Thailand - The Soteriological State in the 1970s

Volume 2 : Part V. The Destiny of the King

Chapter 16 Capitalism and the Royal Virtue: 1968-1976

Capitalism and Cosmic Decline: The Royal Addresses of 1969

... the authorities came upon a village whose inhabitants had originally moved over from Nakhon Si Thammarat and settled near the perimeter of or, in fact, intruded into the reserved forest.

These people lived and earned their living in peace, having their own self-rule without any record of crimes. They would have been considered democratic but for the lack of a district officers and officials, and, in fact, they were more democratic without than with a district officer. Anyhow, without these, they were not considered democratic but apparently taken as offenders verging on communist terrorists.

We have no wish whatsoever to have communist terrorists in Thailand, but we ourselves have created them by accusing villagers who were governing themselves well in an orderly and democratic fashion of being trespassers of the reserved forest and by driving them out. (1975:13)

These people from Nakhon Si Thammarat had worked hard and well for so many years and never destroyed any forest, but as the law happens to ordain that nobody can trespass on reserved forests, they found themselves in trouble. Reserved forests are drawn up on maps, regardless of whether they are accessible to officials who, in most cases, never get there. So how can the people know that they are living in reserved forests? Then treating them as simple villagers, we oppressively demand that they must know the law. But such a law, like a line drawn up at will, is no true law. It is law because the Reserved Forest Act is a law, but which cannot possibly be known to them since the administrative authorities never apprised them of it. (1975:13)

It is the duty of people to help and to know who is really for development and who is going to dupe them ... . The government agencies, no doubt, have no wish for a conflict among themselves or to subvert us ... . It is no use to keep mum on what may have erroneously been learnt. When in doubt, ask questions so as to perfect one’s knowledge. Silence in such a case may, on the other hand, make one feel doubtful and uneasy and result in some act detrimental to oneself, to the community and to the nation. To exchange views will help to dispel doubt. Should it turn out that the cause of our doubt is a point on which we have been misinformed, the government officials will have to admit it and the authorities will have to resolve it. (1975:35)

Bhumibol Adulyadej, King.

1975a Phraboromrachowat lae phrarachadamrat [Royal addresses and speeches]. Bangkok: Office of the Prime Minister.

1975b Royal addresses and speeches. Bangkok: Office of the Prime Minister.