A curated collection of counter culture. The King of Thailand has been a curious source of scrutiny since his ascent to the throne in 2016. WARNING: Nudity. But human rights groups say that, instead, similar prosecutions are taking place under the country’s computer crime laws. His latest book is China 1945: Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice. A few days later, former Reuters reporter, Andrew McGregor Marshall, released another photo of the Crown Prince roaming Munich in a similar tank top with different tattoo prints on his torso. “They supported the Yellow Shirts,” he said, “because they were afraid of Thaksin coming back.” We were sitting in a covered yard alongside one of his ponds, where he grows plankton for sale to nearby fish and shrimp farmers. This is partly because of skillfully applied measures of repression by the military-led government, including the disappearances and apparent killings of at least eight leading opposition figures, and surveillance of others the police feel might cause trouble. Ceiling fans slowly whirred overhead, but the room was still hot — as there were 30 to 40 people packed inside. Since taking the throne in late 2016, Vajiralongkorn has rapidly amassed power. “He is basically running the country now, though he’s not doing that like his father did through moral authority. BKK Ink Tattoo. Erratic, eccentric and “a little bit of a Don Juan”, his reign plunges Thailand … This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. The clip was taken by a Thai citizen who recognized the king… “Yes,” he replied. We’d like to think his friends call him “Bodi,” if he has any. He’s also embarked on a massive building campaign in the central Dusit district of Bangkok, where the monarchy holds real estate of such dimensions as to make the British royal family’s compounds seem small. Why, it’s none other than the king himself, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. In what seemed to be a concession to modern sensibilities, Vajiralongkorn, according to newspaper reports, has ordered an end to prosecutions under the lèse-majesté laws. “They are royalists.”. Now, insulting the monarchy of Thailand is actually considered a serious crime, so we’re going to go easy on this inked king and his stupid crop top. An old Thai man led me into a dark room filled with dusty golden Buddha statues. Why, it’s none other than the king himself, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. “It’s all a way of making his power formal, visible,” one person whispered to me. They have elections, some independent newspapers that even do good critical reporting, and while they do not hesitate to get rid of opponents, they also keep disappearances at low levels so as not to arouse public animosity or international sanction. Indeed, the old politics was breeding such extreme conflict that Thailand was in danger of civil war. Featuring the world's top artists. He’s arranged for units of the army to report directly to him. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, the long-serving prime minister, Hun Sen, has jailed his main political opponents and banned the only political party that had a chance to defeat him in elections two years ago. The first king of a unified Thailand was the founder of the Kingdom of Sukhothai, King Sri Indraditya, in 1238. He’s using fear to solidify his position and to take command.”. ; The hotel received special permission from local authorities to open for the king and his entourage of 20 women, The Times of London reported. Vajiralongkorn does none of that, cultivating instead an image of sternness, command, and Olympian distance from ordinary people. Yingluck was accused of corruption and removed from office in 2014, and with new Red Shirt protests looming and the old, much-loved king, Bhumibol, on his deathbed, the military stepped in, seizing power in a coup and then assuring the royal succession when Bhumibol died two years later. By Richard Bernstein Jan 24, 2020, 9:00am EST The reporting on … Around the same time, several palace aides were dismissed — two of them, identified as bedroom guards, for “inappropriate acts and adultery,” according to the official Palace Gazette. In the largest of them, in 2010, the Red Shirts occupied the commercial center of Bangkok for nearly three months before they were crushed by the army, with some 80 Red Shirts killed and more than 2,000 injured. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. In the Philippines, for example, President Rodrigo Duterte has emerged as a sort of elected strongman, carrying out a supposed war on drugs that has resulted, according to human rights groups, in more than 20,000 extrajudicial killings. But in new elections in 2011, the pro-Thaksin party won again in a landslide, and Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, became prime minister. The film showed the then-64-year-old Vajiralongkorn roaming a shopping mall in Munich, Germany, where he lived most of the time, accompanied not by his wife but his mistress. King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand is reportedly staying in a four-star hotel in the Bavarian Alps while most of Germany's hotels remain closed to tourists during the coronavirus outbreak. “For the Chinese, it’s easier to deal with strongmen than with democratic governments,” one Thai businessman told me in Bangkok. Do you know how easy it is to get in trouble under Thailand’s backwards laws? A new constitution written by the coup leaders allowed an election to take place in March 2019, but the new law gives the military so many automatic seats in parliament that it would be almost impossible for an opposition party to take control. STROLLING in a German shopping centre, covered in tattoos and wearing a preposterous yellow crop top, the scruffy guy looked about as far from … That’s the way they make people give up.”. “Regarding Thaksin, it had to be either a coup or an assassination,” a former moderate Thai member of parliament told me in 2014, expressing the commonly held middle- and upper-class fear that even though Thaksin had been legally elected, he would turn out to be a dictator impossible to remove. A private army would be very useful if there were ever a coup attempt, including a move against him from some dissenting faction in the army. He’s taken control of an estimated $43 billion in royal assets that have for decades been entrusted to a Crown Property Bureau that, at least theoretically, managed the money for the benefit of the Thai people. Vajiralongkorn is still a bit of an absentee monarch, living mostly in Europe. Bangkok: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, who is set to be crowned King of Thailand after his father King Bhumibhol died on Thursday, is a womaniser, wears crop tops and has fake tattoos… But there seems to be very little of that in Thailand these days. For more on him, see richardbernstein.net. Thai king 'releases his concubine from jail and flies her to Germany to join his harem' a year after she was stripped of royal titles. This has included closing areas that were once open to the public, including the Bangkok Zoo and one of Bangkok’s two horse-racing tracks. The gates to the old zoo are locked shut. How Much Does A Tattoo Cost In Bangkok, Thailand? Vajiralongkorn, in this sense, arrives at a time of disillusionment with the old politics. Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn and ... Naked Attraction Naked Attraction mum has fans in meltdown with X-rated tattoo above private parts Naked Attraction guest Helen sent … Soldiers patrol the sidewalks alongside. Installing his mistress as a royal consort was certainly scandalous, but some of the measures Vajiralongkorn has taken to assert his power go well beyond nasty palace intrigue and into unprecedented territory for Thailand. This move is certain to delay democratic elections scheduled for the end of the year. Thailand’s king has terrible fashion sense and likes wearing fake tattoos. But things have decidedly not worked out that way. Still, whenever new elections were held, Thaksin’s party won them handily, and when those governments were ousted, Thaksin’s ardent supporters, known as the Red Shirts, mounted huge counter-demonstrations. 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