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PM Prayuth Chan-ocha Says ‘No Harm’ Listening to Fortune-Tellers

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha prays before the first cabinet meeting.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha prays before the first cabinet meeting.

 

BANGKOK – Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha admitted on Tuesday he had sought advice from fortune-tellers following media speculation over his spiritual beliefs.

Prayuth led a May coup that toppled a democratically elected government after months of mass protests that brought much of the capital Bangkok to a halt. He was named prime minister last month in an appointment that was condemned by opponents.

“There’s no harm in listening to fortune-tellers. Fortune- telling is an art. But if a fortune-teller tells a person that they will be rich and then they stay in bed all day, then what is the use?” Prayuth told reporters on Tuesday.

“I listen to their words. They warn me that I might clash with the media,” he quipped.

Prayuth told an audience earlier this month he had doused himself from head to toe in holy water to ward off curses his enemies had put on him.

Bangkok’s skyline is that of a country hurtling towards modernity, but pre-Buddhist animist beliefs continue to exert strong influence on Thai culture. Many of the country’s top politicians have consulted fortune-tellers over policy changes.

Prayuth denied traveling to neighboring Myanmar to seek advice from a famous mystic – known as ET – whose clients have included former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a telecommunications tycoon who won huge support among the poor but made many enemies among the elite and royalist establishment.

Thaksin was ousted by the army in a coup in 2006 and Prayuth’s team is still seeking to end his pervasive influence over Thai politics. Thaksin reportedly visited¬†Prayuth told an audience earlier this month he had doused himself from head to toe in holy water to ward off curses his enemies had put on him.

Bangkok’s skyline is that of a country hurtling towards modernity, but pre-Buddhist animist beliefs continue to exert strong influence on Thai culture. Many of the country’s top politicians have consulted fortune-tellers over policy changes.

ET -- whose name is also written E Thi

ET — whose name is also written E Thi

Prayuth denied travelling to neighbouring Myanmar to seek advice from a famous mystic – known as ET – whose clients have included former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a telecommunications tycoon who won huge support among the poor but made many enemies among the elite and royalist establishment.

Thaksin was ousted by the army in a coup in 2006 and Prayuth’s team is still seeking to end his pervasive influence over Thai politics. Thaksin reportedly visited ET just days before he was removed from office.

“I’ve never been to ET. Even if you wanted me to go I would never,” said Prayuth. just days before he was removed from office.

Tiny, frail and barely able to speak, Myanmar’s most famous fortune teller — known as ET — has for years whispered predictions to Asia’s rich and powerful, from generals to foreign politicians.

The soothsayer, whose popularity has inspired a recent Thai biopic, is one of a plethora of mystics in Myanmar, where generations of rulers have sought ethereal advice.

ET — whose name is also written E Thi — has predicted her own early death from heart failure, but her sister says it does not worry the soothsayer because she will be “very pretty” in her next life.

Her family say her powers, including visions of ghosts and future events, were discovered after she was struck by fever while praying at a pagoda as a small child.

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Posted by on Sep 23 2014. Filed under Thailand Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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