The preparation of this Seeds of Peace volume overlapped with the 76th birthday anniversary of our publisher/editor Sulak Sivaraksa. And what can be a better birthday present for him than a new round of lese majeste charges? This is lese majeste season in Siam. It is not an auspicious time to criticize the king and the monarchy as the charge of lese majeste is being deployed as a secret WMD by all sides in the proverbial war of all against all—no matter which side emerges victorious in this war, it will be a triumph of reactionary forces as none of the belligerent parties hold emancipatory potentials and agenda.
Let’s briefly recount the recent personal saga of Sulak. The first lese majeste charge that Sulak is facing concerns his interview in Same Sky magazine (Vol. 3, No. 4, Oct-Dec 2005). He “surrendered himself to the Bangsue police on 21 August 2006, and was released on bail. He then travelled to Bhutan and was invited to organize the Gross National Happiness conference, which was held in Bangkok and Nong Khai during 22-24 November 2007. The then prime minister Surayud Chulanont told Sulak that the police were oppressing the people and that Sulak had nothing to worry about the lese majeste charge. Subsequently, the new national police chief (appointed by PM Surayud) informed Sulak that the Royal Secretariat Office had told the police to put a hold on Sulak’s case, since 4 May 2007.Vol.25-No.2-May.-Aug.-2552-2009_compressed