Death and after I

8 10 2014

Death seems to be on the minds of many commentators in the media and on various social media. This rather morbid concern with death derives from the king being rushed back to Bangkok for a gall bladder operation/stroke/stem-cell infusion or whatever one guesses.

PPT has no idea what’s going on, but if it is as stated by the palace, then the great risk of an operation on a very old and frail man does suggest that the risk of not doing it must have been high.

At The Conversation, Patrick Jory, an Australian academic sets out the fears and successionist position.

The International Business Times has an interesting photo-essay on the fears associated with the passing of the king. It is interesting for several reasons. One is that the series of high-quality photos shows the king’s rapid decline into senility in recent years. Another is because it shows the military dictatorship demonstrating “loyalty” and making the most of that position. A third reason is because it shows Yingluck Shinawatra on her belly, also showing loyalty.

That article links to an earlier one on succession. It states the successionist position:

It’s not yet clear who will succeed Bhumibol, who lived on a hospital ward in the capital for four years, from 2009, with respiratory problems.

We think that’s false. It is clear who succeeds, at least in law. It is Prince Vajiralongkorn. Yet there is now plenty of discussion of that, making it a stickier proposition than it was a decade ago. So it is argued that:

when he [the king] passes away, Thailand’s constitutional monarchy will face an unsettling shake up and the likelihood of a power vacuum.

The military dictatorship won’t allow that, but General Prayuth Chan-ocha will have a plan in mind or will have been sworn to a plan.

If Thailand had legal betting, we’d be looking at the odds for succession, and would probably still be betting on the prince, at least in the short term. But we’d only bet what we can afford to lose.


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