Ruling, opposition parties ask DSI to probe websites insulting monarchy

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BANGKOK, Jan 30 – Both Thailand’s ruling Pheu Thai Party and the opposition Democrat Party on Monday submitted complaints to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) asking the agency to take legal action against website operators and social networks which are deemed to be insulting to the kingdom’s royal institution.

Pheu Thai spokesperson Prompong Nopparit representing the ruling party filed its complaint with DSI Deputy Director-General Pol Col Prawet Moolpramuk asking the agency to investigate and proceed with legal action against websites and social networks which violate the Criminal Code, Article 112, for alleged disseminating of messages insulting to the monarchy.

Mr Prompong said the government has already closed some 60,000 websites but later found that they reopened and were operating under the cover of other networks or movements.

At the same time, Democrat Deputy Spokeswoman Mallika Boonmeetrakul petitioned the department asking for legal action against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, ICT Minister Anudit Nakornthap and the national police chief for negligence of duty.

Ms Mallika claimed that she informed the premier about websites allegedly insulting the monarchy since Dec 1, and presented the URL of 280 alleged anti-monarchical web pages. As of now, she said, none is closed or has resulted in legal proceedings.

Representing the so-called ‘Cyber Warrior Club’ coordinating with the Democrats, Ms Mallika said she has collected URLs for 483 web pages allegedly insulting the monarchy to submit to the DSI and asked the department to consider the case as being special.

The Democrat deputy spokesperson pledged that she would inspect the work of all concerned agencies every two weeks, while slamming the government’s claim on the closure of 60,000 web pages as information distortion.

The DSI deputy chief said upon receiving the letters from the two parties that the department has set up a centre to prevent and crackdown on websites insulting the monarchy since December.

Regarding Ms Mallika’s request to prosecute the prime minister and other concerned figures, Col Prawet said the National Anti-Corruption Commission will consider the issue.