Tag Archives: Crown Prince

Junta busies itself with multiple “fit ups”

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

Never caring about truth or justice, Prayut’s junta is busy falsely incriminating its opponents and various people of “inconvenience”.

Nuttatida Meewangpla or “Wan” is a volunteer nurse who was in Wat Patum in May 2010, when military snipers deliberately shot down 6 civilians who were either seeking sanctuary in the temple or trying to give medical aid to injured civilians.

Wat Patum deaths
Wat Patum deaths

Nuttatida gave this evidence to the inquest held to investigate the 6 civilian killings: On the morning of the 19th May 2010 she and another volunteer nurse, Kamonket, entered the temple to give assistance to those taking refuge there. The temple had been declared as a “safe sanctuary”. After 4pm Nuttatida observed volleys of shots fired into the temple near the first aid tent from five soldiers on the BTS electric train line. A number of people were killed by this military sniper fire at that time, including the nurse Kamonket. Nuttatida did not observe any gun fire originating from the temple at any time.

Nuttatida
Nuttatida

The above witness statement is the most important evidence implicating soldiers in this cold-blooded murder of civilians at Wat Patum in 2010. It also implicates General Prayut, who was in charge of military operations at that time.

Nuttatida arrested
Nuttatida arrested

No surprise then that Nuttatida has now been fitted up with charges of “terrorism” involving a small explosive device that went off outside the criminal court in Rajchada, Bangkok. No one was injured by this explosion. There is absolutely no evidence linking Nuttatida with this event and the military initially denied that they had detained her. In fact, in the initial days of detention, she was subjected to physical and mental torture and she has now also been fitted up with lèse-majesté charges. She is still in prison.

The whole process is about the junta trying to destroy the credibility of a key witness to state murder.

The second case of interest is the various lèse-majesté charges against relatives of the Crown Prince’s former wife, who he divorced recently. A number of policemen and other people related to “Sirat, have been charged with lèse-majesté for “claiming royal legitimacy” in order to further their business interests.

While having little sympathy for these people, I must point out that this is hardly an example of justice. What is more, General Prayut, and various other dictators, could equally be accused of using the King to justify their military coups and feathering their own nests. But what is interesting is that the junta is fitting these people up with dubious charges in order to curry favour with the Crown Prince, who wants to get rid of his past girl-friend and all her relatives. After this, the junta reckon that the Prince will “owe them” and hence do what they tell him to do. After all, the odious prince will soon be the next king.

In the old days
In the old days

Prayut and his mobsters constantly claim to be “good people”. If this is what good people do, it is time for the rest of us to get very very bad…

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The degeneration of the Thai royals

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

The obscene and depraved 4 day cremation ceremony for the Crown Prince’s pet dog, “Air Chief Marshall Foo Foo”, clearly shows the degeneration of the Thai monarchy.

FuFu

Given that millions of Thai citizens struggle to find the funds to pay for the funerals of their loved ones, it is a slap in the face of the poor by a dysfunctional institution. In Thai culture, calling someone a “dog” is an insult. But royal dogs apparently have a higher status than ordinary citizens.

The future king was well known for allowing his pet to run up and down the high table, spreading germs at official dinners, where it licked the plates of foreign guests and lapped water from their glasses. Given the dog’s ridiculous military rank, one might be forgiven for thinking that the death of his dog was a “blow” to the Thai air force. This is no joke. Prince Wachiralongkorn is a vicious, sexist, thug and his expensive funeral for his dog shows his callous disregard for appropriate behaviour.

His father preaches the “Sufficiency Economics” ideology, pretending to be frugal, when in fact he is the richest monarch in the world. King Pumipon has never lifted a finger to defend democracy or criticise the military for killing pro-democracy citizens. This weak and cowardly king also loves his dogs more than his fellow Thais. The Queen and her daughters have supported the middle-class mobsters who helped bring about two recent military coups.

These royal parasites are treading on thin ice. As the monarchy goes into a downward spiral, those in power become more manic and oppressive in their royalism. Lèse-majesté charges against opponents of the junta have sky-rocketed. Military courts are the order of the day and an authoritarian sham democracy is being crafted in order to hold “elections” in the future. Seeking to amend any military constitution has now been defined as a “criminal act”.

Ever since the barbaric military crack-downs in the 1970s, right up to the two recent military coups, the military has continuously sought to legitimise itself by using the monarchy. In attacking democracy during the present crisis, the royalists have continually insulted the “ignorant poor”, claiming that government policies to raise people out of poverty are somehow “corrupt”.

Yet, Taksin and his fellow business elites are no different. They all promote the monarchy to serve their own interests. For all these members of the Thai ruling class, the monarchy is a symbol of the “natural order of things”, where some are born to rule and the rest are born to be exploited under capitalism.

The tension and division between those who are deeply fed up with the royals and their military allies and those who claim to adore the monarchy above their own lives, is rapidly deepening. The Thai monarchy is well past its sell-by date. Yet change is never automatic or inevitable. All of us who wish to see a free and equal society in this country must work hard to push forward to a democratic republic. This will take serious political organisation.

Wachiralongkorn should not be the future king. Thailand should be a republic.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

In this period when the aged King of Thailand is nearing his death, Prince Wachiralongkorn is being groomed to be the next king. Therefore his character and behaviour should be a public issue.

Wachiralongkorn never did very well at school or college. Maybe he was not interested in studying. But a Head of State should take an interest in society and should be able to hold a reasonably intellectual conversation with politicians from Thailand and other countries. Wachiralongkorn cannot do this. He is a self-centred idiot. Just ask the diplomatic community in Bangkok.

A Head of State should have some basic manners when conducting themselves in public. Yet Wachiralongkorn is known to have driven his jet on to the runway at Bangkok international airport to block the plane of the Japanese Prime Minister. This was over a personal grudge about a woman. At a high level dinner in Thailand, Wachiralongkorn allowed his dog, “Air Chief Marshall Fufu” to run up and down the high table, sniffing and licking food off the plates of Thai and foreign guests. It did not occur to him that this was a problem.

But more importantly, if Wachiralongkorn were to be the next king, it would be an insult, a slap in the face, to over 35 million Thai women.

The fact that Wachiralongkorn falls in love or in lust with many women is not wrong. If he wants to take nude photographs of them to keep for himself, that is a personal matter between them and him. But his behaviour throws into question his basic respect for anyone, especially women.

Millions of Thais and non-Thais have seen the video of Wachiralongkorn with his now ex-wife. They are sipping wine and eating by a swimming pool. She is naked and he is fully dressed. No accounting for taste, one might say. But it goes far beyond that. The male servants are in full uniform and there are people taking the video and snap shots. Wachiralongkorn makes his ex-wife crawl on the ground, naked, to take cake, like he was feeding a dog. Millions of Thais have seen a whole clutch of nude pictures of his other various girlfriends. He is an arrogant sexist pig. He does not have an ounce of respect for women. He abuses them with his power and money. And his money is taken from the collective wealth of the Thai people.

When we see the nude pictures of his women, remember who has power over them. Forgive their mistakes. Posing nude to show off one’s beautiful body is not immoral nor a sin. But why are these pictures released to the Thai public on the internet? It is hard to guess what goes on in Wachiralongkorn’s depraved mind. He is so alienated that he does not know how to respect anyone. The release of these pictures is not an accident. They have been coming out at regular intervals for years. Maybe he wants to destroy their dignity and show that he is boss. Maybe he wants to show off that he can “pull” beautiful women. Maybe he feels he is so powerful that no one can touch him and he can do what he likes. In other words he doesn’t give a damn.

Wachiralongkorn has divorced his present wife for a new girlfriend. Many will expect to see naked pictures of her soon on the internet. There is no way of knowing whether this will happen, but it would be in keeping with his character.

Do not forget that his mother, the Queen, looks upon her son with fondness and forgives all. They are close. His mother and one of her daughters openly supported the semi-fascist PAD and Sutep’s anti-democratic mob. His father, the King, has remained silent as usual, refusing to criticise his son. This is a filthy rich dysfunctional family, like most royal families. We should get rid of the lot of them and this includes the equally parasitic Crown Princess Sirintorn.

Wachiralongkorn with Pumipon and dictator Tanom
Wachiralongkorn with Pumipon and dictator Tanom

Remember that in Thailand people are forced to stand up and show respect to the Head of State. People must crawl and use Royal Language. They must pay taxes to support the Royals’ rich life-styles. They must wait in snarled-up traffic as the Royals rush past.

What is pathetic is that Taksin has been encouraging illusions among red shirts that Wachiralongkorn will be a “democratic king”. This is total nonsense. Wachiralongkorn doesn’t care about politics or society. He only cares about his selfish interests.

Wachiralongkorn should not be the next king because Thailand should be a Republic.

The Thai Monarchy is a tool of the military. There is no “crisis of succession” in Thailand.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

The hypothesis that the present long-running unrest in Thailand is primarily caused by a “crisis of succession”, assumes that the Thai monarch has real power and that he has been constantly intervening in politics. That is just not the case and the real cause of the crisis lies elsewhere.

Thailand does not have an absolute monarch or North Korean-style despot in his twilight years, with factions fighting over who will be the next ruler. The Thai absolute monarchy was overthrown in the 1932 revolution, and since then, power has been shared and disputed among the military and civilian elites and the top businessmen. For much of the time between 1932 and the mid-1980s, the elites ruled by dictatorship. But this has become harder and harder to do ever since the mass uprising against the military in 1973. The reason for this is that the structure of Thai society has changed. There are more and more workers, both blue collar and white collar and the new generation of workers and farmers are more confident and educated. That is why the monarchy has become more important to the ruling class as a symbol of “natural hierarchy”, necessary to give legitimacy to those who abuse democracy and preside over a grossly un-equal society. The lèse majesté law is designed to protect the “holy relic” that serves such a useful purpose for the ruling class.

The monarch has always been weak and cowardly, a creature of the military and the elites who surround him and use him for their own ends. He was ill-prepared to become king when his older brother died in a gun accident. He was introduced to the Throne during a time when the most powerful military and police faction was led by anti-royalists who had participated in the 1932 revolution. But rivals of this faction sought to use and promote the King. They came to power during the Sarit coup in the late 1950s and the monarch was promoted as part of the anti-communist struggle during the Cold War. King Pumipon was used by the Thai military and conservative elites, together with the U.S. government, as an anti-communist symbol. He was also required to appear on TV to stop the 1973 uprising from toppling the whole old order.

Throughout his reign, Pumipon has swayed like a leaf, bending in the wind and serving as a willing tool of those who happened to be in power. He failed to prevent or solve any serious crisis. He supported the extreme right-wing leader Tanin Kraiwichien in 1976, only to see Tanin swept aside by the military a year later. He supported the 1991 military coup leader Sujinda, only to see the junta destroyed by a popular uprising. His “sufficiency Economy” ideology was taken to heart by neo-liberal conservatives because it supported the idea that the state should not help the poor. But no one took it seriously enough to think it could really be an economic strategy which could be practically applied for economic development.

The fixation by political commentators on the monarch and the royal family may be understandable, given the way the elites make the king into a deity, but we should expect a better quality of analysis.

The first question that should be asked is: why do the elites make the king into a deity and constantly reproduce this myth?

The more Thai society develops into a modern capitalist one, the more difficult it has become for the elites to rule over the population using crude authoritarian means. The Thai military can only justify its anti-democratic political meddling by promoting the monarch into a deity and then claiming to follow his “orders”. Similarly, politicians and businessmen, Taksin included, used the monarchy to increase their own “untouchable” legitimacy. Taksin’s government kicked-off the semi-compulsory wearing of yellow shirts on one day each week.

The interesting point to bear in mind is that the frenzied promotion of the King actually accelerated from the mid-1980s onwards, as the elites were forced to make more and more concessions to parliamentary democracy. It was an attempt to slow down progress and insulate elite privileges from change.

Before former Prime Minister Taksin had a falling out with the military and the conservatives, the King was also a willing supporter of his government, for example, praising his “war on drugs” where thousands were executed in an extra-judiciary manner.

For those who believe that the King is a powerful figure even today, one just has to look at reality. How can a man who has spent years in hospital or in a wheel chair and who can hardly speak, order the army to do anything?

During the recent coup, General Prayut did not even make any pretence at seeking advice and permission from the King. The old man was required to be seen “touching” the junta’s so-called constitution, but he had no other input. The junta has since upgraded the navy’s submarine capability, something which the King had opposed only recently.

So there is no absolute monarch in his final years causing a potential power vacuum.

But what about the idea that the various elite factions are really fighting about who will control the Crown Prince when he becomes king? Make no mistake; all sides have agreed that the scandal-prone and despicable prince will be the next king. To place the Princess, who has no male partner, on the throne instead, would immediately destroy all the “reinvented tradition” about the monarchy.

Controlling the Crown Prince will be very easy. He is even more cowardly, selfish and disinterested than his father. But controlling the prince doesn’t result in ownership of power. Power does not reside with the monarchy.

If the King were to die soon, and there is no guarantee that he will, nothing will change. The Crown Prince is even less capable of supporting democratic reforms than his father. But many Red Shirts seem to have ridiculous hopes pinned on this nasty idiot.

The theory of a crisis of succession is merely an elite top-down myth, which ignores the real economic and social fractures in Thai society which became clearer and clearer after the 1996 economic crisis. It writes the majority of citizens out of the picture, blinding people about the role of the Red Shirts. It is just a re-hash of the old discredited “Bureaucratic Polity” theory. It should be confined to circles that love to excite themselves with conspiracy theories.