Busy king

4 12 2017

Over the past week or so, the king has seemed busier than usual, at least in terms of public reporting. As usual, the reporting is circumspect.

Khaosod reports that the king is engaged in two activities that have been defining his still short reign.

The first is his continuing intervention in the way the security forces appear in public. Readers will recall that he has ordered a new form of salute and forms of military posture for police and military, demanded new haircut regulations for the armed forces and police and has  transferred agencies responsible for palace affairs to his direct control.

Now the king has ordered that “police will be given new uniforms…”. A police spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said “that a single khaki shade, officially called Sor Nor Wor 01, will be implemented across the police force to display a sense of unity.” It seems that, over the years, different units have used slightly different shades of khaki.

No doubt this annoys the king as he has an almost obsessive–compulsive need for order and control. In fact, the king has already picked out the shade and has sent a “sample fabric and color pattern … to police commissioner Chakthip Chaijinda…”.

Krissana found himself having to dissemble: “Every police officer deeply appreciates it…”. All 230,000 of them.

When the new design is finalized, “Gen. Chakthip will be the first to wear it ‘as an example’,” and will no doubt sport the required haircut as well.

The second task has been the consolidation of royal control over all of the property in the so-called royal district. Readers will recall the stealing of the 1932 plaque and the closure of Ananda Samakhom Hall to the public. The former parliament building appears to have been returned to the throne.

The king seems to want to wipe out all references to the 1932 revolution and grab back “royal property.”

One major gap in the property is the Dusit Zoo. The zoo began as a private zoo for royals and it was in 1938 that  the “constitutional government asked King Rama VIII’s regency council to give this park to the Bangkok City Municipality to be open as a public zoo.” No doubt the king regards this as theft. To get the land back – all 189,000 square meters – the king has decided the zoo should move.

The zoo was not talking about the move to Pathum Thani and a larger plot, said to be donated by the king. An official stated: “His Majesty is very merciful…”. And, no doubt pretty happy with this deal that expands the royal area substantially.

This is a king with a sense of where the monarchy should be, and that marks out a restorationist monarch.


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10 12 2017
On Constitution Day | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] begins with what seems like a justification for the new zoo which is expected to begin construction around 2019. But then it carefully changes tack, referring […]

10 12 2017
On Constitution Day | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] begins with what seems like a justification for the new zoo which is expected to begin construction around 2019. But then it carefully changes tack, referring […]

6 02 2018
He who must be obeyed | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Back in December, the king decided to order changes for security forces. He ordered a new form of salute and forms of military posture for police and military, new uniforms for police so that all wore exactly the same color and ordered new haircut regulations for the armed forces and police. […]

6 02 2018
He who must be obeyed | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Back in December, the king decided to order changes for security forces. He ordered a new form of salute and forms of military posture for police and military, new uniforms for police so that all wore exactly the same color and ordered new haircut regulations for the armed forces and police. […]

5 03 2018
Part-time king and neo-feudal Thailand | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] that this is the kind of neo-feudal Thailand that the king would feel most comfortable with. We have noted his plans for erasing the 1932 Revolution and re-establishing a huge royal palace area in central Bangkok. […]

5 03 2018
Part-time king and neo-feudal Thailand | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] that this is the kind of neo-feudal Thailand that the king would feel most comfortable with. We have noted his plans for erasing the 1932 Revolution and re-establishing a huge royal palace area in central Bangkok. […]

27 03 2018
Rolling back 1932 one piece of property at a time | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] area of the so-called Royal Plaza for political and personal reasons. The political reason is to erase all legacies of 1932. That’s a passion he shared with his father, although the king seems more determined even […]

27 03 2018
Rolling back 1932 one piece of property at a time | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] area of the so-called Royal Plaza for political and personal reasons. The political reason is to erase all legacies of 1932. That’s a passion he shared with his father, although the king seems more determined even […]

7 04 2018
Rolling back 1932 one piece of property at a time II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the “royal precinct.” We have previously mentioned assertions of royal control over the Bangkok or Dusit Zoo, Suan Amphon and the Ananta Samakhom Hall. And who can forget the illegal (and still unexplained) […]

7 04 2018
Rolling back 1932 one piece of property at a time II | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] the “royal precinct.” We have previously mentioned assertions of royal control over the Bangkok or Dusit Zoo, Suan Amphon and the Ananta Samakhom Hall. And who can forget the illegal (and still unexplained) […]

18 05 2019
Hippo manure | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] and took it, throwing out the zoo and all its animals years before a new zoo will be ready (see here, here, here and […]

18 05 2019
Hippo manure | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] and took it, throwing out the zoo and all its animals years before a new zoo will be ready (see here, here, here and […]