Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn weds bodyguard

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This screengrab from Thai TV Pool video taken on May 1, 2019 shows a ceremony in which Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn "legally married" Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya in Bangkok. (AFP)
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In this photo released by Bureau of the Royal Household ,Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, center, sits with Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya as they sign their marriage certificates at Ampornsan Throne Hall in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP)
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King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his consort, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn named Queen Suthida attend their wedding ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand May 1, 2019, in this screen grab taken from a video.
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This screengrab from Thai TV Pool video taken on May 1, 2019 shows a ceremony in which Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn "legally married" Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya in Bangkok. (AFP)
Updated 02 May 2019

Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn weds bodyguard

  • Vajiralongkorn has previously been married and divorced three times and has seven children

BANGKOK: Just days before his official coronation, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Wednesday married the deputy head of his personal guard force and gave her the title Queen Suthida.
The surprise announcement was carried in the Royal Gazette, and footage from Wednesday’s wedding ceremony was later shown on the nightly Royal News segment aired on all Thai television channels.
Vajiralongkorn, 66, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016, after 70 years on the throne.
He is due to be officially crowned in elaborate Buddhist and Brahmin ceremonies on Saturday, followed by a procession through Bangkok the next day.
In 2014, Vajiralongkorn appointed Suthida Tidjai, a former flight attendant for Thai Airways, as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit.
Some royal observers and foreign media had linked Suthida romantically with the king, but the palace had previously never acknowledged a relationship between them.
The king made Suthida a full general in the Royal Thai Army in December 2016, and the deputy commander of the king’s personal guard in 2017. He also made her a Thanpuying, a royal title meaning Lady.
Among the dignitaries at the wedding were Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the military junta that has run Thailand since a 2014 army coup, as well as other members of the royal family and palace advisers, the wedding footage showed.
Vajiralongkorn has previously been married and divorced three times and has seven children.
While the king took the throne after the death of his father, his formal coronation follows a mourning period for King Bhumibol, whose royal cremation was held a year after his death.


Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia

Updated 13 December 2019

Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia

  • Tigers mauled to death another coffee farmer and seriously injured two Indonesian tourists in separate incidents in the province last month
  • Human-animal conflicts are common in the vast Southeast Asian archipelago, especially in areas where the clearing of rainforest is destroying animal habitats

PALEMBANG, Indonesia: A Sumatran tiger has killed an Indonesian farmer, police said Friday, in the third fatal attack by the critically endangered species in less than a month.
The 55-year-old was set upon by the big cat at a coffee plantation in South Sumatra province on Thursday.
Authorities said the dead man’s companion screamed in vain to warn him about the approaching predator.
“All of sudden, the tiger pounced on the victim,” local police chief Ferry Harahap told AFP on Friday.
The deadly attack comes just a week after a tiger killed another farmer in nearby Pagaralam.
Tigers mauled to death another coffee farmer and seriously injured two Indonesian tourists in separate incidents in the province last month.
Local conservation agency official Martialis Puspito blamed human encroachment on the endangered animal’s habitat for the spate of attacks, adding that residents were being warned to steer clear of the wilderness.
“We cannot drive out the tigers because the jungles are their habitat so it’s people who have to stay out of there,” he said.
Human-animal conflicts are common in the vast Southeast Asian archipelago, especially in areas where the clearing of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations is destroying animal habitats.
Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild.