Thursday, September 21, 2006

BBC: Thai king remains centre stage

BBC NEWS - Thai king remains centre stage: "Throughout every twist and turn in Thailand's recent political history, there has been one constant figure.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been on the Thai throne for 60 years, is revered across the nation, with some people even seeing him as a virtual god.

Officially his power to influence political events is limited. But in practice he yields immense power, due to the high respect in which he is held.

That is why many Thai analysts are saying he must have at least been in favour of the coup on Tuesday night, which toppled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

'The role of the king was critical in this crisis,' said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a professor of political science at Chulalongkorn University.

'He is widely seen as having implicitly endorsed the coup.'

Sulak Siwalak, a well-known social critic, went further. 'Without his involvement, the coup would have been impossible,' he said.

The palace has made no direct comment since the takeover took place."

I was amazed when I visited Thailand in April/May how the royal family is so honored and beloved. The king part of the very fabric of Thailand. Very interesting.


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