Banning an old magazine

9 04 2016

Prachatai reports that:

French edition of Marie Claire magazine has been banned because of an article related [to] a member of Thai royal family.

Marie ClaireOn Friday, 8 April 2016, the Royal Gazette published a police order to ban the French edition of Marie Claire under Article 10 of the Publishing Act which prohibits selling, importing and publishing of publication deemed defaming the Thai royal family.

The article talks about a member of Thai royal family.

It reproduces an image of the cover, blanking out the words that would show that the article is about Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn. In fact, the issue came out in November 2015. The story was also in the Belgian edition.

The bit that is blanked out, as our second image shows, says: “Thailande: Le prince heritier menace par son addiction aux femmes.” Roughly in English, “Thailand : The crown prince threatened by his addiction to women.”

Marie Claire2Apologies for the lack of the squiggly bits above some of the letters and for not being able to provide a clickable link to the story at Marie Claire.

However, Andrew MacGregor Marshall has posted the illustrated 4-page story at his Facebook page.

By banning the issue, the palace and junta have ensured that thousands will now know of the story, it will be translated to Thai and English, and will spread like a wildfire.

The story presents a now well-known saga of womanizing, wives taken, discarded and abused. Those who follow the media on Thailand will not be surprised. However, this story is in a mass market, popular magazine read widely in French-speaking parts of Europe.

The ban raises questions of a broader nature. Are we seeing a particular style of monarchy being created by the prince as he succeeds his father?

This banning seems to fall into a pattern with a string of other post-coup monarchy events associated with the prince. First, there was the degrading spectacle of Srirasmi being booted out and placed under a form of house arrest. This was followed by the arrest an jailing of many of her relatives on lese majeste charges, including her elderly mother and father. More recently, there have been former associates of the prince arrested and then mysteriously die in custody or “commit suicide.”

The military junta seems to have decided that there will be no “turbulence” at succession, and also seems perfectly happy to go along with (or perhaps it takes the lead?) in these series of nasty events. Monarchized military and Military’s Monarchy seem to come together in a new dark age for Thailand.