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Thai King Cleans House Over 'Extremely Evil' Acts

The royal drama continues
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2019 11:34 AM CDT
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Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn addresses the audience at the royal ploughing ceremony in Bangkok on May 9, 2019.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

(Newser) – Days after demoting Thailand's first royal consort in nearly a century, King Maha Vajiralongkorn is cleaning house. Four royal guards have been fired in addition to the six palace officials let go in the aftermath of Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi's dismissal. Two male guards who monitored palace bedrooms were stripped of military titles for adultery and "extremely evil misconduct," Al Jazeera reports, citing a Tuesday notice. Two other military officers were fired for "lacking awareness of being a royal guard officer" and behavior that failed to meet "the standard of rank and position," per CNN. This comes after royal consort Sineenat was fired for what officials said was an attempt to reach the status of queen. She hasn't been seen in public since, reports AFP.

Six other palace officials—including a female member of the royal household and a police lieutenant general—were fired soon after Sineenat for what the palace described as "severe disciplinary misconduct and exploiting their bureaucratic position for personal gains." It's difficult to question the decisions inside the kingdom as Thailand's lese majeste laws make it illegal to insult or defame the monarch. But as Paul Chambers of Naresuan University sees it, the royal purge by the king—who came to power upon the 2016 death of his father, who reigned for 70 years—indicates that the "new monarch aims to practice highly centralized control over the palace, and perhaps, by extension, the entire kingdom," per CNN. (Sineenat had only been appointed royal consort in July.)

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