Propaganda personified

8 10 2020

Recently retired army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong has a new job with the king, certainly rewarding his “loyalty.” Yet, according to the Bangkok Post, he has entered the monkhood for one month, at Wat Hong Rattanaram, classified as royal temple. It is the same temple where retired national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda was ordained last week.

The Post report is odd, saying his “ordination was a simple ceremony,” but then reporting that all the “chiefs of the defence forces and police” were there for the event and a bunch of Army “slaves” are on call to help the newly ordained Apirat. That hardly counts as “simple” – unless describing the collective mind of the chiefs – and seems to have been a media event as well.

Why? Because it was yet another piece of royalist propaganda, with “Gen Apirat [having] earlier announced he would enter the monkhood … to make merit for King Rama IX, … Queen Sirikit … and [the current] King and Queen.”

As many of Thailand’s old men have shown for a couple of decades, their post retirement propaganda activities are significant.

We doubt that Apirat is making merit for his leadership failures or for the deaths of civilians at the hands of his forces.

 


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