Never take your king literally, particularly when he says he is open to criticism. A Thai woman learnt it the hard way when she got a five year jail term for a 2008 web comment considered discourteous to the Thailand royals. But she must be relived she got away with a lesser term, in a country which has the world's toughest lese-majeste laws, with royal insults punishable by up to 15 years in prison for each offence committed.
A Thai court on Wednesday jailed Noppawan Tangudomsuk, nicknamed "Bento," for five years for posting online comments insulting the monarchy. This is the second such ruling this week in Thailand where the king is often portrayed as an almost divine figure.
Interesting, the Thai monarch, 85-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, had in a 2005 speech said that he should not be above criticism.
A judge ruled that the messaged posted by Ms Tangudomsuk in 2008 on the web board of news Web site Prachatai were offensive to the monarchy.
"Investigations determined the computer's IP address and showed that the messages posted originated from the defendant's computer," said the judge when reading the verdict.
She was found guilty of breaching Thailand's Computer Crimes Act, a controversial law passed by a legislature handpicked by generals after a 2006 coup.
The ruling on Wednesday, overturned a criminal court's dismissal of the case in 2011 on the grounds there was insufficient evidence to show Ms Tangudomsuk posted the comments herself.
Her sentence comes after Sondhi Limthongkul was handed down a two-year jail sentence on Tuesday. Mr Limthongkul, a media tycoon, was found guilty of defaming the monarchy during a public speech by repeating comments deemed offensive.
In spite of the king saying that he should not be above criticism, the number of lese-majeste cases has spiralled, following the 2006 coup that toppled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, accused of republican sympathies.
To contact the editor, e-mail: