By Andrew MacGregor Marshall
“An explosive research that lays naked what the Thai elite have attempted to maintain hidden for many years. A clear-eyed view of what's fairly at stake in Thailand’s carrying on with turmoil.”—David Streckfuss, writer of Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté
“A well timed and hugely readable account of the bleak political fact of the Land of Smiles. an important primer for each visitor.” —Joe Studwell, writer of How Asia Works
Read or Download A Kingdom in Crisis: Royal Succession and the Struggle for Democracy in 21st Century Thailand PDF
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Additional resources for A Kingdom in Crisis: Royal Succession and the Struggle for Democracy in 21st Century Thailand
It was a stunning moment, an event most Thais never dreamed would happen. Hundreds of people in the heart of the capital were shouting a crude insult and inflammatory accusation at an unthinkable target. The ‘bastard’ was King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Protesters also began scrawling anti-royal graffiti on the enclosure around the ruins of Zen. Serhat Ünaldi describes it as ‘a watershed moment in recent Thai history that has remained almost unnoticed in analyses of the country’s political crisis’: Writing graffiti on a wall which had been plastered with feel-good messages of unity, harmony and peace after the bloody crackdown political awakening 17 of May 19, 2010 was a means of countering the Bangkok elite’s escapist attempt of return to ‘normal’.
The lord of the realm does not levy toll on his subjects for travelling the roads; they lead their cattle to trade or ride their horses to sell; whoever wants to trade in elephants, does so; whoever wants to trade in horses, does so; whoever wants to trade in silver and gold, does so… He has hung a bell in the opening of the gate over there: if any commoner in the land has a grievance which sickens his belly and gripes his heart, and which he wants to make known to his ruler and lord, it is easy; he goes and strikes the bell which the king has hung there; King Ramkhamhaeng, the ruler of the kingdom, hears the call; he goes and questions the man, examines the case, and decides it justly for him.
The physical distance between the King and his legal heir far below, and his beloved daughter just behind him, captured the internal family dynamic – and the future of the monarchy – quite nicely. (06bangkok3538) Most of Thailand’s poor still revered Bhumibol, never ques tioning the official story that he was a wise and caring monarch who had worked tirelessly throughout his reign to improve their lives. They saw him as their guardian and protector, in contrast to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who had always treated them with disdain and never done anything for them.