All the king’s servants IV

30 01 2019

We thought the information in our last post on this topic was pretty scary. It gets scarier.

Khaosod has further information on the formation of a large police force that reports to the king and has nationwide jurisdiction:

In three separate orders published last night [28 January 2019], the Special Service Division became the Ratchawallop Police Retainers, King’s Guards 904; with a new command structure and broader responsibilities.

… The name is a reference to the Ratchawallop, a guard corps traditionally known for its close relationship with ruling monarchs. The number 904 is the police codeword assigned to King Vajiralongkorn when he was the Crown Prince.

Now the scarier bit:

A new subunit, called the Special Affairs Division, was also added to the structure. Its responsibilities include VIP protection for members of the Royal Family and running a mass volunteer group initiated by King Vajiralongkorn. It will also serve as a liaison between the volunteers and police, and train local police in VIP protection.

Furthermore, the division is tasked with evaluating the volunteer affairs, VIP protection and other assigned duties.

The volunteer group, called Chit Arsa, was created by the current monarch to perform a wide range of civic works, from cleaning the streets and canals to organizing events dedicated to the monarchy.

Hundreds of thousands of people are reported to belong to the network – which some analysts compare to the rural-based Village Scouts during the Cold War.

Even before his coronation, Vajiralongkorn has been changing the monarchy in powerful and foreboding ways.


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