This is for the king IV

6 02 2014

From a story at the Sydney Morning Herald:

Thaksin levelled the electrifying accusation that senior counsellors to the  King of Thailand had been complicit in allowing the coup, drawing the monarch’s name into the fray. In a country where the king is revered, and where you can be jailed for 15 years for criticising him, this was extraordinary. It was also true.

Much evidence supports the claim. And this brings us to one of the overarching factors in explaining Thailand’s democratic dyslexia. The monarchy ”had at best a mixed record supporting democracy, and hasn’t allowed a fully democratic political system to emerge,” says David Streckfuss, an American researcher based in Cambodia….

”Thailand has largely accommodated military interventionism, especially by accepting the defence of the monarchy as a justification for toppling elected governments,” writes Nicholas Farrelly, an… ANU expert on Thailand.

”Thailand’s elite and, to some extent, the public as well have deeply internalised the ultimate acceptability of coups. The test of this arrangement may come with the end of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s reign and the potential realignment of military influence in Thai society.”

That test is drawing near. The king is 86 and ailing. It will be a threshold moment for Thailand.

In a real constitutional monarchy, where the palace is guided by the law, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. The anti-democrats draw great strength from their belief that the monarchy is with them.


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