THAILAND - Monarchy in Trouble

Arno Froese

The scion of one of the world’s most privileged families, he wrapped himself in the trappings of royalty, wealth and a comfortable hideaway thousands of miles from his subjects.

In Berlin, the German government faced questions in Parliament over the king’s legal status in Bavaria, where he resides. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that if the king were making decisions affecting Thailand from German soil, “We would quite clearly not stand for that.”

Then, visiting Thailand to mark the fourth anniversary of his father’s death, the king’s family came face to face with pro-democracy protesters agitating for limits on his power. At one point, demonstrators confronted the queen’s motorcade and hurled insults at her cream-colored Rolls-Royce.

“The bubble that protected them from reality is bursting, without a doubt, and in a very graphic way,” said Pravit Rojanaphruk, senior staff writer with the Khaosod English news site.

Michael Montesano, coordinator of the Thailand studies program at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, said protesters and the military were heading down a dangerous path of escalation. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that he would not resign and issued a warning—“Do not challenge the Grim Reaper”—that some activists interpreted as a threat.

“This has become a genuine crisis,” Montesano said. “And the mechanisms for resolving the crisis, whether in terms of compromise or dialogue, don’t seem to exist.”, 16 October 2020

Arno's commentary

Thailand is a country of about 69 million people, of which 94.6% are Buddhist, with 4.3% Muslim and 1% Christian. Life expectancy stands at 75.6 years, and per capita GDP is $17,900; rather low considering that Thailand’s exports are at $235 billion, with only $203 billion in imports. Apparently, the royals are taking in a large share, while the people are suffering to a certain degree.

First Kings 12:4 states: “Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.” Later, in verse 15-16 we read: “Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his saying, which the Lord spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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