The monarchy is not universally revered

14 08 2010

PPT has pointed out several times how the international media routinely refers to “the revered monarchy” in Thailand. We have said that this seems like a self-protection mantra. So it is somewhat surprising to see a slightly different take from, of all places, Singapore’s in an article pointed out by a regular reader. We hasten to point out that the last sentences of the report do have the required mantra….

Referring to the events surrounding the queen’s 78th birthday, the report notes that this event took place “even as the Abhisit [Vejjajiva] government says there have been serious threats recently to overthrow the monarchy.” It then adds, and this is where the report makes the different point: “[t]his runs contrary to the generally accepted position that royal family is universally revered.”

With a “special task force of over 300 officers” investigating what the Abhisit regime is “calling a plot to overthrow the monarchy,” the report talks with some of the political police at the Department of Special Investigation.

According to Yanaphon Youngyuen, DSI’s Deputy Director-General, who explains something of the royal protector’s mindset: “The people involved in this conspiracy operate like this: The mastermind advances a certain ideology which forms the group’s core beliefs or they may be financial backers. These leaders include ideologues and academics, for example. Another group is the operatives. They are webmasters, or those who disseminate emails.” Yanaphon continues: “I have to say that politically-oriented and anti-monarchy groups are different. But some of them have joined together. Sometimes, outspoken anti-monarchist spoke at Red Shirt protests.”

It seems that the DSI is also supportive of the Ministry of Culture’s current royal campaign which includes a short  propaganda film on the king that will play before every film in every cinema all the way to the king’s birthday on 5 December (and probably beyond that). Critics point out, says the report, that this particular piece of propaganda seems oddly timed given that “the commemoration of all the King has done for Thailand is ubiquitous.” Indeed, it is saturation propaganda.

DSI’s Yanaphon explains: “This is because the king is very old. He doesn’t have many chances to work and have the young generation see what he does. Now he’s been hospitalised for a while. So there’s a need to reiterate his past works for the young generation to learn. It’s just a kind of tactic, there’s nothing complicated or any hidden agenda.”

PPT agrees. There’s no hidden agenda. The royalist establishment is so worried that their carefully constructed ideological edifice is crumbling so rapidly that they are scrambling to fill every available space with royalist nonsense.



2 responses

14 08 2010
Tweets that mention The monarchy is not universally revered « Political Prisoners in Thailand --

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร, NEWSpace. NEWSpace said: The monarchy is not universally revered: PPT has pointed out several times how the international media routinely r… […]

17 08 2010
Lese majeste, anti-monarchists and the political police « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] majeste, anti-monarchists and the political police As a follow-up to our post of a few days ago on the Department of Special Investigation and the lack of reverence for the monarchy, Anasuya […]