Thai Ambassador to Nepal Vanvisa Thamrongnavasawat has said that the King had no role in last week’s military coup in Thailand. In a letter to the editor published in the Kathmandu Post daily on Tuesday September 26, reacting to the article “Coups and Kings” by Siddhi B Ranjitkar published on Monday September 24, the Thai envoy said, “The claim of the writer is utterly preposterous.”
The writer in his article claimed that the king of Thailand was waiting for some time to seize the opportunity of removing prime minister Thaksin Sinawatra and did not hesitate to stage a coup when the former prime minister was attending the UN general Assembly in New York.
“The Thai coup clearly proves that “democracy and kingship” cannot go together as once expressed by king’s handpicked vice chair Tulsi Giri,” the writer argued.
“Under the provisions of Thailand’s constitutional monarchy, the king is above politics. At midnight of September 19, the Council for Democratic Reform (CDR), which undertook the political change, sought an audience with the king to report on the action and the situation as the king is the head of the state. Three days later, for the sake of peace and political stability, the king issued the royal order for general Sonthi Boonyaratglin as the CDR leader,” the Thai envoy clarified.
The Thai Ambassador further said, “I strongly protest the using of groundless accusations and preposterous rumours regarding recent political development in Thailand to support certain political agenda.”
Opposition political parties did not participate in the general elections held in Thailand in April 2006, making the elections unacceptable. The next elections were due in a few months but before that the army seized the power with the blessing of the king.
Stating that the inaccurate information in the article is perhaps the result of the lack of true understanding about Thai politics, the Thai envoy further said that such groundless accusations against the king, revered by the Thais, could seriously damage a cordial relation between Nepal and Thailand.
On September 19, chief of the Thai Army, Sonthi Boonyaratglin, staged a coup against the government of prime minister Thaksin Sinawatra, who was in the US to attend the UN general assembly. He assumed the premier’s duties declaring allegiance to King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Nepali political parties had condemned the Thai coup and demanded early restoration of democracy in Thailand. prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala had also marked the incident as unfortunate.