King 'wants no lese majeste punishments'

King 'wants no lese majeste punishments'

His Majesty the King does not wish to see anyone punished for lese majeste, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.

But Gen Prayut argues that protecting the monarchy is an important national security strategy.

"Regarding the [lese majeste] offence, or anything else that should not have been disseminated, His Majesty always says he does not want people to be punished for it," Gen Prayut said on the sidelines of a policy meeting about the government's budget planning for 2019. "Some people already know the law but they try to defy it," he said. "His Majesty regularly gives amnesties but some people still try to violate this law."

The premier made the remarks one day after student activist Jatupat "Pai Dao Din" Boonpattararaksa admitted defaming the royal family and was handed a jail sentence of two and a half years for liking and sharing a BBC article on his Facebook page.

The Khon Kaen Court handed down the sentence after Jatupat's confession. The young man's lawyer said the decision to plead guilty was a family one.

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