The military dictatorship, gearing up for its “election,” pouring money into populist programs, is now engaging in mass propaganda events demanding statements and oaths of “loyalty.” Such stage-managed propaganda events are also preparing for a new monarch.
An AFP report states that:
From civil servants to school children, soldiers and celebrities, tens of thousands of Thais took part in a mass “oath of loyalty”…
Tuesday’s ceremony, which was ordered by the country’s arch royalist junta leadership, was a vivid illustration of … how the country’s military rulers have further ramped up the kingdom’s well-oiled royalist propaganda machine since Bhumibol’s death.
Of course, such displays are ingrained in the small-minded military outlooks of junta members. Apparently, they consider such mass rallies as a reinforcing of tradition and hierarchy that is central to their Thai society. For its political purposes, the junta prefers a nation royalist automatons rather than thinking citizens.
The Dictator “led 3,000 civil servants in a ceremony in Bangkok in front of a giant portrait of the king.” General Prayuth Chan-ocha declared:
“We will remain in allegiance to all the kings of the Chakri dynasty until we die,” Prayut said in the oath, which called on Thais to “respect the law” and emulate the king’s teachings.
The scene was repeated up and down the country with all public servants, state employees and armed forces personnel expected to take part.
Note that the oath is to the Chakri dynasty. The junta continues to say that the accession of the new king will be on 1 December, when the puppet national assembly will issue a proclamation.
Private companies and even embassies were roped into displays of royalist propaganda and mass oaths of loyalty, declaring “to continue to do good for the nation, religion and the monarchy followed by the singing of the royal anthem.”
The junta’s displays and use of public funds for political purposes continue to indicate that it still has the jitters over succession and opposition to rule under the military boot.