Under the royalist military dictatorship, things monarchical just get madder by the minute.
Any reasonable person who heard a claim by a General that and event that could “lead to an overthrow of the regime of democracy with the King As Head of State or affects the national security, peace and order, and good morality of the people” might think that something significant had taken place. But not in the land of monstrously mad monarchists.
Khaosod reports that Lt. Gen Peerapong Manakit, a member of the regulatory National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) has declared that the Commission has “launched an investigation into a state-owned TV station after one of its anchors misidentified a member of the Royal Thai Family in a news program.”
Obviously a heinous crime has been committed. Anyone who views the nightly royal propaganda that is broadcast knows that newsreaders regularly stumble over the faux ancient names and titles given to themselves by the royals. The ridiculousness of reporting the daily visits by well-fed royals is a ritual demanded by the palace and state.
PPT is always surprised how straight-faced the announcers are as this parade of odd looking curiosities takes place. Yet we know the smallest stumbles and mistakes get the newsreaders into hot water.
The General claims that “the incident took place this morning when a Channel 3 anchorwoman ‘incorrectly stating the royal name and rank’ of Princess Soamsawali, former wife of Thai Crown Prince, in a news report about Her Royal Highness’ trip to a temple.” As the report helpfully points out, “Princess Soamsawali was married to Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn in 1977. The couple divorced in 1991.”
Soamsawali was wife no. 1, and is the prince’s first cousin. Since then he’s had two other official wives, both now kicked out and both disgraced by the prince with charges and attacks. One (Yuvadhida Polpraserth) is in exile and the other languishes in virtual house arrest as her family and associates have all been jailed (Srirasmi). We imagine that burying and disgracing a blood relative was not possible following Soamsawali’s divorce from the prince.
It is Peerapong who claims that this “mistake constitutes a violation of the 2008 Thai Public Broadcasting Service Act, which forbids airing content that could ‘lead to an overthrow of the regime of democracy with the King As Head of State or affects the national security, peace and order, and good morality of the people’.”
The report claims that “[r]epresentatives of Channel 3 have been summoned to give testimony to the NBTC ‘urgently’…”, with the General stating that “punishment will be decided after the commission listens to Channel 3’s side of the story.” He referred to the Channel 3 “side of the story” as “testimony in our deliberation of punishment.”
As usual, guilt in royal matters is assumed.
So heinous is this “crime” in the land of royal make-believe that the “general also asked media agencies not to publish details about Channel 3’s alleged wrongdoing, or else they will be liable for prosecution as well.”
We imagine, based on the befuddling use of the lese majeste law of late, that the military dictatorship may make this event another case.
Given that the king and queen are no longer visible, we can assume that the regime of lese majeste lunacy is a symbol of the forthcoming reign under military dictatorship.
Update: Prachatai reports that the news anchor read the formal name and title of Srirasmi Suwadee, the third former wife of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn “who was recently demoted to commoner, instead of Princess Soamsawali’s name.” Given the purge of Srirasmi’s family and the attempt to expunge her prior to succession and the prince’s fourth official marriage, the thundering, huffing and puffing and threats and general ridiculousness is both a sign of the future and an indicator of the depths of feudal decay that Thailand has been dragged by mad monarchists, the military and the palace.