Some of our readers may have heard already that Sulak Sivaraksa, the editor/publisher, is again being accused of lese majeste — the most notorious crime with the maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. The latest charge was made on 6 November 2008. Many friends around the world have been very concerned and have sent messages to the Principal Private Secretary to H.M. the King asking for royal intervention so that the Chief of Police could stop the false charges triggered by Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister, and the two puppets who succeeded his premiership.

Sulak is positive that he would be free either through the grace of His Majesty or through the Law Courts. In the last case initiated by the then dictator, General Suchinda Kraprayoon, it took four years before he was acquitted triumphantly as the judge said clearly that the defendant’s speech was to protect the constitutional monarchy and to alert the young to serve the poor and to protect the environment — warning them against the new demonic religion of consumerism, which appears in the form of globalization.

The gist of the Siamese problems is that we have been uprooted from our Buddhist culture, which helped our people to transform greed into generosity, hatred into loving-kindness and delusion or ignorance into true understanding or wisdom. Now, the elites in Siam care more about greed (wealth), hatred (power), and delusion (egoism/individualism, sometimes in the name of nationalism). For the establishment, monks and laity, Buddhism means form and ceremony, being intertwined with superstition, feudalism and commercialism. People in responsible position are afraid to speak the truth, have no time to understand the poor and the oppressed, who are the majority in the country. They have no moral courage and have no time to reflect that their lifestyle is contributing to a wider gap between the rich and the poor — also endangering the global habitat.

Vol.25-No.1-Jan.-Apr.-2552-2009_compressed