Updated: 1.21.09 added an interview; see below
Giles ji Ungpakorn faces ‘Lese Majeste’ (insulting the king) charges, could mean up to 15 years prison
Giles ji Ungpakorn discusses the link between ‘neo-liberal’ economics and political repression
FYI on Neo Liberal Economics:
A Primer on Neoliberalism
They also make a distinction about neo-conservatives and neoliberals:
U.S. neo-conservatives, with their commitment to high military spending and the global assertion of national values, tend to be more authoritarian than hard right. By contrast, neo-liberals, opposed to such moral leadership and, more especially, the ensuing demands on the tax payer, belong to a further right but less authoritarian region. Paradoxically, the “free market”, in neo-con parlance, also allows for the large-scale subsidy of the military-industrial complex, a considerable degree of corporate welfare, and protectionism when deemed in the national interest. These are viewed by neo-libs as impediments to the unfettered market forces that they champion.
— About the Political Compass, January 6, 2004
Facing prison for dissent
January 20, 2009
Giles Ji Ungpakorn, an author and associate professor at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, will report to a Pathumwan police station today in a case that could land him in prison for nothing more than political dissent.
Ungpakorn is facing the charge of “lese majesty”–insulting the monarchy–for his book A Coup for the Rich (the book can be read online at Ungpakorn’s Web site), which analyses and criticizes the 2006 military coup in Thailand and discusses the question of the role of the monarchy in Thai politics.
The 2006 coup banned the popular and democratically elected Thai Rak Thai Party, led by businessman Thaksin Shinawatra, after right-wing protests by the inappropriately named People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) calling for Thaksin’s ouster.
The lese majesty charge against Ungpakorn is also being used against a host of other people after another coup late last year, this time carried out in the courts, against a democratically elected government led by the successor party to Thai Rak Thai, which was banned after the 2006 coup. The latest coup was again pushed by the PAD and strongly supported by the military.
Ungpakorn talked toabout his case and about political developments in Thailand.