Coronation of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn to be held May 4-6

Coronation of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn to be held May 4-6
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn Vajiralongkorn, formally known as Rama X of the Chakri dynasty, ascended the throne following his father’s death in October 2016. (AFP)
Updated 01 January 2019

Coronation of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn to be held May 4-6

Coronation of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn to be held May 4-6
  • King Maha Vajiralongkorn, formally known as Rama X of the Chakri dynasty, ascended the throne following his father’s death in October 2016
  • Thailand’s monarchy, one of the world’s richest, is shielded from criticism by a harsh royal defamation law

BANGKOK: An elaborate three-day coronation ceremony for Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn will be held May 4 to 6, the palace announced Tuesday, nearly two and half years after the death of his revered father Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Vajiralongkorn, formally known as Rama X of the Chakri dynasty, ascended the throne following his father’s death in October 2016, which ended a tumultuous seven-decade reign over the Southeast Asian kingdom.
He has since dramatically reorganized palace affairs, bolstering his own security detail and granting himself personal stewardship of the multi-billion-dollar crown assets.
Thailand’s monarchy, one of the world’s richest, is shielded from criticism by a harsh royal defamation law punishing any transgressors with up to 15 years per charge.
In a televised announcement the Royal Household Bureau said the coronation will take place in early May.
“It’s suitable time to hold the coronation in accordance to the tradition and for national celebration and joy of the people,” the bureau said.
The “coronation ceremony” will be held on May 4 with an audience granted to “the royal family, privy councilors and cabinet members,” it explained.
The following day a ceremony will “bestow the royal name” according to traditions governing the monarchy, then on May 6 the king will hold a “grand audience” with members of the public and diplomats.
It will mark a dramatic year for Thailand.
The country is poised to hold elections in early 2019, nearly five years after a junta seized power from the civilian government led by prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The junta, which is ultra-royalist and portrays itself as the defender of the monarchy, says it took power to end corruption and money politics under successive civilian governments.


China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
Updated 19 January 2021

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
  • Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters underground near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province

BEIJING: Chinese rescuers drilled several fresh holes Tuesday to reach at least 12 gold miners trapped underground for nine days, as dwindling food supplies and rising waters threatened their survival.
Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters (1,750 feet) underground at the Hushan mine near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance.
After days without any signs of life, some of the trapped miners managed to send up a note attached to a metal wire which rescuers had dropped into the mine on Sunday.
Pleading for help, the handwritten message said a dozen of them were alive but surrounded by water and in need of urgent medical supplies.
Several of the miners were injured, the note said.
A subsequent phone call with the miners revealed 11 were in one location 540 meters below the surface with another – apparently alone – trapped a further 100 meters down.
The whereabouts and condition of the other 10 miners is still unknown.
Rescuers have already dug three channels and sent food, medicine, paper and pencils down thin shafts – lifelines to the miners cut into the earth.
But progress was slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.
“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite... that is very hard, resulting in slow progress of rescue,” Chen told reporters on Monday evening.
“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may flow into the manway and pose a danger to the trapped workers.”
Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.
Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official twitter-like Weibo account.
A telephone connection has also been set up.
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed dozens of rescuers clearing the main return shaft, while cranes and a massive bore-hole drill was used to dig new rescue channels to reach the trapped miners.
Rescue teams lost precious time since it took more than a day for the accident to be reported, China Youth daily reported citing provincial authorities.
Both the local Communist Party secretary and mayor have been sacked over the 30-hour delay and an official investigation is under way to determine the cause of the explosion.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.
In December, 23 workers died after being stuck underground in the southwestern city of Chongqing, just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being trapped underground at another coal mine in the city.