A different kind of body armor

12 12 2009

Also available as: เด็กอ๊อกซฟอร์ดก็กลัวตายเหมือนกัน

Not that long ago PPT pointed to a story alleging that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was wearing light body armor when engaged in public duties. He later denied the claim. The Nation now claims that Abhisit has a different kind of protection (13 December 2009: “PM protected by amulet shield”).

The Nation reports that Abhisit’s protective amulet collection is growing. When Abhisit rebutted claims that he was wearing armor, he “unbuttoned his shirt to show journalists 10 amulets around his neck.” It adds that “Abhisit reportedly had been given several outstanding examples, so his collection could be worth an eight-digit figure.”

Democrat MP Thana Cheeravinij claims that as “Abhisit was Western-schooled so he was not into Thai amulets.” When he got the premiership courtesy of the judiciary, palace, military and PAD, he apparently “had none of the highly-regarded Benjapakhi amulets, but only the ‘Luangpor Thuad M16’ anointed at Pattani’s Sai Khao Temple in 1991, which was the only one that could impress [amulet] enthusiasts…”.

Now he has several other, apparently “lent” to him. These “include the Jatukham Ramathep amulet’s Lakmuang 1 edition anointed in 1987, which Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong lent to Abhisit, and the Luangputhuad Wat Changhai clay amulet anointed in 1954.” The Jatukham Ramathep is worth about a million baht and the latter up to 5 million baht.

The Luangpor Thuad M16 that the premier previously owned is “believed to bestow on the wearer the outstanding feature of immortality.” It gained its M16 moniker “because of a story in which the amulet wearer was shot at with a M16 assault rifle until all of his shirt was torn but the bullets could not penetrate his skin.” These amulets are mass-made and so of low value.

Amulets are said to have been offered by villagers “as a gift to Abhisit on several occasions.” In January, Abhisit visited the Tha Chin riverside community in Nakhon Chaisri and was “presented him a Luangpu Boon amulet and a Luangpu Pherm (First Edition) amulet from Klang Bang Kaew Temple, both worth over Bt100,000, to show moral support.” Later, in March, he was given another amulet, said to be the Luangputhuad clay amulet to “protect him from all harm and let him serve as the prime minister for a long time.” Later still, in November, tattoo master Noo Kanphai met Abhisit at Government House, and the “master … gave the premier … and his bodyguards a medallion inscribed with five lines of sacred Thai scripture and a Luangputhuad clay amulet.”

Is this a case of protection that might actually harm the premier? Abhisit had better hope that the judicial inspectors don’t get onto these amulets as gifts to the premier, which could constitute corruption. But he’s a Democrat, so the chances would seem slim. And the claim is that these are “lent” to him.

The Democrat Party-led government has continued to sweep corruption allegations under the carpet, mainly because the media are in it pocket. This of the sufficiency economy projects, the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education and other cases and allegations, and all of them seem to have fallen into the great void of nothingness that is the government’s effort to root out corruption. If any reader ever sees anything on these cases, let us know.



3 responses

13 12 2009
เด็กอ๊อกซฟอร์ดก็กลัวตายเหมือนกัน « Liberal Thai

[…] by chapter 11 A different kind of body armor December 12, 2009 ที่มา – Political Prisoners in Thaiand แปลและเรียบเรียง – แชพเตอร์ […]

19 12 2009
Forget corruption « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Just a few hours ago, PPT blogged: “The Democrat Party-led government has continued to sweep corruption allegations under the […]

8 01 2010
On official investigations « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Vejjajiva voluntarily returned a pair of elephant tusks after he realised their value…”. PPT posted earlier regarding amulets the premier had received and we wonder if the NACC swung into action on that? If […]

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