The king, intervention and health

26 01 2010

As is becoming usual in periods where important political case judgments are forthcoming, the king has again intervened. With the Thaksin Shinawatra assets case looming, he had judges before him in a reception room at Siriraj Hospital, where he remains ensconced more than 4 months after his admission (The Nation, January 26, 2010). The king told the judges in a weak and, at times, barely audible voice that they had to be both “brave” and “clever” in their duties. performing their role maintaining justice. He reportedly said they “should conduct their duties with strict neutrality and adhere to principles of justice and reality.” Significantly, he emphasized the “promises made before him while officially performing their duties, so the country could progress without problems.”

He warned them that: “Sometimes your judgement may lead to criticism. The judgement may not satisfy all sides. But the significance of your job is being neutral and just. If you can do it, that means you are doing your duty; but if you can’t, it’s tantamount to betraying justice. You may be viewed in a bad light and that is ugly…”. He urged them to take tough decisions: “If you lack bravery, for whatever the cause, that shows a lack of justice and points to ignorance.

While the language of justice and neutrality is used it remains apparent that the king is demanding that they not be swayed by political events and that they do the right thing. The judges will be well aware of what is expected as they look back on what was stated in other recent advice by the king before significant political cases. The king made it clear that the judges had to maintain their standards “for the sake of their merit and peace in the country.”

The king’s interventions, increasingly directed through the judiciary, are a part of the relatively successful strategy of controlling political outcomes through judicialization that has unelected technocrats making the most critical political decisions, such as constitutionally-mandated appointments, backed up by the real power of the courts and “independent” bodies.

The Nation comments that king “looked bright and alert while giving his speech that lasted 10 minutes.” PPT agrees. The lack of coherence in the speech is now a part of his style and the weak voice are a sign of age but not necessarily ill-health. Indeed, in royal news on all television stations last evening, his daughter Chulabhorn, looking ill herself, stumbled through a speech stating that the king was fit and well. So why’s he still in hospital?


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26 01 2010
Tweets that mention New: The king, intervention and health « Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Free Thailand, อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร. อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร said: New: The king, intervention and health: As is becoming usual in periods where important political case judgments a… http://bit.ly/87snxa […]

28 02 2010
Out of hospital « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] to judges at least twice in the run-up to the verdict, ensuring that his views were clear (see here and […]

1 08 2013
Real royal news | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] we noted some time ago, whenever there are important political events, the king has been seen and has intervened. He has emerged from hospital in concert with political events. This means that the present move […]

1 08 2013
Real royal news | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] we noted some time ago, whenever there are important political events, the king has been seen and has intervened. He has emerged from hospital in concert with political events. This means that the present move […]




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