Seventy years on the throne is a long time. In mid 2016, the king reaches this milestone. Longevity is not uncommon for the modern monarchy, especially if one gets to the throne early, as was the case with the present king after his brother was shot and killed.
The Dictator has been scarce of late, letting General Prawit Wongsuwan do most of the talking. Perhaps this is because Prayuth Chan-ocha is on special duties. The national propaganda news agency reports that The Dictator has “chaired a meeting of the commission organizing celebrations for the 70th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s accession this June 9…”. He ordered “all relevant agencies of the celebration” to prepare “a range of activities to be held to mark the auspicious occasion and requested opinions from the offices.”
As auspicious as Bike for Mom and Bike for Dad?
Prayuth’s “organization commission includes members of Cabinet” and the report states that the “have let on activities for the day will seek to express the nation’s loyalty for His Majesty the King to the world.”
It seems that the negative publicity for the monarchy – read the truth has gotten out – seems to really bug the royalists and they keep demanding that the rest of the world “understand.” Understanding is, we think, better now than it has been at any time in the last 50 or so years. That is, since the military-monarchy alliance got into full swing and created a myth of a working, loved and lovable monarchy. In fact, it is as would be expected of any politicized elite institution in Thailand: grasping, pushy, demanding and made up of a pretty odd bunch.
Domestically, the “commission” calls/demands that “all citizens to take part in acknowledging [the king]’s great contributions to the Kingdom.” Get the yellow banners and flags out of the chicken run!