Mad, bad and out-of-control

22 11 2019

Strategy Page has an article on what it calls a civil war:

The civil war between the military/royalist coalition and democrats continues. The struggle has not escalated to violence yet, but it is getting more intense.

It notes that the military, the military-backed government and their royalist supporters are:

… fighting against the possibility of the pro-democracy parties eventually gaining enough allies in parliament to take power and reverse some of the damage the military government has done in the last five years.

In part, this explains the effort to smash Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his Future Forward Party.

Self-crowned

On King Vajiralongkorn, the article concentrates on the knowns, underpinned by the unknowns. It begins with purges, saying the king is:

conducting a purge of the palace staff along with a “loyalty training” program for thousands of officials serving the monarchy in one way or another. During October the king fired at least a dozen palace officials for misconduct. No details were provided. Also dismissed and stripped of all official honors was his recently appointed royal concubine. All this palace intrigue appears to have something to do with the king’s fourth wife, who is the queen and does not want to become an ex-wife like her three predecessors. In Thailand, discussing such palace activity publically is illegal. Nevertheless, the gossip describes a very “truth is stranger than fiction” situation.

What’s missing from the article is the way the king is accumulating power, changing laws, taking over military regiments, grasping vast swathes of state property in Bangkok and making himself wealthier. A powerful but erratic king is a threat to Thailand’s politics.


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