End of reign in Bangkok

The Thai monarchy came last week in a transition phase and uncertainty clouded by a financial scandal that affects the wife of the crown prince.
With a sick monarch who is no longer able to leave her hospital room the day of his birthday, and a crown prince forced to separate from his wife involved in an unprecedented corruption scandal: the end of the reign of King Bhumibol looks challenging for Thailand.
Even more challenging it will be preceded by a debate, since the lese majeste law prohibits any comment on issues affecting the monarchy and the king.
It also protects the same way the royal family, so the crown prince, who is currently affected indirectly through his wife, by a huge corruption scandal.
Because of censorship, the Thai press has merely reproduced an official press line three of the palace, indicating that the princess had renounced his royal title.


A fundamental challenge for Thailand
The challenge yet size for Thailand because the monarchy is often presented as a pillar of stability in the country. During his exceptionally long reign, the king intervened repeatedly in Thai politics to appease conflict that threatened to escalate into bloody battles.
Last year, when Bangkok was paralyzed by protests and fear of clashes on 5 December (day of the royal birthday) had been a day of truce and reconciliation.
For the current monarch, although very weak and less present in public life, remains a beloved personality as a sort of demigod, and highly respected by the vast majority of Thais.
A reign that merges with the history of Thailand
The life of King Bhumibol coincides largely with the history of modern Thailand: inducted in 1946, crowned in 1950, he identified himself to the fate of his country.
Under his reign Thailand has deeply transformed from an agrarian country to a modern industrial power. Thailand is often cited as a model of economic development in the countries of Southeast Asia, and King Bhumibol has contributed significantly to the stability and development of his country.
Thailand, choosing to ally with the United States, was able to escape the communist disaster that ravaged its neighbors like Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia.
Cambodia monarchy behaved as an objective ally of the communist insurgency, facilitating the coming to power of the Khmer Rouge, and genocidal madness that ensued.
A unique blend of tradition and mondernité
The Thai monarchy has avoided this pitfall, without falling into the Westernization and loss of substance other countries aligned with the United States.
Thailand has always kept a form of independence, jealously preserving its traditions and peculiarities, probably a legacy of the country’s history that has never been colonized.
This unusual blend of tradition and modernism, she must now probably in large part to the exceptional personality of King Bhumibol, who spent much of his reign to go to modernize his country, through numerous projects funded the funds of the crown.
Today, if the end of his reign will be difficult, it is in large part because some intend to use the prestige of the monarchy for political purposes.
This is the case of the law of lese majeste has become a tool of censorship in the service of power away from its original mission was to protect the monarch insults and slanders.

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