At an “auspicious” time, well into the night, Thailand got its new king.
Some will complain that our headline is misleading. Our point is that Thailand has a new monarch. The person and personality may be different, but the monarchy continues. But don’t be fooled, that change is unlikely to mean any change for what the military loves to call “the institution.”
The huge repression by the military dictatorship and the enormous efforts put into lese majeste repression since 2006 have made discussion of the monarchy and the new monarch extremely risky for anyone in Thailand or anyone who wants to travel to Thailand. If there was a plan, it was to prevent any criticism of the wayward, unpredictable and sometimes nasty Prince Vajiralongkorn when he came to the throne.
The prince becomes King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. The international media will be unlikely to ever be able to pronounce that. It is reported that the moniker means “Vajiralongkorn Descended by Flesh and Blood of God Indra, Overlord of all Angels.”
The Post reports that General Prem Tinsulanonda, “who serves as the regent, led the heads of the country’s three branches of government for an audience with … Crown Prince … Vajiralongkorn on Thursday afternoon to invite him to ascend the throne as the new King.”
He was accompanied by The Dictator and royalist 2014 coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, puppet National Legislative Assembly president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai and royalist judge Veerapol Tungsuwan, president of the Supreme Court. They are seen in various points of belly sliding in this picture from Khaosod.
It is also reported that junta hireling and Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam stated that “Prem has ended his role as regent now the Crown Prince has accepted the invitation to reign.”
Rather oddly, “[t]he ascension is retroactive to Oct. 13.” Anything is possible in royalist la-la land.