Pro-Thailand pro-democracy demonstrators returned to the capital’s business district on Thursday to conduct activities similar to street fairs to draw attention to the debate over the excessive power and influence of the Thai monarchy.
Their rally on Silom Road in the city is considered to be the consideration for a fashion show held by Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, the daughter of King Maha Vaharalongkorn on Thursday night.
The princess is a fashion designer who has several shops in shopping malls and shopping malls in Bangkok, selling her luxury goods.
A large group of people gathered after get off work occupied part of the street, looked at the artworks and posters on display, serious and ironic, and listened to impromptu speeches.
Satire and sarcasm played an important role in the recent protests. This happened again on Thursday. The red carpet was rolled out on the street as men and women walked on the fashion runway in front of amused crowds, often making fun of the king̵
Protesters led by students hold rallies almost every day, attracting crowds of sometimes more than 10,000 people in a short period of time.
They hope that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha will step down, amend the constitution to make it more democratic, and carry out reforms to make the monarchy’s activities more transparent and accountable.
Prayuth first became the prime minister of the military government after the army commander staged a coup in 2014, last year after the new constitution and military rule disadvantaged existing parties held general elections after enacting other laws.
Prayuth said he will not leave under pressure, but his government has expressed willingness to allow Parliament to consider amending the constitution.
The protest movement also accused King Vajiralongkorn of having excessive power in a democratic system under the constitutional monarchy. The palace’s wealth is estimated to be at least US$40 billion, making it the richest royal family in the world.
For a long time, the monarchy has been regarded as an unshakable institution, respected by a large part of the population, and protected by a majestic law that provides for the punishment of anyone convicted of slandering the monarch and his immediate family. , Sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison.
Although the protest leaders’ criticism of the royal family was low-key at first, they are now becoming more and more outspoken. This has surprised many Thais because the topic has not been discussed publicly for a long time.
On Tuesday, the demonstrators gathered outside the German embassy and delivered a letter to the ambassador, asking his government to investigate whether King Vajiralongkorn was conducting political activities during his frequent visits to Germany.
Thai royalists have been conducting counter-demonstrations recently, but so far they lack the numbers and enthusiasm to support democracy activists. After several participants in the Bangkok Royal Party rally recently attacked student protesters, there are fears that more violence may break out.
Protest leader Chonticha “Lukkate” Changrew said Thursday that it is time to ask the government how to protect the peaceful assembly of students from the state’s protection, “how they will control and stop those who try to provoke violence. Oppose us.”
King Vajiralongkorn made several appearances in the past week, visiting with Queen Suhida and his family, and welcoming a group of loyal monarchists to gather to meet him. These events have been captured in smartphone videos and spread widely on social media.