Thai king sacks six palace officials for 'evil actions'

King fires six staff after he shocked Thailand by stripping royal consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi of all her titles.

    Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida at an event on Wednesday commemorating the death of King Chulalongkorn. A week of palace intrigue has transfixed the Thai public. [Athit Perawognmetha/Reuters]
    Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida at an event on Wednesday commemorating the death of King Chulalongkorn. A week of palace intrigue has transfixed the Thai public. [Athit Perawognmetha/Reuters]

    Thailand's king has fired six senior palace officials for their "evil actions", the palace announced on Wednesday, days after the monarch stripped his consort of all her titles for "disloyalty".

    In a week of palace intrigue which has gripped Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Monday stripped his 34-year-old consort and former royal bodyguard Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi of her noble title and military ranks.

    On Wednesday six high-ranking palace officials were fired, including "a nurse at the bedroom guard service" and a veterinarian, according to two separate announcements released by the official Royal Gazette.

    "The king has ordered their dismissal from royal service ... because of their severe disciplinary misconduct and deeds that are considered extremely evil," one of the announcements said.

    The King appointed Sineenat, nicknamed Koi, as his consort in July,  the first such appointment in nearly a century.

    She was condemned on Monday in a royal command that aired on national television for "acting against the appointment of the queen".

    Sineenat's whereabouts since her dismissal are not known.

    The Wednesday statements did not directly link the six sacked officials to Sineenat's dismissal.

    Thailand's royal family is protected by a draconian defamation law that makes scrutiny of it or debate over its role almost impossible inside the kingdom.

    The public is often able to glean clues to the inner workings of the palace through its use of symbolic imagery and the fates of royal aides.

    Sineenat, who has not been seen in public since Monday, has been trending on Thai social media with the hashtag #SaveKoi.

    Vajiralongkorn became King in 2016 following the death of his beloved father, who was regarded by Thais as a figure of moral authority.

    Thailand: In the Footsteps of the King

    Special series

    Thailand: In the Footsteps of the King

    SOURCE: News agencies