King seen, but not Sineenat

9 10 2022

AFP – Agence France Presse – reported on the “visit by Thailand’s king to see survivors of a nursery massacre,” noting that it was “a rare recent public outing” by Vajiralongkorn.

AFP then goes through some squirms and calisthenics to suggest that the current monarch is “officially regarded as semi-divine but who came in for unprecedented criticism during street protests in 2020.” Presumably, the “official” bit is to imply that this position is demonstrably buffalo manure.

King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida visited hospitals treating the victims of the tragic Nong Bua Lamphu massacre. As far as we can tell from reporting, the royals steered clear of the site of the massacre. This is probably for fear of bad karma rubbing off.

As usual, a handful of “royalist supporters, some wearing the king’s official colour yellow, waited outside the hospital ahead of the monarch’s visit.”

And, as always, those viewed by the royals were placed in subordinate positions.

The report is right to observe that the king no longer goes out much: “The palace stepped up public appearances in late 2020 and early 2021, including one occasion on which the king visited prisons, sweeping floors alongside his [then] official consort.” Since the regime arrested and charged hundreds with lese majeste, “he has been seen less in public since the protests ebbed away in 2021.” Presumably he feels his position has been fortified.

Perhaps the AFP might have asked why he’s stopped spending most of his time in Germany. Tax issues? An incapacity under German law to take government decisions?

Helpfully, though, AFP does mention Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi. But she has completely disappeared, without a trace. What has happened to her?



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