Burning down the (royal) house

21 10 2021

PPT highly recommends the Prachatai article by Sorawut Wongsaranon and Yiamyut Sutthichaya, “Burning portraits of the King : Symbolic expression and backlash beyond the law.”

It begins:

An escalation of symbolic actions by pro-democracy protesters took place after the repeated use of force against protesters by the police and legal charges against its leading figures. But when it comes to burning portraits of the King, the state uses the royal defamation law to handle the problem.

From Isaan Record

The burning of the monarch’s portraits is not new. For example, the Royal arches arson case saw 8 persons convicted in 2017 and 2018. But the rate of these symbolic acts has increased substantially.

One protester is quoted:

Please just look at how much budget was spent producing these portraits? If we keep burning them, and they are symbols that we don’t want, they won’t make any more portraits. Use the money for the portraits to buy vaccines, spend it on the education budget …

People may not understand why. People may wonder if it is anger. But if we have explained things this way, they will get the picture about why we burn them. We burn them to let them know that we don’t want them.

Read the article!


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