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Lese Majeste Suspects ‘Bottled Up in Laos’

Laos Lese Majeste

A number of suspected lese majeste offenders are holed up in Laos and police will work with public prosecutors and Interpol to track them down, the national police chief says.

Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said the Thai and Lao governments have discussed the matter and police are waiting for the green light to proceed.

Prosecutors will have to work with the Foreign Ministry to seek the extradition of suspects hiding in Laos, he said.

The police chief’s remarks came after Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on Monday revelaed Lao authorities told him they were acting to stop lese majeste suspects from staging activities and broadcasting content targeting the Thai Monarchy.

Lese Majeste Fugitives Using Radio and Social Media in Laos

Lao authorities have also suspended local radio programmes with content attacking the monarchy.

Gen Prawit said he asked the Lao government to take care of the matter following reports that lese majeste fugitives were using social media and radio stations in neighbouring countries to spread their message. The request was made when he attende the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting retreat in Vientiane, Laos, last week.

SPeaking after Tuesday’s cabinet metting, Foreign Minister Don Pramudiwinai said the Lao authorities have cured anti-monarchy activities by fugitives in the country.

If other countries cooperated in the same way, the problem would ease, he said.

The minister said the monarchy is revered by Thais but the concept is often disorted elsewhere, particularly by the Western media, who always cite human right issues in their commentary on the country, regardless of Thai law on the matter.

He said after the King’s passing on Oct 13, people around the world learned more about the King.

“When the media spread his story, people knew the late King had put great efforts into helping people,” he said.

The minister declined to comment on the chance of lese majest fugitives being extradited to Thailand, saying the matter is unique to each country.
He insisted no country would want to see foreigners use their nation to create political conflicts with their government and Thailand.

Suspects Detained in Khon Kaen

Meanwhile, three people have been detained in cases of alleged sedition for leaflets distributed in northestern provinces, according to police.

The trio, ed by Sakda Sakulpanarak, 68, were detained in Khon Kaen.

Citing an investigation, deputy neational police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said Tuesday that Mr Sakda created the leaflets with content intended to stir up division and the documents were put in mailboxes in the Northeast.

He said the three were in military custody where they would be questioned.

It remains unclear whether they were connected to any policital group.

The trio could face charges under Section 116 of the Criminal Code in relation to sedition.

Source: Bangkok Post