Updated: Family affairs I

29 11 2014

A few days ago PPT posted on Thailand’s big but still murky story. The case involving senior police, including an uncle of Srirasmi (Srirasm) Akharapongpreecha, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s then official consort, has widened.

Prachatai reports that:

Three brothers and two more people connected to a network of high ranking police officers charged with lèse majesté are accused of defaming the monarchy, illegal possession of weapons, robbery, and holding others for ransom. A total of seven people involved in this case have now been charged with lèse majesté.vajiralonkgkor_srirasami

The investigators on 28 November detained three siblings, Natthapol, Sitthisak, and Narong Akharapongpreecha, and Sutthisak Sutthijit and Chakan Phakphum, who are allegedly criminally associated with Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayapan.

The five suspects are charged with defaming the monarchy, carrying weapons in public, possessing unlicensed weapons, robbery, and unlawful detention. All of them pleaded guilty to all charges.

According the ASTV-Manager, Pol Maj Gen Sriwara Rangsiphrammanakul, commander of the Metropolitan Police stated at the press briefing that three of the five, Natthapol, Narong, and Chakan also have also been charged with extortion, unlawful detention, and robbery by Phrakhanong Police Station and Wat Phraya Krai Police Station.

The report doesn’t state the obvious, but these three brothers have the same family name as the prince’s consort. Clearly, the Akharapongpreecha family is in deep trouble. Some say that the clean-out is part of the succession struggle. Others say it is about bringing down Srirasmi’s “network.”

Whatever is really happening, something significant is happening in and around Vajiralongkorn’s family. Of course, he is seldom around, spending most of his time overseas, mostly in Germany, and it might be suggested that he may not have been aware of the PrinceAkharapongpreecha family amassing huge stores of ill-gotten gains. That would seem highly improbable. More likely is that this is a messy separation with a fight over custody and wealth.

We are guessing, like everyone else, but these events do have some resonances with the prince’s previous separation from earlier wives, all of which have seen murky and often nasty events play out.

In the 1980s, his separation from cousin Soamsawali for Yuvadhida Polpraserth saw an anti-royal leaflet campaign. As one of our posted documents states (Updated link: clicking downloads a PDF that is probably illegal in Thailand):

Prince, and kids in earlier times

Prince, and kids in earlier times

… a stunning series of leaflets attacking the monarchy right at the height of the King’s birthday celebrations [were released]. Emerging from the shadows of gossip and hearsay, the pamphlets were suddenly everywhere. The military and police found it necessary to interrupt normal radio and television programming just three days after the King’s birthday to denounce the anonymous authors as ‘… enemies of the nation … bent on undermining the monarchy’ (Far Eastern Economic Review, 24 December 1987). The military and police claimed that the offending literature was from ‘a group of the Kingdom’s enemies’ (Bangkok Post, 9 December 1987); not just of the monarchy, it should be noted, but the whole country.

What was expressed in these leaflets to provoke such an extraordinary response? A brief excerpt from one of the offending leaflets will provide the flavour: ‘Sia O is totally besotted by Nang Yu [Yuvadhida]. So much so that he would willingly sniff her feet, or any other part of her body for that matter, since there is nothing he would not do for her.’

 When the prince got sick of her and wanted Srirasmi, the ditching of Yuvadhida was public and nasty. As one website has it:

When Vajiralongkorn was introduced to Yuvadhida Polpraserth, she was an aspiring actress. She became his steady companion and gave birth to his first son, Prince Juthavachara Mahidol, on 29 August 1979. He later had three more sons and a daughter by her. They were married at a palace ceremony in February 1994, where they were blessed by the King and the Princess Mother, but not by the Queen. After the marriage, she was allowed to change her name to Mom Sujarinee Mahidol na Ayudhaya, signifying she was a commoner married to a royal. She was also commissioned as a major in the Royal Thai Army and took part in royal ceremonies with Vajiralongkorn. When she fled to Britain in 1996 with their children, Vajiralongkorn had posters placed around his palace accusing her of committing adultery with Anand Rotsamkhan, a 60-year-old air marshal. The prince abducted their daughter and brought her back to Thailand to live with him. She was later elevated to the rank of princess, whilst Sujarinee and her sons were stripped of their diplomatic passports and titles. She and her sons later moved to the United States. As of 2007, Sujarinee is known as Sujarinee Vivacharawongse.

There’s more here. The “problem” of Yuvathida and her sons was mentioned in Wikileaks and is also mentioned at New Mandala.

With this history, thinking that the prince might be sorting out his family affairs might be a reasonable guess. The prince has seldom sorted these things out quietly in the past.

We also have to wonder about the treasure trove allegedly unearthed by the police. Was this all stored for illicit wealth in the future? Or was it a collection?


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5 responses

29 11 2014
Family affairs II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Much of the media is necessarily reporting around Thailand’s big story. […]

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[…] from former Princess Srirasmi and jailing of her family on spurious lese majeste charges or of his favorite concubine of the […]

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[…] from former Princess Srirasmi and jailing of her family on spurious lese majeste charges or of his favorite concubine of the […]