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  1. #1
    Oscurito Oscurito is offline

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    Thousands of Thais gather to pray for ailing King

    The news from Bangkok as to the health of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is getting increasingly grim. His Majesty has not been seen in public in months and has spent the last several weeks battling a series of illnesses in the city's Siriraj Hospital.

    The King's son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the heir apparent abruptly cancelled an engagement on Wednesday afternoon and arranged an emergency meeting with the country's prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha.

    Meanwhile, thousands of the King's subjects are gathering outside the hospital fearing the worst but praying for the best. The crowds are wearing yellow and pink; yellow to represent the King and pink as a colour to promote good health and recovery. As the world's longest reigning monarch, his passing would mark a major watershed in Thai, Asian and world history.

    It's difficult for westerners to understand the relationship between the Thai king and his subjects. He's far more than a mere constitutional monarch such as we see in the Netherlands or Sweden. In many ways, he defines what the Thai nation is and represents - even superseding the democratic will at times and we have seen examples of this in the last few years when the Thai military intervened to defend the status quo from democratically elected governments.

    The nearest analogy I can think of is the traditional Catholic view of the Pope. It doesn't matter what the majority of Catholics think. The leader is supreme.

    Sydney Morning Herald: Emergency meeting called as Thais pray for king's 'unstable' health
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  2. #2
    The Field Marshal The Field Marshal is offline
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    I have been worrying about his Highness,s condition for months now.
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  3. #3
    USER1234 USER1234 is offline
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    It's nice that his people think so highly of him that so many would go and pray for him outside the hospital!
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  4. #4
    gerhard dengler gerhard dengler is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscurito View Post
    The news from Bangkok as to the health of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is getting increasingly grim. His Majesty has not been seen in public in months and has spent the last several weeks battling a series of illnesses in the city's Siriraj Hospital.

    The King's son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the heir apparent abruptly cancelled an engagement on Wednesday afternoon and arranged an emergency meeting with the country's prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha.

    Meanwhile, thousands of the King's subjects are gathering outside the hospital fearing the worst but praying for the best. The crowds are wearing yellow and pink; yellow to represent the King and pink as a colour to promote good health and recovery.

    It's difficult for westerners to understand the relationship between the Thai king and his subjects. He's far more than a mere constitutional monarch such as we see in the Netherlands or Sweden. In many ways, he defines what the Thai nation is and represents - even superseding the democratic will at times and we have seen examples of this in the last few years when the Thai military intervened to defend the status quo from democratically elected governments.

    The nearest analogy I can think of is the traditional Catholic view of the Pope. It doesn't matter what the majority of Catholics think. The leader is supreme.

    Sydney Morning Herald: Emergency meeting called as Thais pray for king's 'unstable' health
    Great OP.

    I wouldn't have believed the esteem in which the people hold the King of Thailand, if I had not visited that country and spoken to the ordinary people about the society.

    I remember being in central Bangkok and it's 6 lane freeway, which is normally choco with motor vehicles, being cleared totally of traffic as the ambulance bringing the King to hospital drove by at a rate of knots and the people stood at the side of the dual carriage way bowing.
    The man has almost deity like devotion of the people.

    When he passes away, what will be in store for Thailand? A great people and a great nation.
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  5. #5
    Levellers Levellers is offline

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    This thread is going down faster than the Thai-tanic.
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  6. #6
    Oscurito Oscurito is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Field Marshal View Post
    I have been worrying about his Highness,s condition for months now.
    He's one of the old-school monarchs: serious, self-effacing, very dignified in public, restrained to the point of completely subverting his own personality. He's led his country through some incredible crises and sometimes was the only point of unity around whom all Thais could congregate.

    People speak of the privilege of royalty but they often forget the weight of responsibility which is much harder to express, never mind justify - being based on something far more ethereal than a majority of votes in an election.
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  7. #7
    Oscurito Oscurito is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerhard dengler View Post
    Great OP.

    I wouldn't have believed the esteem in which the people hold the King of Thailand, if I had not visited that country and spoken to the ordinary people about the society.

    I remember being in central Bangkok and it's 6 lane freeway, which is normally choco with motor vehicles, being cleared totally of traffic as the ambulance bringing the King to hospital drove by at a rate of knots and the people stood at the side of the dual carriage way bowing.
    The man has almost deity like devotion of the people.

    When he passes away, what will be in store for Thailand? A great people and a great nation.
    The devotion is indeed deity-like and woe betide any clueless western lout who shows disrespect to His Majesty's image.

    Swiss faces 75 years for insulting Thai king - SWI swissinfo.ch
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  8. #8
    gerhard dengler gerhard dengler is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscurito View Post
    The devotion is indeed deity-like and woe betide any clueless western lout who shows disrespect to His Majesty's image.

    Swiss faces 75 years for insulting Thai king - SWI swissinfo.ch
    Deity like devotion is one aspect.
    But in several trips to that part of the world and from speaking to people, it's my view that there is genuine affection among the people for their sovereign.
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  9. #9
    Oscurito Oscurito is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerhard dengler View Post
    Deity like devotion is one aspect.
    But in several trips to that part of the world and from speaking to people, it's my view that there is genuine affection among the people for their sovereign.
    Oh, absolutely. They do love him as a human being: it's not like what we know as worship. Buddhism is unlike Christianity, Judaism and Islam in that they don't believe in a creator God, not do they pray to an interventionist God in the way that believers in those three religions do.

    So, in any case, whatever form the worship or adulation takes, it's quite unlike what we'd know as religious adoration.
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  10. #10
    Polly Ticks Polly Ticks is offline

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    Despot.
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