Updated: The king’s travels and troubles I

24 03 2020

With the king getting plenty of stick on social media, we looked around to see where he was. He’s now in Germany.

Everyone knows that King Vajiralongkorn prefers to spend most of his time in Germany. It seems that even with the startling rise in Germany’s coronavirus numbers, the king would rather be there.

PPT doesn’t track the king’s movements, but some do. Andrew MacGregor Marshall does a really fine job of this and has some excellent reporting. His Facebook page is an great source of information on the king’s travels and travails.

Unfortunately, it may be blocked in Thailand. So let us summarize a couple of his recent posts. We think these are critical parts of the current discussion of theย  king and monarchy, which cost the Thai taxpayer at least a billion dollars this year.

Marshall has recently released documents that show that the king is still requiring “soldiers selected for the Royal Guard to go to training camps, despite the increased risk of spreading COVID-19” in Thailand.

He reveals that “[t]wo training camps, one for 432 and the other for 421 soldiers, are due to start on April 1 at military bases in Saraburi and Sa Kaeo provinces” for up to 3 months.

It would be hoped that some better sense might prevail before the camps assemble. Marshall quotes an army source:

Vajiralongkorn and his high-ranking officers are not interested in changing or postponing the training. That shows that they don’t care about the health and safety of military personal who are coerced to go to training. They only care about drafting more people to be their servants, and the number is going to increase each year.”

Of course, Vajiralongkorn won’t be there. As Marshall shows in another post, he’s in Germany, where Bild newspaper headlines (and Marshall provides the English translation):

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ’๐˜€ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—น๐˜‚๐˜…๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—•๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น ๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ

…๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ

๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ป๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜น๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด!

The four-star “Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl” in the Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is closed due to the strict coronavirus rules. Technically. Because for Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn (67), known as Rama X, the closure does not apply.

The luxury hotel applied for a โ€œspecial permitโ€ for the heavily wealthy monarch (56 billion euros in assets) with a registration address in Tutzing on Lake Starnberg on March 18 โ€” and received it!

The official explanation, in response to questions from BILD:… “The guests are a single, homogeneous group of people with no changes.”

Even more: The “Sonnenbichl” is no longer classified as a hotel, but as a residential building. So Rama X and his entourage โ€” including 20 women from his โ€œharemโ€ โ€” are allowed to use the hotel privately and lavishly.

Exit restrictions? “No contact” rules? They do not apply to the king’s entourage.

BILD has learned that the king is said to have sent 119 employees back to Bangkok by plane (flight TG925) because of suspected coronavirus.

But the Thai royal party ignores the virus danger, cheerfully taking bicycle trips into the town.

Drawn attention by BILD to the reports of coronavirus among the royal entourage, the district office responded: “We know nothing about this.”

If they can, readers should be following Marshall on these stories and more.

Update: Marshall reports now that the training exercises have been postponed – see his Facebook page.


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3 responses

27 03 2020
Royalism trumps virus | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] reports that the absent and silent king has “approved a name change for two military bases, ditching the names of two revolutionaries […]

2 04 2020
Asia Sentinel on the king’s failures | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] blocked in Thailand, Asia Sentinel has a summary of the recent travails of King […]

5 04 2020
Where’s Wally? | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Where’s Wally was a British set of puzzle books where readers had to find Wally hidden in a group. In most places there are no groups now, but finding King Vajiralongkorn is an activity that some have taken up. (Where’s Vaji perhaps?) It is made easier by the virtual end of international air travel. We have been told he’s due in Bangkok tomorrow. […]

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