Updated: Birthday games I

29 07 2020

While youth protesters keep poking at the regime and monarchy, the regime spent time “honoring” the absent king.

Where is Wanchalearm? Clipped from Prachatai

Meanwhile, in Europe, the king’s 68th birthday was marked by protest and critical and quizzical media reports (see here and here).

In Thailand, the regime ordered displays of loyalty (as it usually does on the birthdays of kings) and most of the response was state-led, with companies spending budget on “adverts” that “honor” the king.  The media all come up with boring headers for the king. All levels of government are required to organize events and dragooning the public to “participate.”

The Dictator took a particularly high profile. The Guardian produced a photo that says rather too much about “loyalty” and absence.

“Sanam Luang, Thailand The Thai prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, (centre) and officials have their photo taken in front of a large portrait of the Thai King … Vajiralongkorn … during celebrations for the monarch’s 68th birthday in Bangkok (Photograph: Diego Azubel/EPA).” Clipped from The Guardian.

Meanwhile, New Mandala has an anonymous post that summarizes much of what is known about the king. It is unclear why the author undervalues the Crown Property Bureau’s wealth or what causes the author to think that the king distrusts the military and that this distrust is cause for him to remain in Germany.

The author’s claim that “there are small grounds to hope that, if the king is confident that he has achieved his security and royal asset reclamation goals, he could return to Thailand and reign as a constitutional monarch” seems about as misplaced as earlier claims that Vajiralongkorn would “foster a somewhat more open political atmosphere…”.

Vajiralongkorn is erratic, prone to fits of anger, vindictive and narcissistic. He is widely disliked and feared.

Update: On the king being an absentee landlord and monarch, see Ji Ungpakorn’s post on the issue.


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2 responses

29 07 2020
Nicholas Bates

Wouldn’t the king normally make an appearance on his birthday???

29 07 2020
thaipoliticalprisoners

That has been the pattern. But he’s in Germany, so it is all done with blown-up pictures. He’s adopting patterns quite distinct from his father.

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