#thaistory parts one and two

Part one of the four-part story on Thailand can be viewed here on our server.

Alternatively, it is available here, here and here.

Part two is also up on our server.

Alternatively, you can find it here, here and here.

Parts three and four to be released next week.


King’s failing health, and his $30B fortune, puts Thailand in jeopardy

TSB Note: While we are all waiting for #thaistory part 3, which has been promised “soon”, here’s an important article by Bill Schiller in The Star.

BANGKOK—Towering high in the heavens overlooking the courtyard of Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital stands an illuminated portrait of Thailand’s King Bhumibol, with a garland of dazzling neon lights proclaiming, “Long Live The King.”

But how long does the king have to live?
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The Great Oz: King of Thailand

By a reader

You see his image towering everywhere: King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, of Thailand. His stern visage gazes across the cities, villages and countryside of the nation, seemingly everywhere, yet still a mystery — who is the man, not the king, that scowls at us from billboards, magazines, websites and portraits in living rooms throughout the land?

Thais afford him in such great veneration that I long assumed he must be a great and kind leader, the weight of his burden borne quietly, his acts — like a massive granite ballast — anchoring the murky, bewitching culture of such languid beauty and at times startling cruelty.
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Andrew Marshall calls for blogs, social media to discuss #thaistory and Thai cables

1. I put cables online as a resource for all. I don’t own the #thaistory cables, I am just the last link in a chain of people who got them from secret US servers to the public domain. Everyone should feel free to repost #thaistory cables on your own sites, discuss them, analyse them, etc. They are an open resource.

2. Those in Thailand for whom commenting on some #thaistory cables is highly dangerous will still find many others that are safe to discuss. I would urge everyone to use blogs and social media to discuss & share the #thaistory cables. They can greatly aid our knowledge of Thailand. If Thai (and most international) media want to pretend #thaistory cables don’t exist, it’s up to us in the wired world to show otherwise. If the mainstream media fails in its duty to report #thaistory cables, it is a great opportunity for blogs and social media to do the job. So please treat #thaistory cables as an open shared resource. All I ask is that you’re careful & responsible. Over to you. Best wishes.

Andrew Marshall, July 10

Note to readers: Feel free to comment or submit posts to thaistoryblog.

Journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall risks career to reveal truth about Thailand

Last weekend, Thailand held national elections. The results may heighten the nation’s political instability. But to understand exactly how, it’s necessary to know the role of Thailand’s monarchy. It’s complicated because in Thailand, criticizing the royal family is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

After nearly two decades with Reuters, journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall wanted to write about Wikileaks cables that shed light on the true nature of Thailand’s monarchy. He tells us why he felt compelled to quit his job in order to reveal the truth.

Listen to this story at WBEZ.

Why criticising the Thai royal family might be bad for your career

Nicholas Farrelly in The Conversation

Public commentary that deals with the messiness of Thailand’s recent political history is risky. Anything that touches on the personalities, activities or priorities of the royal family is especially dangerous.

On royal topics, the sensitivities of the Thai authorities know few bounds; clamping down on subversive strains of analysis has become core bureaucratic business.
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Archive of leaked US cables on Thailand

Read all here. Links to cables on Zen Journalist site:
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The danger of a Thai civil war

Lowy Interpreter

The depressing reality is that a clear-cut election victory in Thailand may not settle anything. The people have voted decisively but the popular voice is far from decisive.

Politicians still tear at each other, the King totters slowly towards his grave, the military and the elite agonise, and Thailand still confronts the danger of a civil war. After five years of commotion and sometimes bloody contest, Thailand’s nightmare is that the election result merely hits the reset button to restart the same cycle of conflict.
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