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Published: Monday 16 September, 2013

marc o polo online shop marc o polo online shop ?the Last Word in Thailand

As the procession approached on May 5, the steamy morning clamor of downtown marc o polo online shop Bangkok melted into hushed silence. The crowd rose to its feet. The loyal and the curious pressed palms together in a gesture of greeting and respect, heads lowered but eyes uplifted in hopes of spying the kings dispassionate, almost somber, visage through the window of his creamcolored RollsRoyce.

As Thailand prepar marc o polo online shop es to celebrate the 60th year of the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej next month, such regal pomp could hardly seem more anachronistic. But this accidental monarch, who took the throne marc o polo online shop at age 18 after the death of his older brother, has again demonstrated in recent weeks his grip on the affections of millions of modern Thais and his enduring relevance to the countrys troubled affairs of state.

Last month, with the kingdoms prime minister facing intense pressure to resign for alleged corruption, and with parliament unable to convene after inconclusive elections, Bhumibol went on television to suggest that the courts could break the impasse by nullifying the vote and ordering new elections.

It was advice that could not be refused, Thai analysts said. If the judges dont annul the election, theyd be going against the kings wishes, and thats unthinkable in Thailand, said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University. Within two weeks, the countrys constitutional court ordered a new election.

It was a rare intervention by Bhumibol, who has touched politics, as Thais say, on average less than once a decade during his reign.

Some analysts worry that palace intervention in time of crisis may impede the maturation of democratic institutions. But each time, his action has proven decisive, such as in 1992 when he helped end the militarys bloody suppression of prodemocracy riots by castigating the prime minister and his chief adversary on national television, prompting a return to civilian rule.

When there is a political void, when there is a real imminent threat to democratic rule, then he would use his reserve power to show the way, to provide the guiding light or possible answer to a crisis, said Anand Panyarachun, who has twice been prime minister.

His tremendous sway with his subjects resides less in law than in the respect he has accumulated by keeping a disinterested distance from the rough and tumble of Thailands often unsavory politics.

He has offered a steadying presence in a country that has had 16 constitutions and nearly two dozen prime ministers during his time on the throne. The rites and superstitions of the monarchy the royal plowing ceremony this month, for instance offer reassurance in times of uncertainty.

With the kings son, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, presiding, holy men led sacred white oxen along a field across from the Grand Palace in the centuriesold ritual. The beasts were then offered plates of rice, maize, sesame seeds and other food but chose an offering of grass, a sure sign, the soothsayers reported, of plentiful crops. marc o polo online shop