Friday, March 13, 2015

Two Thais were thrown in jail for insulting the King of Thailand

This happened a couple weeks ago, and I meant to post it back then, but I have been a bit overwhelmed. 

In Thailand now a military 'junta' (a group of members of the military) has taken control of the Thai government from the elected leader Yingluck Shinawatra. So there is no democracy in Thailand any more.

There is also no freedom of speech as two students were recently arrested for writing a play that was felt to be disrespectful toward the Thai King.

The story seems to indicate they had been waiting for their trial (a trial is a process in a court room where you are either found to be guilty or not guilty) for one year and they will be in jail for another two years +.

Here is the story:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to insult someone - to say things meant to make some look bad

the monarchy - in this case the monarchy means the king of Thailand

pleaded guilty - stated that they were guilty or that they had broken a law

strict - very severe, harsh, hard

a lese majeste law - this is a law that protects the reputation of a king or queen. 

the charges - the accusations, the alleged crimes, the supposed crimes

to silence dissent - to keep people who disagree with the military junta quiet; those who dissent are those who disagree 

convicted - found guilty

a sentence - in this case a punishment dealing with doing time in prison

reduced because they admitted guilt  - decreased because they said they were guilty; I believe the only reason they said they were guilty was to avoid spending 15 years in jail. Thailand seems to be a terrible place to live these days.

a verdict - a decision of guilt of innocence

activists - people who try to change things that are wrong

to dare to do something - to do something even though you may be harmed by doing it

staging the play - performing the play

allegorical songs - symbolic songs, songs in which certain symbols represent something else; for instance a wolf might represent the king.

left leaning groups - political groups that favor the people and not business or the military

bolder - stronger

the glorification of the king - making the king look much better than he actually is

transgressors - people who have violated or broken a law; so the current junta is going through past actions and finding people who insulted the king because the junta wants the people of Thailand to live in fear

a fantasy kingdom - not a real kingdom

featured a fictional king - it's main character was a fictional king

pro-democracy - for democracy; anti means against democracy

the offence - the violation, the crime

to defame - to make false statements about someone

snaring - catching

a coup - a military attack to take over the government

aiming to - they intend to, they are going to

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