The King Never Smiles is a very honest and illuminating biography of King Bhumibol of Thailand. The book was written by Paul Handley and published by Yale University Press in 2008.
Unfortunately, the Thai government does not see the book in a positive light, and considers it an insult on the King.
An American citizen, who was born in Thailand, Joe Gordon was recently convicted of lese-majeste, or insulting the king. According to the BBC, " Gordon, 55, reportedly translated parts of the widely available biography, The King Never Smiles by Paul Handley, several years ago and posted them on a blog while he was living in the US."
I read the book shortly after it was published, and can state that the book is honest, well-researched, and an excellent accounting of the life of the longest reigning monarch, and the only monarch to be born in the United States of America.
Shame on Thailand and the Thai justice system. King Bhumipol is far from being a constitutional monarch. He needs to speak out about the right of free expression. His "court" system violated the rights of an American who posted a translation of excerpts of Handley's book on an American blog. The postings were done in the United States, which means the Thai court violated US law. Shame on the king for allowing censorship and the right of free expression.
Free Joe Gordon now! All the king needs to do is say an injustice was done, apologize to Mr. Gordon, an American citizen.
Mr. Gordon is protected by US law, thanks to the "Securing the Protection of our
Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act. The Thai justice system and their king, are violating the rights of an American citizen, whose postings were on an American-based blog, like mine.
It is time for the King of Thailand to act like a real monarch, and not someone who allows his government to stamp out free speech.