaced a royal painting recently.

According to Al Jazeera, the king "is protected from reproach by strict laws that forbid any criticism of the monarch".

Oliver Rudolf Jufer, 57, will be deported instead of jailed. Jufer's trial "was held behind closed doors".

This debate says to me that Bhumibol supporters don't understand what freedom of speech really means. On the other hand, those attacking the king's reputation fail to see how crucial the monarch is to a Thai's sense of self.

It's another case, don't you think, that illustrates the really huge challenges faced by individuals in an age of rapid globalisation, much like the Denmark cartoons scandal.


Anonymous said...

I'm really sad for Thailand.

alex said...
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