The Nation



King Prajadipok's wise words

Re: "Kipling's playbook still in use" and "Those who scream 'coup' are deaf to the truth", Letters, June 13.

Irrespective of his opinion, it is always a pleasure to read Somsak Pola's sarcasm. His interpretation of Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" was a model example.

While the poem may seem irrelevant in the modern world, the conduct of some Americans, Europeans and, worst of all, Australians in scolding us for our coups - with an underlying suggestion that such behaviour is uncivilised - shows us that Kipling's prejudice is alive and well.

ML Saksiri Kridakorn's letter echoed my own thoughts and expressed them better than I could have done. The "success" of this coup depends on the final outcome - whether state power will be handed back to the population when warranted. In the words of our last absolute monarch, King Prajadipok, spoken in 1933:

"I am willing to surrender the powers I formerly exercised to the people as a whole, but I am not willing to turn them over to any individual or any group to use in an autocratic manner without heeding the voice of the people."

So far, I like what I see and remain optimistic that General Prayuth Chan-Ocha can help bring about a positive outcome.

Songdej Praditsmanont


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