At the same time that the military regime is using the late monarch and the period of mourning for political purpose, it is also accused of not being sufficiently monarchist.
It has spent a week trying to smother a royalist social media campaign that declares the junta disloyal for “ordering the removal of the late king’s portrait.”
The Bangkok Post reports that The Dictator has now had to issue an order banning the removal of the ubiquitous portraits that capture a king of 20 or 30 years ago.
General Prayuth Chan-ocha has “prohibited public offices from removing the pictures or portraits” of the “late King, as well as those of Queen Sirikit, and must keep them in good condition…”. It was added:
If they come with text such as ‘Long Live the King’ or the Pali version of it [Teeka Yuko Hotu Maha Racha], it may be changed appropriately. If they are to be replaced or decorated with black or white ribbons, the changes must be quickly made and the pictures put back without delay….
Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd “reaffirmed the government had never ordered the removal of the portraits as shared by some users in social media.” He demanded that these users “should refrain from sharing such information without sources.”
Any notion that the regime would undermine the monarch that they have literally (at Corruption Park) and metaphorically hoisted high for their own regime is potentially damaging. That they might be preparing for the new reign is likely to prove unpopular among its constituency of mad and even sane monarchists (and other seeking to undermine the regime).