By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS today (Nov. 14) lodged a petition to Germany where His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn is currently residing via the German Embassy in Bangkok in protest of what they called “absolute monarchy” being allegedly reintroduced in Thailand.
The street activists who peacefully gathered at Pathumwan intersection protested against the allegedly renewed “absolute monarchy” and insisted that their ideological calls for monarchical reform will by no means undermine democratic rule with the Monarch as head of state as ruled otherwise by the Constitutional Court.
On the ground at one of the city’s major intersections, effigies of the Constitutional Court, the judges of which were appointed by a military junta following the 2014 coup which was orchestrated by then-army chief, now-premier Prayut Chan-o-cha, were torched in symbolic protest of it.
The demonstrators, mostly being adolescents, maintained that their peaceful calls for monarchical reform are primarily designed to uphold and preserve constitutional monarchy with the King not only as head of state but also a spiritual, magnificent leader of the Thais.
Since the last several years, Thailand has gradually returned to “semi-monarchical rule” which might probably culminate in “absolute monarchy” at the cost of democratic rule with the Monarch as head of state, says a statement issued by the organisers of today’s massive protest, including the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, Thalufah, Democracy Restoration Group and We Volunteers, among other activist groups.
A banner dangling over a sidewalk in the intersection area says “We are the representative of the future and we’ll never surrender” where ideological catchphrases spray-painted on the ground says “This country belongs to the people.” and “Love live the people.”
Thousands of street protesters, the front rows of whom wearing gas masks and helmets, intermittently making the three-finger salute and shouting no to monarchical rule, marched from Pathumwan intersection with the German Embassy on Sathorn Road, about four kilometres away, as their destination.
An adolescent who was among the front-row street protesters was seriously injured with a gunshot in the chest by an unknown assailant and rushed to a nearby hospital whereas others briefly hustled with crowd-control policemen near Ratchaprasong intersection, barely half a kilometre from Pathumwan intersection.
The pro-reform demonstrators, some of whom brandishing banners saying ”No Absolute Monarchy” and placards saying “No Section 112” referring to the lese majeste law, briefly encountered crowd-control policemen in Ratchaprasong intersection area, prompting them to avoid possible clashes by changing route from Rama I Road to Henri Dunant Road and Rama IV Road.
From Lumpini intersection, the protesters turned right to Sathorn Road and finally made it to the German Embassy where the “anti-absolute monarchy” petition involving His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn who is now residing in Bavaria in southeast Germany was delivered to the embassy the perimeters of which were tightly secured by policemen.
Part of the statement was read out via a loudspeaker at the front gate of the German Embassy saying Thailand is currently coming under “semi-monarchical rule” instead of democratic rule leading to the pro-reform people being appalled at the probability of “absolute monarchy” which is allegedly being renewed, thus prompting them to fight against it and raise the attention of the world community to it. Representatives of the demonstrators were allowed to get inside the embassy’s premises to deliver their petition.
Last year, the pro-democracy activist groups peacefully rallied outside the German Embassy in the Thai capital to deliver a similar statement in pursuit of an end to the Prayut regime, constitutional amendment and monarchical reform.
Scenes from this protest from this afternoon to evening. Photos: Matichon