Monarchy of Thailand ‘draws criticism’ from populace as protests escalates

23-Nov-2020 Intellasia | Skynews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Wall Street Journal’s Feliz Solomon says the Monarchy of Thailand, which has long been held as a “sacred institution”, has drawn great criticism from the people as protests in Bangkok continue to escalate.

In one of the biggest protest movements in Thailand’s history, gaining momentum particularly this year, tens of thousands have taken to the streets in Bangkok demanding reforms to the monarchy and constitution.

“The country has very strict lese majeste laws that carry penalties of up to fifteen years in prison for perceived insults to the royal family,” Ms Solomon told Sky News host Brent O’Halloran.

“So it’s always been something that if people held views that were negative of the monarchy, they tended to keep them to themselves.

“There’s a new king that succeeded a very popular king after his death in 2016.”

Ms Solomon said the previous king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, was a “much-loved figure” as he was “known for travelling throughout the countryside and carrying out a lot of public works that benefited the rural poor”.

“His son, King Vajiralongkorn, spends most of his time in Germany. That has drawn a lot of criticism because many Thais are wondering why their tax dollars may be funding the king’s stays abroad,” she said.

“That has been a subject of much controversy in recent months.”


Category: Thailand

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