Banning noise, banning protests

18 05 2021

PPT has frequently commented on news made weird by the monarchism that infects post-coup government. Most recently, our comment was about health rumors and the regime’s bizarre response.

But here’s another one deserving of attention and interpretation, made available by reporting from Prachatai.

The report is about a Royal Gazette announcement declaring a new regulation signed-off by Bangkok Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Phukphong Phongpetra, who also heads the Traffic Police Division. The regulation is to limit “speed and noise around royal premises referred to as ‘901 Land’.”

As far as we are aware this terminology for land has not been previously seen. Prachatai states that:

901 is one of a set of code numbers used within the police and military to refer to members of the monarchy. 901 refers to the late King Rama IX, 902 refers to then Queen, now Queen Mother Sirikit, 903 refers to their eldest daughter Princess Ubolratana and 904 refers to then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, now King Rama X.

The land referred to is “an area that used to be the Nang Loeng Racecourse of the Royal Turf Club, whose lease was cancelled in 2018 by the Crown Property Bureau.”

As Prachatai’s accompanying picture shows, the area is now a huge, barren, construction zone. Imposing a reduced speed limit might make some sense around such a huge construction zone. But noise? There’s likely to be more noise from construction than from vehicles, and the royal property hardly needs noise abatement as there’s no one there, among the sand, dust and rubble. Just the workers and the guards.

Is this royalist nonsense? More likely, it an attempt to limit protests in the area, which has seen numerous demonstrations over several decades. It seems clear that King Vajiralongkorn is seeking to prevent the whole Rattanakosin area off limits to protests while making it all royal land.


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