Petition filed to protect Section 112
Suwit Thongprasert, an ex-monk formerly known as Phra Buddha Isara, on Friday submitted a petition to the parliament president to oppose any moves to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law.
Mr Suwit, and representatives of the People's Army Protecting the Monarchy, lodged a petition signed by 222,928 people, to oppose moves to amend Section 112 as well as Section 116, or the sedition law, of the Criminal Code.
He insisted that the monarchy has been one of the main pillars of the country, a source of Thai culture and tradition, and a unifying force for the Thai people.
Meanwhile, the Progressive Movement yesterday posted on Facebook an invite for people to sign an online petition seeking to amend Section 112.
"The more people who sign the petition, the more chance of scrapping Section 112. This means the petition which will be submitted to parliament receives the consent of people in society," the movement wrote.
Even though the law stipulates that a proposal by the public to amend the law requires the support of at least 10,000 people, this is still not enough because pushing for a major issue such as scrapping Section 112 needs the support of the majority in society, the movement said.
The main opposition Pheu Thai Party previously denied it had initiated a contentious amendment to the lese majeste law, an issue made divisive after former premier Thaksin Shinawatra's remarks saying there is no problem with the law.
The party clarified that it was acting merely as a vehicle bringing any amendment of Section 112 of the Criminal Code to parliament for deliberation. The clarification came after Chaikasem Nitisiri, the party's chairman of political strategy and direction, affirmed on Monday Pheu Thai's intention to push proposals to amend Sections 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code in parliament.