Ji Ungpakorn on royal degeneration

5 04 2011

Ji Ungpakorn has his own take on the Chulabhorn interview, mentioned in earlier PPT posts here and here.

Thai Monarchy shows signs of serious degeneration

A recent TV interview of the King’s youngest daughter indicates how the Thai Monarchy is in the process of degeneration. The royalists behind this interview are clearly arrogantly out of touch when they think that the programme will boost the institution’s popularity.

Firstly, the princess’ speech delivery and the content of what she says, is more likely to remind people of an intellectually challenged individual than a demi-god. She also begs the public not to listen to “bad rumours” about the King and Queen and calls for even more royalist propaganda on TV. That shows how worried the royalists are.

The fact that the interviewer grovels on the ground in front of the princess’ shoes, twice, and she nods with approval, is enough to sicken most fair-minded Thais who have liberated themselves from the myth that the Royals are gods. But that is not the end of it. The interviewer grovels on the ground at the same level as the princess’ dog and even shares the dog’s cup cake. Dogs are regarded as lowly creatures in Thai society. Yet the Thai Royals are never without their dogs, much like their counterparts in Europe. One might speculate that they cannot relate to humans and thus seek the company of animals.

Last Christmas the princess’ dog was shown off in a diamond-studded coat. The King’s dog is treated like a person and has its own swimming pool …. and of course, there is “Chief Air Marshall Foo Foo”, the Crown Prince’s dog, which was treated to a pool-side birthday party where the “future queen” was filmed naked.

The Thai Monarchy symbolises the conservative ideology which gives legitimacy to the authoritarian actions of the Military and their allies. It is a double act of “power” and “ideological legitimacy”. In this double act the weak-willed King Pumipon has no real power, but he is also a willing participant. What is more, the Royals are having difficulty keeping up appearances. It all feels like the end of an era.

The ideology of the Monarchy is enforced through violence. Hundreds of pro-democracy activists have been killed over the years by the Thai State using the excuse that they were republicans. The latest example was last May. The draconian lèse majesté law also imprisons and silences those who oppose the Military-Monarchy alliance.

Yet despite this repression there is now a serious republican mood among millions of citizens. The reason for this is that, since 2006, the Military and the conservatives have systematically destroyed the democratic rights of millions of people who voted for TRT, using the excuse that they were “protecting the Monarchy”. The King also remained silent when the Military gunned down pro-democracy demonstrators in April and May 2010 and the Queen has openly supported the fascist PAD.



2 responses

6 04 2011
Pro-lese majeste action | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] military’s and the military-backed government’s campaigns to stifle discussion of the sometimes nutty but highly politicized and exorbitantly wealthy monarchy and royal […]

8 04 2011
Fallout from Chulabhorn’s “Woody” interview | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] on the interview between Princess Chulabhorn and Bangkok personality Woody Milintachinda (see here, here and […]

%d bloggers like this: