Friday, August 7, 2015

Health, freedom and the King of Thailand

This is utterly despicable.  A Thai man was given a harsh sentence for 6 posts on Facebook, where he insulted King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The American-born monarch is 87-year-old and has been in poor health for years. He has spent much of 2015 in hospitals, as he is said to have prostate cancer, kidney issues, and, most recently, had his gall bladder removed.  

For the past decade, the king has lived at the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, where he has been treated for a number of illnesses, including depression and Parkinson's disease.  Both he and Queen Sirikit have suffered debilitating strokes.

The much married (3 times) Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is 62 years old, and not popular.  The power behind the throne is said to be Princess Sirindhorn, the king's second daughter.  The Princess is affectionately know as Phra Thep, which translates to "Princess Angel."    There are many who believe she will emerge as her father's successor.  Women have had succession rights since 1974. 

Princess Sirindhorn is not married.

The current Thai government took power in a coup in 2014.

In 2005, the king said: "Actually, I must also be criticised. I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know. Because if you say the king cannot be criticised, it means that the king is not human. If the king can do no wrong, it is akin to looking down upon him because the king is not being treated as a human being. But the king can do wrong>

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