Royalists target US Embassy Facebook in Thailand

By Chi Liquicia

A protester holds up a portrait of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a rally urging the U.S. not to interfere in Thailand's internal affairs, in front of the U.S. embassy in Bangkok December 16, 2011. (REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang)

The Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok this week became the latest battleground between supporters and critics of the monarchy in Thailand.

The exchanges on the popular social networking site resulted in an increase in the traffic on the page. Some of the posts
were simple expressions of love for the Thai King, but other comments were ugly and abusive. So before the situation could get out of hand, the embassy decided to take out all the posts.

Now the embassy itself  is a target of the royalists. On Friday, 200 supporters of a royalist group held a protest outside
the embassy denouncing Washington’s alleged meddling in Thai affairs, specifically in the country’s royal insult laws called lese majeste.

The group is demanding an apology from Ambassador Kristie Kenny for saying that she was troubled that certain lese majeste prosecutions were inconsistent with international standard of free expression.

The embassy is now in damage control mode. It issued a statement reiterating the U.S. government’s respect for the Thai
monarchy and its laws, reports The Nation, one of two English language dailies in Thailand. “Thailand is our oldest friend
in Asia and we will continue to stand by the Thai people.” for the entire statement click below. The same statement in Thai appears on the embassy’s Facebook page.

Straight to the Source