Moving royals and tanks

3 08 2013

In a recent post, PPT pointed to some real royal news. This was the sudden move of the essentially invalid king and queen to their Hua Hin palace, where the king had previously spent considerable time. We noted that the question is: why move them now? And we speculated on one possible answer, observing that whenever there are important political events, the king has emerged from hospital in concert with political events. This means that the present move must inevitably be considered as somehow related to political events.

In that post, we also speculated on “movements” noted in the press, associated with political machinations.

Since then, there have been plenty stories about the move by the king and queen, most of them the usual syrupy nonsense associated with reporting the aged monarch. However, one in particular caught our attention, at the Wall Street Journal blog.

The report hails the king as “Thailand’s highly respected monarch” and notes that the decamping to Hua Hin is to a place “where they spent most of their time before being hospitalized.” This is only true for the king who had previously avoided Chitralada Palace, causing many a rumor.

The report continues to observe that “[t]elevised news reports showed hundreds of Thais” and noting that “tens of thousands of people were expected to turn out” in Hua Hin. Officials always play a significant role in exhorting people to come out, sending school children and officials to form “crowds.”

The report spouts all of the usual treacle about the king being “a major force to maintain stability in the divisive country that has been going through political violence and changes,” and conveniently forgetting the divisive role the monarchy has long played in politics since 1932, continually undermining civilian governments.

At least the report does note that:

The king’s departure from Bangkok preceded a planned protest in capital Bangkok that has prompted the Thai government to invoke a special security act, which gives extra measures to security forces should violence erupt.

And it does admit that:

… the subject [the king’s ill health] is deemed sensitive and not publicly discussed, for fear that such discussion would violate the country’s strict lèse majesté law that prohibits debate and discussion deemed insulting to the monarchy. Violation to the law can result in a maximum of 15 years in prison. Internet users were arrested in 2009 for posting comments on the internet citing that the king’s health was causing a drop in the value of Thailand main index. They were charged with endangering national security by spreading false rumors about the king’s health under the country’s computers crime act.

Making the link to politics even more explicit, a report at Khaosod: explains that the sudden and large movement of tanks and other armored vehicles in Bangkok “… is not a preparation for a coup d’état…”. The report adds:

2006 coup

2006 coup

As anti-government protests were set to take place in Bangkok and fears about possible unrest returned to the capital city, many are whispering that the military might take advantage of the situation and put an end to the elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, similar to what happened to her brother Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra in September 2006.

The rumours cited any unusual or unexplained development as evidence of looming coup, including the trip of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen from Bangkok′s Siriraj Hospital, where they had been receiving treatments for their illnesses, to their seaside palace in Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

… The rumours suggest that “imminent incident” in Bangkok had convinced the monarchs to leave the capital city for the time being. However, many citizens dismissed the rumour as far-fetched fantasy.

PPT isn’t convinced that there is a fantasy. However, even if there was nothing in a series of events that look remarkably like some kind of preparation for upcoming political struggles, it has to be asked why the Army even keeps so many tanks and armored vehicles in the capital city? One answer is that these tanks are not for territorial defense but are required for political actions.


Actions

Information

2 responses

8 08 2013
Busy day in Bangkok I | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] rumour-mongers calling for a coup to end the ongoing political instability.” This refers to some reporting that linked the flight of the king and queen to Hua Hin to preparations for either a coup of political […]

8 08 2013
Busy day in Bangkok I | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] rumour-mongers calling for a coup to end the ongoing political instability.” This refers to some reporting that linked the flight of the king and queen to Hua Hin to preparations for either a coup of political […]




%d bloggers like this: