The King and Them

Thailand's monarch forces an ending to his country's bloody confrontation

LOOKING FOR ALL THE WORLD LIKE TWO NAUGHTY schoolboys, the opposing leaders in Thailand's civil carnage knelt humbly before King Bhumibol Adulyadej to receive a stern lecture. The essence: cut it out. In effect the King ordered Suchinda Kraprayoon, the general who had accepted the post of Prime Minister despite his vow not to do so, and Chamlong Srimuang, the ascetic former governor of Bangkok and leader of the move to depose Suchinda, to work out some compromise. Said the monarch: "I would like both of you to talk face-to- face, not to confront each other, because this is our country...

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