Down With Dictatorship: Thai Protesters Challenge Monarchy

Thai students risk jail with calls to curb monarchy’s power. Photo: Freedom for Thai group
Thai students risk jail with calls to curb monarchy’s power. Photo: Freedom for Thai group

By RMN News Service

Thousands of Thai protesters continue to defy a government diktat that bans demonstrations against the despotic regime. Although the government has banned assembly of five or more people and the publication of news and online information that could threaten national security, the protesters pledge that they will hold daily demonstrations against the callous Thai government.

Protesters are holding anti-government rallies in the Thai capital, Bangkok, to demand an end to dictatorship in Thailand, a Southeast Asian country. The peaceful protesters, who are being threatened by government-backed police and security forces, openly challenge the monarchy of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn and demand reforms to curb his powers.

In a series of protests – mostly led by students – the demonstrations have been asking the government to dissolve the parliament and draft a new constitution in which the country’s monarchy has limited role in politics. They also demand that the monarchy should be brought under the constitution.

Although it is a serious crime under Thai law to challenge the royal family, the protesters – who are also holding protests in other parts of the world – demand reformation of the monarchy, which should be prohibited from expressing political opinions in public.


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According to a BBC report, the protest in August at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument was one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations since Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in a 2014 coup.

The report adds that the protesters waved banners and chanted: “Down with dictatorship, long live democracy” slogans. They are demanding that Mr Prayuth – a former general who won disputed elections last year – stand down.

Since the coup on May 22, 2014, Thai people have been forced to live under the control of junta government (military dictatorship), which has been exercising extreme and incontestable state power to silence and control the citizens. “We refuse to tolerate the cruelty and incompetence of the rulers any longer,” asserts a Thai freedom group.

With a list of demands, the group warns that if the government did not accept its demands, it will intensify its protests, which are expected to receive wider support from the citizens despite the government’s coercive actions against the dissenters.

While Mr Prayuth says the majority of Thais do not support the protests, a few supporters of the monarchy have also staged simultaneous rallies.

According to a Reuters report, the protest leaders had called on all Thais to take October 14 off work to participate in the demonstrations and show their support for change.

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Rakesh Raman