Thailand’s government has set up a website where Thais are urged to report about others speaking out against the highly revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and the rest of the royal family.
In addition, it has launched a security system which will block websites that criticize the monarchy. Already almost 5,000 sites have been banned.
This past January, the France based Reporters Without Borders wondered aloud if Thailand is the world’s “new enemy of the Internet.”
The new website, protecttheking.net, was set up by a parliamentary committee, by the newest government in the country.
One of its biggest tasks is to protect the image of the royal family.
According to the BBC, sources in the military say that top generals are concerned about growing anti-monarchy sentiment, particularly among supporters of the ousted prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, many of whom believe that members of the royal family have backed in anti-Thaksin movements.
The new website appears to be part of a concerted effort by the government and its conservative supporters to stifle any debate on the future of the monarchy, before it can gather momentum.
Thailand’s 82 year old King Bhumibol is seen as a near deity. But there is concern that his son and heir, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is not as strong of a leader and may bring trouble to the monarchy once he beceomes King.
The only daughter of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is currently on a three day tour of Kosovo. By doing so, Princess Anne became the first British royal to visit the Balkan area since it declared independence last year.
Kosovo Foreign Minister Skender Hyseni was on hand to welcome the Princess at Pristina airport.
Throughout her visit, the Princess was greeted by children and other curious onlookers.
During her visit, Princess Anne is to “meet a variety of people from different communities within Kosovo,” the British embassy said in a statement.
She is also scheduled to visit British peacekeepers and members of a European Union mission “in recognition of the role they are playing in Kosovo during this period of transition,” said the statement.
“This visit reflects the importance that the United Kingdom places on its relationship with Kosovo,” said, Andy Sparkes, Britain’s ambassador to Kosovo.
In addition, the 58 year old royal, who is the patron of the charity Save the Children, plans to attend an eastern Kosovo pre-school in Gnijlane which works toward integrating disabled children into the education system.
On Thursday, she met with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Valton Beqiri, in which she got informed about the current situation of sports in Kosovo and the goals of the MCYS for the internationalization of the Kosovar sport.
The United Kingdom is one of the many countries that recognizes Kosovo’s declaration of independence, which happened on February 17, 2008.
However, Serbia – which Kosovo seceded from – refused to accept the declaration, and reacted to the UK’s recognition by recalling its ambassador to London. It then reinstated the envoy last October when it won the right to challenge Kosovo in the World Court.