World

Thai intellectual faces anti-monarchy charge for comments about king who died 400 years ago

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1995 file photo, Sulak Sivaraksa from Thailand poses for a photo during an award ceremony of the 1995 Right Livelihood Award, also called the "alternative Nobel Prize," in Stockholm, Sweden. Sulak, one of Thailand’s most prominent intellectuals, is the target of a criminal complaint for comments he made about a Thai king who died more than 400 years ago, Police Col. Thiravit Busaban said Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Eighty-two-year-old Sulak was cited by two retired senior army officers on charges of lese majeste, or insulting the monarchy. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for up to 15 years. In Thailand, anyone can file a lese majeste complaint with police, and the charge has frequently been used as a weapon to harass political enemies. (AP Photo/Eric Roxfelt, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1995 file photo, Sulak Sivaraksa from Thailand poses for a photo during an award ceremony of the 1995 Right Livelihood Award, also called the "alternative Nobel Prize," in Stockholm, Sweden. Sulak, one of Thailand’s most prominent intellectuals, is the target of a criminal complaint for comments he made about a Thai king who died more than 400 years ago, Police Col. Thiravit Busaban said Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Eighty-two-year-old Sulak was cited by two retired senior army officers on charges of lese majeste, or insulting the monarchy. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for up to 15 years. In Thailand, anyone can file a lese majeste complaint with police, and the charge has frequently been used as a weapon to harass political enemies. (AP Photo/Eric Roxfelt, File)  (The Associated Press)

One of Thailand's most prominent intellectuals is the target of a criminal complaint for comments he made about a Thai king who died more than 400 years ago.

Eighty-two-year-old Sulak Sivaraksa was cited by two retired senior army officers on charges of lese majeste, or insulting the monarchy. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.

Police Col. Thiravit Busaban said Saturday that Sulak, a British-educated scholar with expertise in Thai history and Buddhism, was cited by the complainants for remarks he made during an academic seminar last Sunday, including comments about King Naresuan, who died in 1605.

He said the complaint was filed Thursday under a law that mandates three to 15 years in jail for defaming the king, his close family members or the regent.