Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej admonishes political rivals Chamlong Srimuang and Suchinda Kraprayoon after bloodshed in Bangkok in 1992. Photo: Screen grab from Thai television Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej admonishes political rivals Chamlong Srimuang and Suchinda Kraprayoon after bloodshed in Bangkok in 1992. Photo: Screen grab from Thai television
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej admonishes political rivals Chamlong Srimuang and Suchinda Kraprayoon after bloodshed in Bangkok in 1992. Photo: Screen grab from Thai television
It was a moment that stopped bloodshed on Bangkok’s streets and captivated the world.
On the evening of 20 May, 1992, scratchy video footage showed two men prostrated on carpet before Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was sitting stern-faced on a gilt-trimmed sofa.
One of them was Thailand’s then self-appointed prime minister, Suchinda Kraprayoon, a four-star general who two days earlier had ordered combat troops to open fire on protesters, killing scores and wounding hundreds.
Beside him was Chamlong Srimuang, a former military officer, monk and leader of tens of thousands of anti-government protesters.
In a slightly rasping voice King Bhumibol expressed his displeasure at the protagonists kneeling before him.
“It may not be a surprise as to why I asked you to come to this meeting,” the King said.
“Everyone knows how confused the situation is and that it may well lead the country to complete ruin,” he said.
“I would request especially the two of you, General Suchinda and Major-General Chamlong, to sit down and consider together in a conciliatory manner and not in a confrontational manner, a way to solve the problem, because our country does not belong to any one or two persons, but belongs to everyone.”
King Bhumibol said if people got in a blind state of fury and acted in uncontrolled violence, they would not even know what they were fighting about or how to solve the problem.
“If a great destruction occurs in Bangkok, then the country as a whole is also destroyed. In such a case, what is the point of anyone feeling proud to be the winner, when standing on a pile of ruins and rubble?” he said.
Within hours the soldiers and demonstrators had returned home and both Suchinda and Chamlong withdrew from politics.
During his 66 years on the throne King Bhumibol has sometimes chastised errant or corrupt governments or political leaders.
As Thailand’s political crisis has deepened since protesters took to the streets last November, the ageing and frail King has remained at his seaside palace at Hua Hin, 200 kilometres south of Bangkok.
In a speech on his 86th birthday on December 5, the world’s longest-serving monarch stressed the importance of unity and solidarity among Thais and the need for them to work together for the sake of common good.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.