Updated: Sending off a royal

13 03 2012

Last August, PPT posted on yet another shoveling of taxpayer funds to royals. Back then we noted that the Abhisit Vejjajiva cabinet had decided to throw an initial amount of more than US$3 million of taxpayers money into a royal cremation for a royal nonentity.

At that time, what was described as a “special meeting of the outgoing Abhisit cabinet … approved an initial budget of 100 million baht for the royal cremation of HRH Princess Bejraratana, who died on July 27 at the age of 85.” This barely known princess “was the only child of King Vajiravudh, Rama VI, and Queen Suvadhana.” She was a surprise birth as her mother was the last woman the palace tried to have for him to provide the missing royal issue. Bejraratana was born just hours before Vajiravudh died.

The Nation now reports that the expensive funeral is continuing to be organized, rehearsed and consume cash.

Not one, but three rehearsals for the 9 April funeral extravaganza are scheduled for later in March. These are the huge decisions that have occupied a bunch of bureaucrats at Government House and presided over by none other than “a funeral-organising committee chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.”

That committee, which apparently includes a bunch of ministers, “visited the site at Sanam Luang yesterday. The entourage also visited the nearby National Museum to inspect the main chariot and a motorcade to be used in the funeral.” Presumably there wasn’t much else on for ministers who run the country, so they could afford the time to check chariots.

The premier of the whole of Thailand is going to miss just one of these ever-so-unimportant meetings for some official jaunt she has to do to South Korea. Heavens, bilateral relations with a major investor country taking precedence over the funeral rehearsal for an unknown royal! But wait, that event is being

attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the chief adviser to the panel, at the suggestion of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is the executive chair of the panel.

But never fear, and get the construction of this sentence, the country’s elected prime minister has a note from mum has been “granted permission for Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit to chair the meeting on that day.” Phew! We were so worried. Isn’t it neat that the prime minister can be “granted permission.”

And don’t think that the average person is left out. Nope, they are expected to show their “respect” at “46 temples in Bangkok and possibly at temples across the country, with one temple being designated in each district.”

What? No national holiday?!

Update: More taxpayer funds being used for this reported at The Nation. This time the profligate are in the Bangkok city administration that is arranging “ceremonies held simultaneously at 46 temples across the capital.” Such royal posterior polishing is almost incomprehensible in this case. When the city administrators also state that they will “be holding exhibitions on the late princess’s achievements,” we know that they are simply throwing themselves and taxpayers money onto the ground to maintain the dopey propaganda that every royal is somehow fabulous. We know that isn’t the case for this royal who was invisible due to an unspecified illness at her Wikipedia page and read between the lines that suggest she was a savant, and work out that “contributions” are part of the unnecessary propaganda for a woman who lived a long life with very significant challenges.


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