View from a Rhino House: things that go “bump” in the night

Former head of the army & new Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, is going to great lengths to sweep away any supernatural opposition. Like many politicians & generals before him, Prayuth believes in spiritualism & divination & yesterday members of his office staff were seen carrying Buddhist statues & religious idols into Government House.

So, slightly weird but nothing too far out of the ordinary in the dubious world of intertwined politics & military strategy.

Last week however, Prayuth told an audience about soaking himself from head to toe in holy water – because his enemies had tried to curse him. “I have a sore throat & pain in my neck. Someone said there are people putting curses on me,” Prayuth said. “I had so much lustral water poured over my head that I shivered all over.”

So, maybe more-than-slightly weird & very definitely a little paranoid on second thoughts; although Veerachon Sukhontapatipak, deputy spokesman for the army, told reporters “Like most Thais, General Prayuth has a deep respect for the spirit world, but his policies will be determined by urgency, practicality & the needs of the people,” which may have reassured the more sceptical members of the (rather ignored) electorate.

Furniture in Prayuth’s new office has been arranged according to the principles of feng shui, “Prayuth’s work table has been placed in the east of the work room, as this is thought to aid quick solutions,” said a prime ministerial aide, who asked not to be identified because he was rather hoping for a career that involved dealing with the economy, rather than the forces of darkness. “The tones in the building will mostly be green, as this is the army’s colour & Prayuth, as army chief, is compatible with green,” he added.

Back in March, an anti-government group, the Network of Students & People for Thailand’s Reform, held its own ceremony at Government House to reverse black magic said to have been used against them by members of then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government. Members of the group placed three Buddha statues in the complex’s main building to “destroy black magic”, a group leader said at the time.

Politicians in Thailand; madder than a box of (zombie) frogs.

I hate these combined cabinet meetings & exorcisms.

I hate these combined cabinet meetings & exorcisms.