Almost as if to prove my point, today’s Bangkok newspapers excitedly trumpet on their front pages that police have arrested a man on a lese majeste charge.
His crime, it seems, was to re-post on his Facebook page a news release regarding the King’s health.
It turns out the release was a hoax, and now Thailand’s military and police forces are combing the land looking for those responsible. So convincing was the original release that one major news outlet ran it on their webpage, before hurriedly removing it, and no doubt sweating bullets, when it became obvious they’d been had.
There seems to be no suggestion the man arrested at 2am Wednesday morning was the author of the hoax report, but under Thai law he can be banged up for seven days without charge.
Such is the seriousness of lese majeste in Thailand.
In less important police and corruption news, buried deep inside the papers, Interpol has been called in to try and locate a British man who murdered a Thai bar worker and stuffed her in a suitcase.
And a local community wants Thailand’s anti-corruption body to step in to stop a developer concreting a prized nature area. No-one seems to know how the developer came to own the land, which was thought to be a designated wilderness area.