Tag Archives: regent

Thai King Vajiralongkorn’s love for Germany is facing tighter scrutiny amid protests | Instant News


When Thailand recorded its first case of coronavirus, the King was nowhere to be seen in his kingdom.

As cases escalated in April and May, King Vajiralongkorn – along with an entourage of about 100 staff – was in a hotel in Germany’s Bavarian Alps that was closed to the public.

This is another bad look for a ruler who has long been criticized for the significant time he has spent in Germany.

This is one of many triggering factors youth-led protests against the Thai ruling class in recent months, with demonstrators calling for broad social and political reform.

Demands include constitutional changes, greater transparency of royal finances and power, and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former military general who rose to power following the country’s 2014 coup.

The German government has also been embroiled in the fray, with Thai protesters pressuring Berlin to investigate whether the king has violated German law.

But since October, the king and his entourage have returned to Thailand, a move widely believed to be a response to protests and to shore up support among loyalists.

So how did King Vajiralongkorn’s relationship with Germany begin? And what about the view from inside Germany?

Why did the King spend so much time in Germany?

View of Thai King Vajiralkongkorn's villa on Lake Starnberg in Tutzing, Germany
King Vajiralongkorn’s lakeside villa in Germany spans about 5,600 square meters.(AFP via dpa: Ursula Dueren)

No one knows for sure.

He spent most of his childhood in England attending school and was eventually sent to Australia’s Royal Military College, Duntroon, where he graduated with an arts degree as a corporal.

After that, the Crown Prince developed a reputation as a hedonistic jet-setter, in contrast to his father’s hardworking and polite style.

You see a classic German hotel, painted pale yellow against a blue sky against the mountains in the distance.
The king stayed at this Bavarian hotel earlier this year as COVID-19 cases surged in Thailand.(AFP via dpa: Steffi Adam)

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai foreign policy scholar at Kyoto University, told the ABC much of what has been said about the life of the German king, who he says began in 2007, is in rumor.

But he said that from the rumors, three main themes kept coming back: health, hedonism and escape.

Dr Chachavalpongpun said one speculation was that King Vajiralongkorn had to be in Germany because of health complications.

Another reason is allegedly related to its hedonistic reputation, which he said could be shrouded in Germany due to perceptions of the country’s “calmer” media landscape.

However, Dr Chachavalpong notes that this is not the case in practice, given that he is a figure of interest to the German tabloids.

Meanwhile, King Vajiralongkorn’s desire to pilot the plane was also cited as the reason for Germany’s life, as Dr Chachavalpong said there were fewer obstacles for him to fly.

Since coming to power, the King has continued to spend most of his year in the region, usually in a lakeside villa in Tutzing – a city that has long been a playground for the rich, about an hour’s drive south of Munich.

The King’s 15-year-old son, Dipangkorn Rasmijoti – who is also the Crown Prince of Thailand – is also studying at the Bavarian international school.

Who ran Thailand when King was in Germany?

A man in a gold jacket is carried in a golden chair through the streets by the twinkling lights hanging from the trees
The king of Thailand can effectively rule from anywhere because of a 2017 constitutional change.(Reuters: Soe Zeya Tun)

King Vajiralongkorn.

When he took the throne in 2017, the King made constitutional changes that outlined what Thai sovereignty can and cannot do.

This includes removing the old provisions relating to district head elections, which are terms that describe someone who rules on behalf of sovereignty if they are abroad or are powerless.

Under the previous Thai constitution, the former King Bhumipol appointed a regent whenever he and the Queen paid a state visit, which was conducted in consultation with the Thai Advisory Council, which is the kingdom’s powerful advisory body.

Then, the regent is usually another member of the royal family, such as the Princess’s mother, or the president of the Advisory Council.

But since King Vajiralongkorn’s ascension to the throne, the powers of the Advisory Council have declined, while the King has instead made concerted efforts to increase military power.

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Shortly after his coronation, for example, the King took direct command of two infantry regiments based in Bangkok.

Paul Chambers, a Southeast Asia specialist at the Center for ASEAN Community Studies at Thailand’s Naresuan University, told the ABC that the military was neutralizing the threat of a military-led coup while King Vajiralongkorn was abroad.

He added that the King is ultimately trying to remove the powers of the Advisory Council and the royal family, “so it depends on him and the army”.

Dr Chambers said this would cumulatively result in “the relationship between the monarchy and the army becoming the fulcrum of power in Thailand”.

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, left, Queen Sirikit, and later Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Former Thai King Bhumibol (left) did not refuse to use guardians during his reign.(AP: Sakchai Lalit)

For Dr Chachavalpong too, this is just another example of the King’s deep centralization of personal power, which could keep him away from Thailand “as long as he wants”.

What did Berlin say about Vajiralongkorn’s time in Germany?

You see Heiko Maas wearing a dark suit and shirt talking against a blue background with the German flag on the back.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Parliament that the King should not conduct his business from Germany.(Reuters: Odd Andersen, pond)

Running Thailand from Bavaria has caused significant concern among some German politicians in recent months.

While the King’s activities in Germany have largely gone unnoticed by the country’s ruling class, there is closer scrutiny of him due to the advocacy of the German Green Party.

In October, Green MP Frithjof Schmidt questioned why Berlin would tolerate the “very unusual” behavior of a foreign head of state conducting internal affairs from German territory.

In response, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told lawmakers that King Vajiralongkorn should not rule from his country in Europe.

“If there are guests in our country who run their state business from our land, we will always want to act to counter that.”

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This week in the German Parliament, Maas was once again asked about the King and confirmed that he does not need a visa to travel to and from Germany since becoming head of state.

Sevim Dagdelen, the opposition lawmaker who raised the question, also suggested Berlin could declare the King as persona non grata (an unwanted person).

According to Dr Chambers, what happened was Berlin’s admission that the host to King Vajiralongkorn might tarnish Germany’s international image.

“There is [German] considerations about the Thai demonstrators, because they could influence German international opinion, “said Dr Chambers.

Dr. Chambers also suggested that the King’s host in Germany would be in trouble if he was found to have violated local laws, despite the fact that the King was cannot be prosecuted because he holds diplomatic immunity as head of state.

Protest crowds, mostly youths, perform three finger salutes in front of a white border wall, with the logo of a German eagle on it.
Thai pro-democracy protesters have demonstrated outside the German embassy in Bangkok in recent weeks.(AFP: Mladen Antonov)

In November, the German Government issued a statement confirming that King Vajiralongkorn had not done anything illegal during his stay in the country, in response to a letter from protesters sent to the German embassy in Bangkok.

The letter asked Germany to investigate protesters’ allegations of King Vajiralongkorn’s involvement in the torture and disappearance of dissidents, and to decide whether he violated German law.

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Andrew MacGregor Marshall, former bureau chief for Reuters Bangkok who has been banned from Thailand since 2011 for violating the state the laws of lese-majeste are strict, wrote on Twitter that it was “wonderful” to see this issue discussed so openly.

“Neither of these issues could be discussed at all in Thailand just a few weeks ago, and it is wonderful to see them being publicly picked up by protesters in Bangkok and included in their open letter to German authorities,” wrote MacGregor Marshall.

“They have tried for years to cover up the King’s destructive behavior, but now it’s front page news around the world.”

What happened from here?

On a cloudy day at dusk, you see a yellow Rolls Royce carrying the Thai royal flag leading a convoy of passing cars.
King Vajiralongkorn has been in Thailand since October, and it is unclear when he will return to Germany.(Reuters: Jorge Silva)

In Dr Chachavalpongpun’s view, the protesters’ methods of influencing the King’s behavior through pressure from the German Government may have been ultimately futile.

“I don’t think so [German] The government wants to go the extra mile, “said Dr Chachavalpongpun.

“Because in the end it’s about bilateral relations.

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Germany floats asking the Thai king to appoint a regent for his next visa | Instant News


HAMBURG, Germany – King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s inexplicable preference for living in the southwestern German state of Bavaria is testing Berlin’s longstanding hands-off approach to his near-constant presence, particularly as anti-monarchy sentiment increasingly dominates pro-democracy protests in Thailand.

Thousands of young protesters descended on the German embassy in Bangkok on October 26 and sent a letter personally to Georg Schmidt, the German ambassador, requesting an investigation. Among other things, they wanted to find out whether the king was running Thai state affairs on German soil, which would violate German law, and whether he was responsible for inheritance duties in Germany following his father’s death in October 2016.

Although the monarch has been a hot topic among members of the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, a German official told Nikkei Asia that a student petition from Bangkok alone would not be enough to spark a parliamentary inquiry or debate – a development that is sure to continue. stressful relations between the two countries.

Thai protesters alleged that members of the monarch’s security detail in Germany may be involved in removing criticism of the monarchs living in exile in Laos and Cambodia. There were also questions about whether members of his Bavarian harem were being held there against their will.

The German government has said they have no concrete evidence of any wrongdoing.

In late October, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the authorities would “permanently review the incident and act immediately if anything we deemed to be illegal was found.” Maas’ use of the word “treiben” for events above the brow because of its negative connotations and sexual innuendo.

Sevim Dagdelen, deputy leader of the Left party, is one of King Vajiralongkorn’s strongest critics in the Bundestag. He told the Nikkei that the German government should stop accommodating the Thai head of state.

Dagdelen represents his party on the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, and in that capacity asked parliamentary researchers to see the validity of this unprecedented situation. A report was finalized on November 18, confirming that the king had stayed in Germany on a personal visa – not a visa for state guests. That puts the problem in a legal gray area.

The researchers concluded that the actions signaled by Maas, including surveillance and administrative fines, would violate international law. The head of state symbolizes the dignity of a country, they say, and therefore enjoys diplomatic immunity – even when traveling on a personal visa.

King Vajiralongkorn has returned to Thailand since early October and is expected to remain there until the end of December. The researchers concluded that serving him with a re-entry ban would amount to the de facto confiscation of his Bavarian villa. Thus, it would be “questioned in humanitarian considerations”.

Regarding the prohibition of running Thai state affairs on German soil, the researchers concluded that the German government could choose to tie up the issuance of a monarch visa on the explicit requirement that he appoint a regent in Thailand to act in his place whenever he is not there. German.

The solution is very unlikely to attract King Vajiralongkorn, whose district part of the constitution was changed after his accession. The changes were controversially branded by the military-appointed legislative assembly after Thailand’s 20th constitution was approved by a national referendum in 2016. The revised constitution only received the necessary royal approval – the king’s signature – in 2017. The changes led to the appointment of regents while he was in office. abroad as an option for the king – and no longer a constitutional requirement.

“The Bundestag research service does not have detailed knowledge of what the Thai monarch is doing in Bavaria,” the research report said. “What is important in this context is the fact that the Thai constitution dated April 6, 2017, was ‘passed down’ … the king’s obligation to assign regents while living abroad is an unnecessary provision,” he said.

Dagdelen of the Left party argues that the lack of a guardian means no doubt the king is handling Thai state affairs from German soil, and that has serious implications given the current Thai political turmoil.

“If the Thai king along with the military junta brutally crush the pro-democracy movement, he should not be granted a visa by the government for a luxurious long-term stay in Germany,” Dagdelen told Nikkei.

He also argued that Berlin should use its influence in Brussels to maintain the ice negotiations between the EU and Thailand for a free trade agreement. Negotiations were postponed in 2014 after the military took control of the country, but in late October both sides confirmed readiness to resume talks soon.

The Thai monarch has drawn considerable adverse publicity in Germany for maintaining a harem in the 21st century, reportedly violating local COVID-19 regulations, possible inheritance tax evasion and touch-and-go maneuvers on his private jet at the small Hamburg airport.

Opposition MPs in Green vegetable and the Left party is lobbying for the monarch’s visa to be reviewed for alleged violations of German visa regulations, and any role he may play in crushing political dissent in his kingdom.

However, lawmakers in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union remain more comfortable with the longstanding hands-off approach.

“I don’t understand why the issuance of a visa for the Thai monarch should be linked to Thailand’s internal affairs, and I think the foreign ministry has taken a risk,” said Mark Hauptmann, a lawmaker from the ruling Christian Democratic Union. as ‘the hand of Asia,’ says the Nikkei.

“The foreign ministry must remain humble about this issue,” said Hauptmann.

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High school football: Week 10 top game – Bixby state defending champion Lincoln Christian faces a fight in the regular season finals | OK Prepare Extras | Instant News


2.3A-3: No. 1 Lincoln Christian at No. 4 Stigler

The prospects: The battle for the district title as defending champion Lincoln Christian state seeks its 23rd straight win.

Recording: Lincoln Christian 8-0, 5-0; Stigler 9-0, 5-0

Key players: Lincoln – QB Max Brown has contributed 1,789 yards and 32 TDs; Kolbe Katsis has 33 receptions for 908 yards and 13 TD; The Daymon Levell linebacker had 84 tackles. Stigler – QBs Zane Oldham and Darren Manes have combined for 1,643 yard passes and 22 TDs, and Manes has also rushed for 596 yards and 11 TDs.; Ridge McClary had rushed for 769 yards and nine TDs.

History of the series: Lincoln has won all three meetings, including 49-21 last year as Katsis had 11 receptions for 180 yards.

3.6AI-1: No. 2 Jenks at No. 8 Westmoore

The prospects: Jenks needed Edmond Santa Fe’s victories and defeats at Norman to claim the district title. Westmoore can finish anywhere from third to fifth in the district.

Recording: Jenks 6-1, 4-0; Westmoore 5-3, 3-2

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