Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Peaceful 2nd July

A few weeks ago, Thaksin Shinawatra blamed the political instability and economic crisis of Thailand on the alignment of stars. Yes, don't ask me why a learned billionaire like him uses geomancy and astrology as guidance to his life.

Thaksin is said to be well known for his beliefs in astrology and geomancy. Remember the required time of landing for the first plane that touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport?

Yes. Then, a famous fortune teller came out to the Press and rebutted Thaksin. He even predicted that July 2nd will be the darkest day in 30 years of Thailand history.

It is 9.31 pm, 2 July 2008, now and so far, everything seems peaceful. And I don't think there will be anything happening till 12am.

Thankfully, a peaceful Thailand marches on, at least in terms of political stability and public harmony. Well, Thailand's economy is not really good especially for the people up North and the farmers. Inflation is now at a 10 year high of 8.9%. The Government is not able to dispense soft loans to needy farmers and Thais.

Honestly? They need another "CEO of Thailand" to captain the ship and surf past this tsunami of economic crisis.

I am reading The King Never Smiles. I now understand why the Palace seems unhappy with this book. Let me comment a little about this book's contents that interest me.

It provides another perspective of Thailand's monarchy, especially King Bhumibol. The title really explains everything. The King Never Smiles. King Bhumibol never smiles publicly.

The chronological events from the time he ascended to the Chakri Throne guided King Bhumibol to be a revered symbol of Thailand. As I said before, some Thais have the King in their eyes as a divine figure.

According to Paul Handley, "In Buddhist culture, either a smile or a frown would indicate attachment to worldly pleasures or desires". That is why. The King never smiles in this Buddhist populated country. King Bhumibol is always portrayed as a calm looking and benevolent King on the throne.

King Bhumibol's image is so strong among Thais these days. He claimed the throne at a point when the Palace's power, influences and image were massively slashed. From there, King Bhumibol and his aides worked to bring the Palace back into the eyes and minds of Thais.

The world will never forget the bloodshed and clashes of Prime Minister General Suchinda Kraprayoon and Opposition leader Chamlong Srimuang. After a few days of tension and clashes, the two most powerful men in Thailand knelt down, bowing to King Bhumibol in 1992.

The King offered his words of advice and reprimanded the two leaders for their desires and personal gains. King Bhumibol wanted them to put an end to their rivalry before Thailand is destroyed. This event, was live on Thailand's television.

Hmm. I leave the rest of the story about King Bhumibol for you to find out. Read the book. It is very interesting.

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