All the king’s servants III

28 01 2019

The Bangkok Post reports a Royal Gazette announcement on “the structure and jurisdiction of the new Police Royal Guards 904 Division.”

This unit is the newest of the “security” organizations that comes under the king’s control. We first mentioned this new unit, “attached to the Central Investigation Bureau” back in October last year. It will eventually have 1,600 officers.

The latest announcement is about the jurisdiction of the unit’s nine sub-divisions. Essentially, this royal security unit will have nationwide jurisdiction paralleling the regular police.

The relationship with the palace is highlighted by the 904 moniker. It was seen when a group of propagandists from the armed forces and police were identified as “Volunteers Unit 904″ in 2018. The number 904 is derived from the former radio call sign of the king before he was king. Related, male officers associated with the palace, police and military are required to have “904 haircuts,” which are throwback styles that mimic earlier times and/or school children.

That the king now has a personal police force that operates nationally should be cause for even greater concern regarding the huge expansion of royal power.

Such expansion is not unrelated to the royal “missing”: a 1932 plaque, a 1932/33 memorial, anti-monarchists and the former public properties now privatized as the king’s. Likewise, these moves are related to the “fear,” growing from a secret prison, deaths in custody, huge use of lese majeste in personalized ways and the torture and murder of anti-monarchists.

Changes made to the Crown Property Bureau and the new powers the king has over property can also be recalled as providing the king with immense economic power.

Even before he has had his coronation, Vajiralongkorn has changed the monarchy in remarkable and foreboding ways.


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