Cover photo from Khaosod English
Lampang Deputy Governor Chamlak Kanpetch has been investigated for alleged disloyalty to the monarchy over clicking the like button on the Facebook page of Yan Marchal, a French national well-known for his political parodies of Thailand’s monarchy and junta.
The leaked investigation letter dated 3 April 2023 from the Ministry of Interior was originally posted on exiled academic Somsak Jeamteerasakul’s FB page on 30 May 2023.
The leaked letter
(Photo from Somsak's FB page)
The letter stated that Marchal is considered a threat to the country and has been officially banned from entering Thailand. Chamlak’s behaviour was deemed inappropriate as a government official and was seen as disloyalty to the monarchy. The letter said an investigation committee had been formed to handle this case.
Chamlak confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Khaosod English. He said the investigation concluded in late April, and he has remained in office since then. He claimed to be framed by a local official with whom he had a land title dispute.
Chamlak emphasized that he is a true royalist, and willing to die for His Majesty. He insisted that his interaction with Marchal’s Facebook was meant to monitor and prevent the spread of information. Chamlak expressed concerns about Marchal’s contents, as it is unknown whether it is true or not.
Marchal responded to the issue through his FB page, saying that he was shocked and sorry for the official who was investigated due to clicking like on his FB post. He said this is a severe, arbitrary punishment against an official inflicted by a government whose term is coming to an end in the following months.
“I recommend that anyone holding any position be cautious. I do not want any innocent people to face problems because of their interaction with my content,” said Marchal on his FB.
Netizens bombarded Facebook with their comments, most of which said that this case is over the top while some criticized the government for being overly sensitive.