For love of (dead) king

PPT didn’t read any of the stories about the rather awful Miss Universe contest. We did know, as Wikipedia states:

In 2015, after businessman Donald Trump, then co-owner of the pageant, made statements about illegal immigrants from Mexico in his U.S. presidential campaign kickoff speech, NBC decided to end its business relationship with him and stated that it would no longer air the Miss Universe or Miss USA pageants on its networks. In September 2015, Trump bought NBC’s share of the Miss Universe Organization, becoming its sole owner for three days, then sold the entire company to the WME/IMG talent agency.

In Thailand, because of previous victories in 1965 and 1988 and because of state promotion of nationalism over many years, there remains some interest in the parade of attractive women making small talk and little speeches about love, peace and, sometimes, politics.

With that short background, we turn to a story a reader sent to us. For us, the interesting bit of the story are the comments of The Dictator and his Dictatorial Deputy. General Prayuth Chan-ocha proudly declared:

The prime minister thanked Ms Chalita for representing the country and helping to promote unique Thai culture to other candidates.

Gen Prayut said he felt proud when Miss Thailand spoke about King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the question round, and praised him.

Perhaps if she hadn’t spoken of a deceased king, then Chalita “Namtan” Suansane might have been suspect in The Dictator’s eyes. There is huge pressure on Thais in sport, film and other areas to conform with royalist diktats on culture and king.

As our reader observes, the comments on General Prawit Wongsuwan, are revealing of something else:

Meanwhile, Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanich said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who also serves as defence minister, watched the contest and supported Ms Chalita to be crowned as Miss Universe.

Gen Prawit was disappointed that Ms Chalita, who was doing well, failed to make her way to the final round, he added.

Maj Gen Kongcheep said Gen Prawit was speaking to media members before attending a meeting at the Defence Council meeting, which he chaired.

Gen Prawit described Ms Chalita as “beautiful and perfect. She was doing so well in the question round.”

He said he wanted to vote for Miss Thailand in the internet voting but he did know how.

It is Prawit who has been campaigning against “anti-monarchists” on the internet, claiming these are dangerous people. Yet, he can’t, himself, use the internet….

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