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MsExPat's picture

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HM The King and Queen sponsor Seh Daeng's Funeral

from The Nation (Thailand):

Their Majesties the King and Queen will graciously sponsor the funeral of Maj-General Khattiya "Seh Daeng" Sawasdipol who succumbed to brain injuries yesterday morning.

The three-day prayer rites at Sommanas temple are also under Royal patronage. The prayers started yesterday and will continue until tomorrow. The bathing rite held yesterday was attended by a large number of red-shirt supporters as well as his lone daughter Khattiyah and sister Jiaranai Matchakijborribal. The general's wife died several years ago.

So, what's up with this? I can think of three possibilities. First is that the King, by reaching out graciously to the Red's most militant figure (or, at least to his family and their honor) is trying to send a subtle signal to both sides to put aside their egos and resolve differences peacefully.

If the King of Thailand can be gracious to the man in the center of this lovely snapshot, surely the Reds and the government can find their way to each other (In the photo, taken in October 2009, from L to R: Cambodian dictator Hun Sen, Seh Daeng, Thaksin) could simply be payback for the incident that happened last year, in which the Queen attended the funeral of a Yellow shirt supporter.

Or...there is something else going on behind the scenes, hidden from sight, and this show of His Majesty's concern is part of a larger deal.

A puzzlement, indeed.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

who are the red shirts
and who are the yellow
I know you have explained before, but some of us are a little slow on the uptake

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

From Xinhua, of all places. But it's a good summary: Who are the red shirts?

And the Beeb is also good on the basics of the Yellow Shirts:

The opponents of Mr Thaksin call themselves the Peoples' Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and wear yellow shirts.

They are a loose grouping of royalists, businessmen and the urban middle class, led by media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul and Chamlong Srimuang, a former general with close ties to the king's most senior adviser, Gen Prem Tinsulanonda.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

Just from an outsider's pov, that was what it sounds like- the parent saying to squabbling kids "Enough! This has gone too far."

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

from a comment at New Mandala, the Australian National University's Southeast Asian journal.

I wouldn’t put too much stock in this, to be honest. Royal patronage for high-ranking military personnel (phon tri / Maj. Gen. upwards) has always been, from my understanding of things, de rigeur. It is less an expression of sympathy per se, but seems — to this Thai citizen at least — an attempt to appear neutral to the public eye. To NOT sponsor Seh Daeng’s funeral would have stoked further charges of partisanship.