I can see why
Ive been to Thailand, their monarchy isnt like the uk. They have giant pictures and statues everywhere of him, its common to see a picture of him in a house or shop. They regard the monarchy extremely highly.
Thailand today blocked access to YouTube when Google refused to remove a clip "mocking the country's revered monarch", Reuters reports. The 44-second video, showing King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has offended Thai Buddhists due mostly to "the juxtaposition of a pair of woman's feet, the lowest part of the body, above his head, the …
Someone, even a King, needs to take himself quite so seriously. Getting a little miffed about the whole thing, sure. Blocking an entire country from a website and sending a guy to jail for 10 years? Well, let's just say there's a reason why those type of countries continue to be regarded as backwater holes.
Now, if he wanted to block something useful on Thailand's Internet, maybe he should take a peek at the kiddie porn that runs rampant over there.
I saw no point in the video myself. I suppose if you disliked him it would be a venue for expression. Lese Majeste is a long standing crime in Thailand. For instance, it is illegal to watch "The King and I in Thailand". Because it shows the King in a bad light. I suppose if they found a Thai was responsible for making the video, they might behead him on the spot. Oh well, I never thought that Anna managed to bring Siam to the modern day.
"Thailand today blocked access to YouTube when Google refused to remove a clip "mocking the country's revered monarch", Reuters reports."..... Well, whoever is responsible for that decision has single-handedly destroyed Google's Mythical Ethical stand....and reduced the Prodigals Brin and Page to Mortal Status and Touchables.
Can you hear IT from Mountain View.... "IT wasn't me, it was him, and he was made to do IT, for them, for they aint got a clue what they are supposed to be A'Doin'"
Ok never mind that, i'm only kidding! Who needs free speech anyway...
Come on, we all know Youtube and video sites are just as uncontrollable as the interweb itself... it just goes to show how narrow minded the governments of the respectively hostile countries are.
Youtube is just a medium for others to use to share information, rather than publishing it itself. Of course, it is entirely possible that the Thai government has taken a disliking to Youtube and possibly put that clip on their itself....
It may seem strange to us here, but Thais love their King. They absolutely adore him and are grateful for the steady hand and guidance through many difficult times over the last few decades.
This is not a freedom of speech issue. It is about respect. A Thai would think it perfectly appropriate to block a site that displays content insulting to the King. Imagine that he is your father, will you be happy to see insulting material about him? This is how Thais feel.
Last week, Swiss citizen Oliver Rudolf Jufer copped a 10-year jail sentence. This was, however, not widely published in the Thai media - presumably in an effort to shield the public from forming stereotypical opinions about foreigners since they bring a lot of much welcomed and needed cash into the country.
Many areas in the Land of Smiles rely on tourism as their main revenue generator. It does not help us foreigners if the people of Thailand formed such opinions about us. Much of our socially acceptable (in Western countries) behaviour - public drinking, women smoking and drinking, showing a lot of skin in public, shouting, etc. - is already highly questionable to many a Thai person without adding to it by foreigners ridiculing their King.
Presently I have little problems with anyone ridiculing Western politicians. This goes in tandem with the level of trust I place in their integrity and their ability to do (actively or by way of endorsement) things which benefit the public whom they are to serve.
"King Bhumibol Adulyadej has used his personal money to come up with a way to improve dry soil by rain-making techniques. He used aircrafts to scatter warm and cold clouds at different altitude to form rain. Moreover, he visited the urban area himself to teach the farmers and villagers to plant the proper way in order to avoid similar problems. The king of Thailand is an ideal role model for Thais to follow." (http://www.nationmultimedia.com/specials/literaryawards/winning.php)
Any politician in our Western world would be guaranteed my highest respect (and vote) for doing anything remotely similar. If they did, I too would most likely be insulted by anyone making mockery of him/her on YouTube.
Okay, this is the idea
People like to challenge Thais' believe that the king is not to be insulted in anyway. For example, Thai people mind that feet are dirty and they're the lowest part of the body, so putting your feet on someone is regarded is an insult (except massage, sure thing!), so there's the King's image on coins right? Most of foreigners are amazed by this idea that Thai people get upset when they step on Thai coins, so they challenge it by stepping on the coin and see how Thai people react.
This clip is just another form of doing that, it is understandable (to me) for someone to do that, Thai people won't like it. I think the king himself might not even know about this clip, Thai people would jump on to it first, since the thought of respecting the King has been 'implanted' over the generations.
Btw, I don't know why people dislike the king, he's cool! Most (I think, <b>all</b>) jailing and blocking, etc don't come from him, the government and Thai people does it.
It is a real bad decision to block the whole site, I'm a YouTube fan myself and it sucks not getting any access to it for 2 days now.
This is just my comment, I'm not speaking for Thai people, I speak just for myself.
The King, is number 1 in Thailand, because they are all brainwashed at a very young age to think he is the best, and he does no wrong. Recently the King spoke about he is NOT above the law, and that if people can't criticise him, then he is not human.
Well i would like to see the King of Thailand get off of his throne and tell the people to reduce this guys sentence, to something abit more normal for vandalism.
This will not happen, because then the Thai's may doubt their king being all powerful and super natural.
The king can do NO wrong in this country, even if he physically got a gun and shot 1000 people. The people would still love him.
But the guy who did this horrendous crime of defacing the king, had been living in Thailand for over 8 years, so he knew the score, he knows about the holidays as well as the stupid drinking laws out here. so he got what he deserved for being a prat.
Brainwashed? Controlled? Do you even know how a country is run? A King in a Constitutional Monarchy CANNOT touch the law or government. Since This is the Case, this answers your question about the vandal. The King's Law or Code of Conduct of the King of Thailand Forbids it. Therefore, even if HE WANTED TO, he simply cannot because there will be more conservative people around him not allowing him to know of the matter or be able to do so.
The reason WE Thais believe the King is supernatural and superpowered, is simply because of the great deeds that he has done for the people. Brainwash you say? Well, if the current King was an abusive, foolish, evil king, then no one would be listening to him or living him as to gather in the hundreds or maybe thousands on his 60th anniversary since his ascention the throne. WE choose to love and cherish our king because unlike some of your country's kings, presidents, and prime ministers, our king stepped out of his comfortable palace to help the people, to make the lives of all Thai people better, even just by a little bit.
Believe you me, the people CAN criticise the king, we simply choose not to. Even if there is a law, even if there is NO law against it, we will never ever think of betraying our King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is OUR choice to believe so, even if deep down inside we know it is not true.
But hey, this is all just a comment by a law student, listening to many influential people or people used to be influential to Thailand going on and on about how OUR COUNTRY, though may seem as not so advanced, was blessed by a great king. In other words, we may not be as advanced as the countries you so call 'advanced' or 'civilized', but we have a long history with our kings, and a living proof of our kings' great lineage and deeds in the current king of Thailand. So to you who say we are brainwashed from childhood, WE KNOW IT FOOL. WE KNOW IT, BUT WE LET IT, BECAUSE THE KING REALLY IS GREAT!
and try not to think "backwater holes"... think along more western lines. ie. The USA or UK? Both have had and have been extending laws that allow arrest without charge in some cases for just this sort of thing for years! since the war on terror began these laws have been spreading to other western countries with frightning speed.
Now, all I am trying to say here before the flames start is before you start banging on about how horrible and draconian a country is and ho much of a "backwater hole" it is, look at your own first and how yours treats it's people (ALL of them) and it's laws. If it's a truly fair and equitable/humanitarian system THEN maybe you have the right to start looking at others.
thats my 2c