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Why Talking About Pizza Can Land You in Trouble in Thailand

The Pizza Company hotline 1112 has become a code word to refer to Article 112 of the criminal code

The Pizza Company hotline 1112 has become a code word to refer to Article 112 of the criminal code

If you are in Thailand and you suddenly crave pizza, it is highly likely that you will be referred to The Pizza Company, the largest pizza fast food chain in the country. And when you dial the company hotline “1112”, be aware that there are some activists in Thailand who use the word pizza to refer to the notorious Article 112 of the criminal code.

Khaosod English, a Bangkok-based news site, explained that the word pizza came to be associated with the particular section of the penal law simply because of The Pizza Company's nearly identical phone number with the law's name.

Article 112 deals with the Lese Majeste or anti-royal insult law, which criminalizes any behavior deemed insulting to the royal family. The king of Thailand is the country’s most revered public figure aside from being the world’s longest reigning monarch. Some scholars believe Article 112 is the world’s harshest and needs to be overhauled. Several individuals have been detained already for allegedly insulting the king through SMS or posting online comments

Some activists have accused the government of using the law to harass critics. There have been various petitions to reform Article 112 but authorities have rejected these proposals.

Activist Red Shirts used this sticker to refer to Article 112

Activist Red Shirts used this sticker to refer to Article 112

To avoid prosecution under Article 112, some Thais are using the word pizza to refer to the “draconian” law instead of directly mentioning the measure:

If a discussion begins to veer dangerously towards insulting the monarchy, someone may teasingly ask, “Are you ordering us a pizza?” or “I hope they serve pizza in prison.”

After the army took power last May, the new government has filed more than a dozen Lese Majeste cases. A recent issue involved a scholar who was reported by a retired army officer to have insulted a dead king.

Those who are found guilty of Lese Majeste can be detained for up to 15 years.

So next time you dial 1112 in Thailand, be sure you are really referring to The Pizza Company. Otherwise, you might get to eat pizza in a prison cell.

  • That is interesting Mong. In Brazil, we say that something “will end in pizza” if “nothing will come of it” with an element of impunity, usually after much investigation, because of corruption. Curiously, this started as a football slang. I should perhaps write about it!

  • COBRACHOPPERGIRL

    The king of Thailand, the self appointed royal family, and its statist government of thugs can go fuck itself. Seriously. Go fuck yourselves. There, I said it for every citizen in Thailand.

    • betamike

      because saying it online is soo big of you

    • RobOnMV

      Are you in Thailand? When you wrote that did you also publish it in the Bangkok Post with your name at the end? If not, then it may be wise to tone down the “grow some balls” part of your statement, as it’s unlikely you will be subject to 15 years in prison, as opposed to a Thai citizen announcing those same views.

    • Jack Smith

      You better never find yourself in Thailand because you wouldn’t be the first foreigner who posted online negatively about the royal family online and ended up in a Thai jail after traveling there years later.

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  • oh Thailand…… they are so silly. :)

  • David Gray

    Must be for locals! Who in hell orders pizza there when there’s so much Thai food to explore?

  • Pingback: أنت في ورطة عندما تتحدث عن البيتزا في تايلاند | نقلاً عن()

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