Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha objects to Thai PBS's airing of a five-part discussion series which questioned whether the monarchy needs to be protected against defamation by the lese majeste law, saying that there are more pressing problems to be tackled other than the role of the monarchy.
I beg to differ. How can he say, for example, that preventing rival students from attacking each other is more important than us having a clear understanding of the role of the monarchy? He says that lessons on good morals are more important _ but surely we can study good role models and discuss the monarchy's role at the same time. Indeed, we can learn much from holding His Majesty up as a good role model, thereby accomplishing both goals at once. The general says we should not discuss the issue while political conflicts remain sharp; but, again, turning to His Majesty for guidance both enables us to lessen such divisions and analyse how an excellent monarch can calm stormy waters. So long as both sides are willing to reason things through and seek to understand other views, there is no time like the present to debate any issue _ especially while we have a king who welcomes other views, and hence is an excellent role model.