The Nation



True devotion

I wish His Majesty the King a happy birthday and good health.

When I first came to Thailand 20-odd years ago it was to attend a conference on satellite imaging. I soon became aware there were concepts here which were strange to me. The most immediate was that HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was attending, since she was interested and had expertise in the subject and was renowned for applying science to the country's development. The next was that His Majesty was also expert in the field of seeding clouds based on satellite technology. Starting from there my respect for His Majesty and his devotion to developing the agricultural community has grown throughout the years.

I later learned of "tea money", which is not unknown in the UK, but nor is it a cancer eating at society, as in Thailand.

My most recent lessons are much worse. I have learned how a demagogue works. I have witnessed how a government can reduce its administration to subservience and dispense with all the checks and balances of democracy.

The people beloved and served by His Majesty have been used to prop up this administration. It is ironic that they would allow the demagogue to steal the country.

Richard Bowler


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