A misguided species

A horrible item out of Thailand a couple of days ago.

A Thai man in his 60s who became known as “Uncle SMS” after he was convicted of defaming Thailand’s royal family in mobile phone text messages, has died while serving his 20-year prison term, his lawyers said on Tuesday.

A 20-year prison term. For a guy in his 60s. For “defaming” a royal. It’s beyond belief in its brutality and pettiness.

Plus he was ill. Cherry on the sundae, that is.

The case of Amphon Tangnoppakul, a grandfather who had suffered from mouth cancer, drew attention to Thailand’s severe lese-majesty laws last November when he received one of the heaviest-ever sentences for someone accused of insulting the monarchy.

God damn human beings, with their hateful little taboos and idols and pieties coupled with enormous punishments and revenges and extortions. So he “insulted” the monarchy; so the hell what. Get over yourselves.

Amphon’s cause of death was not known, but he had complained of stomach pains on Friday and was transferred to a correctional department prison, his lawyer, Anon Numpa, said.

It was not immediately clear when he died, but Amphon’s wife learned the news on Tuesday during a visit to the Bangkok prison where he was being held, Anon said.

Oh, that’s nice. That’s a nice touch. They couldn’t let her know, they had to wait until she turned up for a visit.

Amphon was arrested in August 2010 and accused of sending four text messages to a government official that were deemed offensive to the queen. He denied sending them, claiming he did not  know how to use the SMS function on his telephone.

He wept during his court proceedings, saying: “I love the king.”…Before his arrest, Amphon had lived in retirement with his wife, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren in a rented room in Samut Prakan province on the outskirts of Bangkok.

In other words he was dirt-poor. Well done royal family of Thailand. We all think tremendously highly of you now, you can be sure.


  1. says

    Waaaay back, I had assumed that Thailand was one of those cuddly modern harmless monarchies like the British (OK, I saw the next post — only Mostly Harmless) or Japanese ones. I guess things haven’t advanced as much since the version depicted by Yul Brinner as I had thought.

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