We are deeply privileged to have had Sulak (born 1932) as an advisor since Susan and Colin met him in 1994, at a conference near Bangkok, organised by the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, of which Sulak is a co-founder.
Sulak has, very deservedly, been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as many other awards, such as the Swedish Right Livelihood Award.
Sulak, trained as a lawyer, and long regarded as one of Thailand's leading intellectuals, has endured repeated charges for lèse majestéfrom 1984 until as recently as 2017, when aged 85. This charge, and its threat, is a dominant instrument of control and suppression in hierarchical Thailand. Technically, it means defamation, insult, or threat to the Thai king, queen, heir-apparent, or regent (and, apparently, even interpreted as extending to ridiculing the king's dog). In Thai legislation since 1908, the punishment is three to fifteen years of imprisonment per count.
See The King Never Smiles, for some indications of why this law is so harsh. This book, written by Paul Handley,a freelance journalist who lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in Asia for more than twenty years, including thirteen in Thailand,is not only unavailable in Siam (a name Sulak prefers), but in every other ASEAN country (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar).
An essay by Matteo Pisono points out that Sulak's work is relevant to structural violence: Buddhists should not only refrain from killing, but examine how their actions might support wars or racial conflict. According to Wikipedia, Sulak, in 2007, spoke out against proposals to declare Buddhism Thailand's "national religion" in the new constitution, arguing that to do so would exacerbate the conflict in southern Thailand. The link to this has vanished, but this makes sense.
January 13, 2018
Update: to our great relief the charges against Sulak were dropped on January 17, 2018: see https://www.yahoo.com/news/thai-court-drops-royal-insult-case-over-16th-074830561.html