The Thais certainly revere their monarchy. Each and every Monday they don their yellow ‘longlivetheking-mayhishealthprevail-sohelpmebhuddaifheshouldslipoffthismortalcoil’ polo shirts. It’s quite sweet!
I did have a good chuckle though, when my Thai matey and I were walking past a billboard-sized picture of the queen, and he turned to me and smiled “friend, my queen, she is a fatty”.
It must be said, she is a bit rotund (by skinny-ass Asian standards)…
Well he shouldn’t have bloody well insulted the king. The rest of us can go to Thailand and have a whale of a time without insulting the king. I mean what’s going through his head? “Hmm. Curry, beer, sunshine, beach, Bobby Moore, insult the king. There, that’s a plan.”
This is the kind of guy that turns up broke at the airport and doesn’t have the departure tax and then expects his government’s ambassador to lend him a fiver.
Try asking about why the King has that funny right eye and then add his son in the same sentence. As you do so, ponder the King’s death and the coming shit fight. Wonder boy, the unarmed Princess and possibly Thaksin. That’s cops vs army. Yeeech!
My plan is to be at Bangkok airport waving US$100 notes to anyone fleeing their Phuket or Samui pads.
[quote=“Lord Lucan”]Well he shouldn’t have bloody well insulted the king. The rest of us can go to Thailand and have a whale of a time without insulting the king. I mean what’s going through his head? “Hmm. Curry, beer, sunshine, beach, Bobby Moore, insult the king. There, that’s a plan.”
This is the kind of guy that turns up broke at the airport and doesn’t have the departure tax and then expects his government’s ambassador to lend him a fiver.[/quote]
Exactly, wtf was his problem? Everyone knows one doesn’t insult the king in Thailand. What was he thinking? :loco:
I expect he won’t serve nearly 10 years though. There was a British guy a few years back who went to Myanmar, made a public commotion demonstrating against the illegit government (at least he had a legit cause, unlike this goofball in Thailand), so they locked him up for something like 15 years. Of course the British government then pleaded for leniency and I believe they gave in and released him. I expect the same will happen here.
Bet he woke up with one mutha fucka of a hangover!
I don’t expect any leniency, well not for awhile at least. The King has never pardoned anyone for lèse majesté. They’ll wait till it’s well out of the news and then most likely send him back to Switzerland. Although this could be grist for the mill for a sector of Thai’s that are pissed off with having the world’s most undesirables drunkenly roaming their sois, porking the kiddies, etc - Thais don’t do nasty things, of course - the reports are minimal in the Thai press, and even the Nation et al are typically running only foreign wire reports of the case, as they tend to do on any negative story regarding the King.
So the real question becomes why him, why now? The answer is that other menace, and unfortunately for this Swiss bloke, he’s a pawn in a bigger game.
Hired by “someone”? In Thaksin’s heartland (Chiang Mai)? No guesses there.
Yes by all means don’t insult the King (and note even a devout republican (small r) like me grants him a capital K) but the lèse majesté laws suck big time. It’s just another of the shitty cloaks employed by a scummy bunch who mercilessly exploit every avenue for their own self-interest and at the awful human cost to the country’s real economic future.
[quote]Giles Ungpakorn, a political scientist at the elite Chulalongkorn university in the capital, said: "The lèse majesté laws are not really designed to protect the institution of the monarchy.
"In the past the laws have been used to protect governments, to protect military coups. This whole image is created to bolster a conservative elite well beyond the walls of the palace.
“It’s an issue in Thai society and it’s become more of an issue since the coup because the coup claimed legitimacy from the palace.”
The King himself has signalled that he might welcome less restrictive rules.
“Actually, I must also be criticised,” he said in his birthday address in 2005. “I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know. Because if you say the King cannot be criticised, it means that the King is not human.”[/quote]
That chap had been in Thailand for more than 10 years, by the way. And although he claims he did it in a drunken rage at being refused alcohol given the ban on sales on the King’s birthday, well it’s bloody Thailand fer fecksake, on those such days it’s just the 7-11s that dry up. You can always get a beer at a side street stall or a small local shop.
Worth picking up then you think?
Does he mention the story that the prince supposedly shot the King - thus the King’s odd right eye? Palace intrigue is interesting stuff, where it matters. Hard to know if that was a true story or just another of the besmirching that useless lay about heir unapparent has copped over the years. In any case the Thais snuck in a little clause in the constitutional re-write in 1991 allowing a female monarch, so it could be the princess that follows the King. Thing is, although she is very highly regarded by ordinary folks, and indeed does some interesting stuff, she has little support in the military or police force. The two sectors that will most likely turn on each other once the King is out of the way. If that happens, the people won’t be planting flowers on tanks, that’s for sure!
The purpose was to prevent princes and nobles from conspiring to overthrow the monarchy, because conspiracies against the monarchy and regicide were the norm rather than the exception back in the day. And many commoners despised the monarchy because they were forced to get tattooed and do corvee labor.
Further, back in the day, the image of the monarch was sacred and it wasn’t meant to be plastered everywhere like it is now. (To prove my point, where are all the images and paintings of previous kings?) People weren’t supposed to look at the king in a form. How things have changed in such an Orwellian fashion in the age of mass media!
Katherine Bowie in her village scout book said that the ubiquitous placing of the King’s image everywhere in Thailand began as a CIA/USIA program to spread loyalty to the monarchy to the masses to counter the threat of communism.
During the mid-Rattanakosin period, people criticized the king all the time. Ironically, the Thai press was freer when it was run by foreigners during the mid 19th century than it is now. Dr. Dan Beach Bradley and King Mongkut used to have debates in the newspapers about Thai culture and government policy. During the reign of King Vajirayudh, the king would also write his own newspapers columns in response to what others have said about him. Rama 7 was openly attacked for his policies all the time.[/quote]
Why is everything so complicated in Thailand? Maybe this Swiss guy wanted a way out of Thailand and agreeed to deface the posters on behalf of Tack Sin who was working for the CIA thinking he’d be merely deported? Maybe the only reason he stayed ten years was because he really didn’t have the five quid departure tax and his gay lover had been sleeping with a Vietnamese KGB agent who was about to turn him in to the Chinese? I can’t make up my mind whether it’s The Jews or George Bush who’s trying to usurp the throne of Thailand. I mean, who made the tin of spray paint. I for one would like to know. Perhaps HGC you could enlighten me?