Seven Samurai 
The Nitirat group remained defiant in the face of heavy criticism yesterday over its campaign to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code, commonly known as the lese majeste law.
According to my Merriam-Webster…
verb \di-ˈfī, dē-\
1 archaic : to challenge to combat
2 : to challenge to do something considered impossible : dare
3 : to confront with assured power of resistance : disregard <defy public opinion>
4 : to resist attempts at : withstand <the paintings defy classification>
Ironically, the Bangkok Post uses the word in sense number ___, when in fact it has been the Royal Thai Army and its mouthpiece, the Bangkok Post itself, which have been threatening violence. The Bangkok Post is now trying to build a secondary case for use of the word in sense number ____, but in fact it is not the public but a tiny sliver thereof, the reactionary ‘elite’ and ‘elite wannabees’, whose opinion is discounted by the Niti Raat. If fact, the senses of the word which apply to the Niti Raat are primarily ____, for they are in fact changing peoples’ ideas of what is or is not possible in Thailand by their clear statement of principle and stepwise, reasoned approach to politics and political problems, and their perseverence in the face of bald threat and intimidation is well described by sense number ____.
On its website, http://www.enlightened-jurists.com, Nitirat said it will continue to seek the support of 10,000 people or more for its push to amend the law.
UPDATE: January 16 Komchadleuk reports 10,000 signatures to amend Article 112 has already been achieved!
The group has been attacked by many sectors for forming a committee to amend Section 112 on Jan 15 and its discussion of proposed constitutional amendments on Jan 22.
CHECK : Democrat Party and PAD embrace
The group, which is made up of legal experts from Thammasat University, said the criticism was directed at individuals and did not hold academic grounds.
It claimed that facts and legal principles were also distorted to create misunderstandings among the public.
The group insisted its proposals, especially the one to amend the lese majeste law, were legitimate.
“Section 112 is part of the Criminal Code, so it is legitimate for people who see problems associated with it to seek improvement,” the group said.
Sawatree Suksri, a Thammasat University law lecturer and Nitirat supporter, yesterday claimed the group was being singled out.
Posting on her Facebook page, she claimed to have received a letter from a military officer warning against proceeding with the campaign.
Can’t name names, Bangkok Post? Who was the ‘military officer’ threatening the civilian?
Theera Sutheewarangkoon, another Nitirat member, also claimed the group is a target for intimidation.
“If expressing different views means being hunted down or killed, let Nitirat be the last in this case,” he posted on his Facebook page.
Check out what the Bangkok ‘elite’ did to Boonsanong Punyodyana (pdf) at about 1:30 am on 28 February 1976, exactly three cycles ago next month. Three cycles of intrigue, suppression, and murder by the Bangkok ‘elite’… is exactly what the Niti Raat is going to end.
The Nitirat group, however, could be facing a withdrawal of support.
Could be. But is not. Is in fact enjoying the support of everyone but the reactionary minority in Bangkok.
Renowned political scientist Seksan Prasertkul has issued a statement distancing himself from the group.
Mr Seksan, former dean of Thammasat’s political science faculty, said his support for any change is based on the principle of legal reforms intended to uphold core institutions.
That’s exactly what the Niti Raat is proposing to do.
He said he was approached by a group of senior lecturers to support the proposed reforms.
But his support for reforms is merely an opinion which is subject to debate and consideration by the public at large.
“I have no plan to join the movement because I am fed up with conflicts,” he said. “I insist I have nothing to do with the Nitirat group which is spearheading the campaign and other issues associated with it.”
The poor guy has buckled under pressure… it happens to all of us at one time or another. Bernice Johnson Reagan wrote in her song, We who believe in freedom cannot rest dedicated to Ella Baker…
The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
Is when the reins are in the hands of the young who dare to run against the storm
To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
And if I can shed some light I will as they carry us through the gale
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes
Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot I’ve come to realize
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survives
…and all of us can only agree. That last line applies to the Niti Raat, in spades.
Tida Tawornseth, chair of the red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, yesterday reserved her opinion about Nitirat’s proposal, but she urged all groups to maintain objectivity when discussing proposals, including amending Section 112.
“Society should listen and we red shirts will do so. We live in an open society and criticism should be based on reason, not emotion,” she said.
That’s principled and circumspect. The Royalists would cite the support of the UDD, whom they wantonly and absurdly term ‘terrorists’ – a la the USA’s branding of those it aims to destroy, and for the UDD to advertise its support of Niti Raat to a Bangkok Post reporter before the tide has turned would be to allow them to associate the ‘dread’ UDD and the Niti Raat and play into the hands of the vicious Royalist ‘elite’.
The ruling Pheu Thai Party was adamant that it had no plans to amend the lese majeste law.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit read a party statement on the issue which stressed its commitment to uphold the monarchy and democracy.
He said the party would also lodge a petition with the Department of Special Investigation on Monday to investigate websites hosting content deemed offensive to the higher institution.
The Pheu Thai Party is Yet Another Collection of (wanna be) ‘elitists’ who just wanna be on the side that’s winnin’. They’ve picked the wrong side. They’re being used by the Traditional ‘elite’ and, win or lose, will now be discarded by both the ‘elite’ and the people.
Democrat deputy spokesman Sakolthee Pattiyakul called on the media to not give the oxygen of publicity to Nitirat’s proposals.
“I don’t want the media to be manipulated by little-known lecturers,” he said.
Right.. he wants them to manipulated by well-known ‘elitists’.
“If they give them attention, we’ll see more unusual proposals that do nothing but cause divisiveness.”
That’s their fear of course… ‘more unusual proposals’ means those that would deliver power to the majority of the people and wrest it from the ‘elite’ minority.
He noted that Nitirat could have something else up in its sleeve and amending Section 112 could be just a pawn in its game or a decoy.
He openly invokes… what? witchcraft?
He said the government should also take a stronger stance on the issue.
Well, he’s not a part of the government, is he? His party was overwhelmingly rejected at the polls, wasn’t it?
People who are opposed to any amendment of Section 112 will gather at the Royal Plaza today.
I hope it rains… to cool off their overheated… well the blood engorged tissues inside their collective crania. ‘Brains’ is not the right word here.