“Struggle for influence in the King’s waning years”

It’s good to see that more and more people understand, but also dare to explain the real causes of the political conflict in Thailand.

It starts to be true for the main stream foreign medias… and a lot of thai websites, forums (read the article of New Mandala : “End of the royal taboo ?“)

And i’m proud to say that it has been all over my blog since… june 2007.

Actually, it has been the motto of my blog, the reason why I’ve started it. Because I saw a looming -and obvious- crisis that would affect both the economy and the politics of this country.

Here is a quote from Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies, from an article published by the International Herald Tribune :

The conflict, Thitinan says, is rooted in a struggle for influence in the king’s waning years.

iIt takes place in the twilight of the king’s reign,” Thitinan said. “This is what this is all about.

Who gets to rule Thailand ?” (IHT)

Voila. It’s luminous. Limpid. Simple. Nothing to add.

This is why it’s not a small crisis. It’s a freaking huge one located at the very core of the thai political system.

I’m thinking about all the clowns, all the suckers, and god knows that they were innombrable, who were denying, saying that everything would be okay, that it was a mere feud between politicians.

There is nothing worse (and despicable) than someone who wants to be blind (because it’s more comfortable, or less intellectually challenging).

The french people, because they have had a lot of those “transition periods” through the history of their country, have an expression to describe what we are living in Thailand : “end of reign”.

It has alway had a sad meaning, linked with troubles, violences.

What we’re living in Thailand is the beginning of that process…

7 Responses to ““Struggle for influence in the King’s waning years””

  1. 1 Clem 2 December 2008 at 2:07 am

    Thanks for the link. Having been reading mainly Thai based rags and forums it was apparent there was a lot more going on than was being stated. I wonder if most of the Thais see it all in the simplistic and manipulated black and white so many expats do.

    A very careful and subtle path seems to have been walked for many years, but has now changed to a more reckless and obvious one, leading one to think that that a different (and less astute) broker is now guiding that policy.

    Interesting too that the international media are now stating things that could not be said within Thailand. Seems though with the army obviously backing one side there can only be one outcome in the end.

  2. 2 redandwhitestripes 2 December 2008 at 2:48 am

    Well said. I give myself a pat on the back sometimes, too 🙂

  3. 3 chinesethai 2 December 2008 at 3:48 am


    I believe an increasing number of Thai citizens have waken up to the reality that the King is not immortal.

    I can recall the time when the King was receiving the first bypass surgery some 15 or more years ago. Still in our freshmen year, my friends and I, as well as other students rushed to the University Hall to sign on some sort of guest book provided by the University, praying for his recovery. What we were deeply concerned about is the fate of the country as we knew that the politics of Thailand is not as democratic as it looked. That was even before the emergence of Thaksin in the Thai political landscape.

    Thailand’s financial crisis in 1997 did not only enlighten me and many Thais about the true face of illusive Thai economy. It reminded me once more of the importance of the country’s most revered figure while politicians and businessmen either were busy calculating their losses or went belly up. Of course, businesses under the Crown Property Bureau were also shaken. But it is undeniable that His Majesty is not perfect but he was really the last resort. He did have the capacity to inspire the people. Many people who are influenced by Paul Handley’s book would believe that he stole the limelight from elected government. I wanted to ask them in return, wasn’t the ability to inspire his people in time of crisis the sovereign’s duty? Who else would have the capacity and credibility to do this job? What if we suddenly lost him? How would Thailand end up in the wake of greedy, self-serving political, army, police, warlord factions? As a result, I, and I believe other conscious Thais too, began to ponder over silently securing permanent residency or 2nd citizenship elsewhere. ……..ThaiCrisis, you are correct about Thai people’s way of thought. Even my girlfriend and close friends at the time thought I was too paranoid about “the impossible”. Now they came to me admitting that I have made the right move.

    P.S. TC, are you French? Belgian? Quebecois? Swiss? You use ‘,’, instead of ‘.’ when writing decimal numbers.

  4. 4 KV 2 December 2008 at 6:25 am

    Yes, due to the Ones status, that is not only semi-divine, but indeed considered DIVINE. It seems that many locals have the lack to comprehend that he is after all a HUMAN with life expectancy of on average 72 years on Western males for example. But no, again here people are stating the OBVIOUS, “oh he is not immportal after all”. Crap. I have to give the tip of my hat to the Thai education system: they have succeeded in one thing: to convince people from farmers to MBA holders in Thailand to believe that their One is somehow mystical divine creature that no one needs to prepare to replace with new divine creature.

  5. 5 KV 2 December 2008 at 6:27 am

    Ps. I do like the way Chinese thai is worming his/her words: “source of inspiration”. Thats it. But unfortunatly, one moment One is “source of inspiration, above politics” but when the “sh*it hits the fan”, somehow One is again on the level of politics and One is after all “the supreme commander of this country”. So when ever it suits Thais, One is above politics or the most influential figure of politics. BUT this SHOULD be black or white situation: you can’t be both in this case.

  6. 6 Khengsiong 2 December 2008 at 9:38 am

    More and more people understand… but not the Thais…

  1. 1 So many ways of looking at it all… at The FARANG Speaks 2 Much Trackback on 2 December 2008 at 4:58 pm

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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