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Pattaya Daily News

03 September 2008 :: 18:09:29 pm 28222

Australian Arrested in Thailand for Lese-Majeste

BANGKOK - An Australian writer has been arrested in Thailand and faces a lese-majeste charge for publishing a novel deemed defamatory to the country's royal family, police and the Australian embassy said on Wednesday.
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An embassy official identified the man as a 41-year-old from Melbourne and police named him as Harry Nicolaides, who was unaware there was an arrest warrant out for him when he tried to fly out from Bangkok to Australia on Sunday. 

“An arrest warrant was issued in March for a book he wrote in 2005 deemed defamatory to the crown prince,” Police Lieutenant-Colonel Boonlert Kalayanamit told Reuters. 

He has been charged with lese-majeste, a crime that can carry a 15-year jail sentence in Thailand, and was being held at a remand prison pending further interviews, Boonlert said. Nicolaides, a regular visitor to Thailand and briefly a resident, when he taught English and wrote for Australian newspapers, had not been granted bail, police said. 

Police identified the novel in question as “Verisimilitude”, described in publicity dated June 2005 on the phuket-info.com website as a “trenchant commentary on the political and social life of contemporary Thailand”. 

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Who the fuck is Harry
Working as a hotel concierge in Melbourne has prepared me well for the itinerant life as Writer-at-large in Thailand. My instinctive networking skills have gained me employment as an English teacher to beautiful Thai girls at the Amanpuri the world’s most exclusive resort, helped me to develop friendships with the senior constabulary of the Phuket police force (avoiding liability for recklessly endangering the life of former Malaysian President Mahatir by nearly colliding with his 17 car motorcade on a private road) and become a senior lecturer to 120 students in social psychology at the Prince of Songkla University. A few phone calls and I can be on a million-dollar yacht sharing stories with a maverick boat captain who has smoked pot with Robert De Niro, got drunk with Mel Gibson and rubbed sun tan lotion on Nicole Kidman’s back. And all this happens in Phuket, Thailand exactly four degrees north of the Equator where there is just three degrees of separation between Nicole Kidman’s buttocks and my left hand. My right hand is vigorously networking… 


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MEDIA RELEASE – 12 June 2005


Harry Nicolaides is a famous tourism-award winning Australian and best selling Australian author. His first book  Concierge Confidential – published in 2002, generated unprecedented national publicity and attracted reviews from Australian political leaders and world famous sporting and entertainment figures. An iconic figure in the hospitality industry as magazine publisher, radio commentator and service professional, Harry was immortalised in Michael Heppell’s international best seller – Be Brilliant as an individual who achieved brilliance with raw talent and tenacity. 

In 2003 Harry Nicolaides relocated to live in Thailand for two years. He worked as lecturer in Social Psychology at The Prince Of Songkla University in Phuket, where he taught for over a year. He drove across Thailand from south to north and gathered material for his new book. He is currently a lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality at Mae Fah Luang University in Northern Thailand and living in the heart of the Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai. His new novel “VERISIMILITUDE” is a trenchant commentary on the political and social life of contemporary Thailand. It is an uncompromising assault on the patrician values of the monarchy, the insidious infiltration of religious missionaries in the education system and the intimate relationship between American foreign policy and Thailand’s battle against Muslim insurrections in the south. 

Savage, ruthless and unforgiving, VERISIMILITUDE pulls away the mask of benign congeniality that Thailand has disguised itself with for decades and reveals a people who are obsessed with Western affluence and materialism and who trade their cultural integrity and personal honour for the baubles of Babylonian America. 


Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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