The Economist on bombs, junta and monarchism

21 08 2015

Readers may find the account at The Economist of some interest. Some quotes:

Nothing is clear, except for one thing: the bomb has shattered the illusion of safety which the junta that seized power in May last year wished to foster. The generals justified their coup by claiming that they alone could protect Thais from the violence that had sporadically erupted during a decade of squabbles between the country’s democratically elected governments and Bangkok’s conservative elites. By targeting tourists, the bombers have also undermined the generals’ claims to be boosting Thailand’s flagging economy. With shrinking exports, dwindling foreign investment and high household debt, the economy badly needs visitors to come to Thailand and spend.the-economist-logo

… Just two days after the blast General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the prime minister and coup leader, attended the opening in Hua Hin of a new park containing the colossal statues of seven long-dead Thai kings, built by the army at a cost of about $20m. The bronze monarchs are not entirely out of keeping with a sprinkling of chintzy attractions that already surround Hua Hin, a resort with royal connections. But they are an oddly Soviet spectacle.

More grimly, in the past 15 months the junta has presided over a big increase in the number of people charged with insulting the sovereign, a grave offence in Thailand. Punishments have also grown more harsh….

Few observers reckon the junta will consider ceding any control until well after the death of King Bhumibol, who has long been ailing….

The article then recounts a bunch of rumors regarding succession and the successionist thesis.


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