The monarchy and Thai society I

8 05 2023

The Monarchy and Thai Society
Arnon Nampha

Greetings to the brothers and sisters who have come out to protest today.

Before beginning, I must inform you that I was contacted by my younger brothers and sisters from Kasetsart University and Mahanakorn University to speak about only one topic. It is one that many people wish to hear about, but no one discusses or mentions directly.

Out of honor and respect for myself, and to honor and respect the brothers and sisters who have come to listen, and with the greatest honor and respect for the monarchy, it is of the utmost necessity that we speak about how the monarchy is involved in Thai politics today. We have shoved this problem under the carpet for many years, brothers and sisters. There is no mention of the actual problem, which means that the solutions miss the mark.

We have to accept the truth that part of the reason that the students and the people have risen up to protest today is because many wish to ask questions about our monarchy. They hold up signs at demonstrations about the person who is in Germany and mention the person who flies back and forth. Such statements can allude to no one other than our monarch, brothers and sisters. But they are meaningless if we do not speak frankly and with reason and evidence in line with the principles of the rule of democracy with the king as head of state.

Brothers and sisters, at present we are facing a problem of the utmost importance. This problem is that our monarchy has grown more and more distant from democracy. This process began after the 2014 coup. Prayuth Chan-ocha and his cohort that launched the coup ordered their jurists to draft a new constitution. The first was drafted by Bowornsak Uwanno. The content of the constitution first drafted by Bowornsak was not substantially different from that of the 2007 Constitution. It turned out that the Thai ruling class did not accept it and the National Reform Assembly (NRA) dispensed with it.* The NRA then handed the responsibility to the real, live wizard-jurist of Thailand, Meechai Ruchuphan. Meechai used his wizardry to design a constitution with a structure that was conducive to the expansion of the royal prerogative in a direction departing from democracy. The farther, the better.

How did he design it?

1. He designed the second paragraph of Section 15 to create royal units as part of national governance, and for such units to be administered in line with the king’s pleasure. Translated into common language, the statement that such units will be administered in line with the king’s pleasure means that they will be run as the king wishes.** The design of this law is in complete contravention to democracy. Subsequently, the draft was brought to a referendum through a messy process. The referendum itself lacked any semblance of democracy. Many of my friends were arrested and threatened.***

2. But once it was passed through a referendum, the monarchy interfered in the promulgation of the constitution. The first time was when Prayuth Chan-ocha presented the constitution passed through the referendum to the king. The king ordered the amendment of the constitution on many key points. If the country was a democracy with the king as head of state, this could not occur because it was official interference with the promulgation of the constitution.

The amendment involved two significant points:

The first amendment regarded the situation of a national crisis. Meechai’s constitution said to examine it in line with administrative custom and to establish a committee to examine [the situation] with the president of the Supreme Court, the president of the Administrative Court, the president of Parliament, and the opposition leader. Examination of national crises would be carried out by those institutions bound up with the people. But the king ordered amendment and for this point to be removed. All that remained was for the examination to be in line with the custom of democracy with the king as head of state. This was the first amendment with definite impact on the key content of the constitution.

The second amendment was to make it such that the king does not need to appoint a regent to act in his stead when he is not in the country.^ We have therefore seen our king go to live in Germany and Switzerland. He returns to Thailand infrequently. This is a fact that all of the brothers and sisters know. All of the soldiers and police know. But I believe that no one dares to say it. With the greatest respect for the monarchy, I think that this problem must be officially discussed in order to collectively find a solution.

Upon promulgation, the power of Meechai Ruchuphan’s constitution was immediately displayed. The NLA, which had been appointed by that damn dictator Prayuth, colluded to pass many laws which expanded the monarchy’s royal prerogative.

[To be continued]

*The National Reform Assembly (NRA) was one of the five bodies appointed by the junta in 2014. The draft constitution was not passed: there were 105 votes in support of the draft, 135 against it, and 7 abstentions.

**Section 15 of the 2017 Constitution stipulates that: “The appointment and removal of officials of the Royal Household shall be at the King’s pleasure. The organisation and personnel administration of the Royal Household shall be at the King’s pleasure, as provided by Royal Decree.”

***The 2016 Act on the Referendum of the Draft Constitution criminalized protest, dissemination of information and even comment on the draft not explicitly authorized by the junta. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights documented at least 212 people who faced prosecution for actions including distributing flyers, organizing seminars on the draft constitution, and tear up their own ballots in protest of the drafting and referendum process…. [citation deleted].

^Section 16 of the 2017 Constitution stipulates that: “Whenever the King is absent from the Kingdom or unable to perform His functions for any reason whatsoever, the King may appoint one person or several persons forming a council as Regent. In the case where a Regent is appointed, the President of the National Assembly shall countersign the Royal Command therefor.”

TLHR recommendations for ending political prosecutions

3 05 2023

Read the whole Thai Lawyers for human rights post “Recommendations for Ending Political Prosecution since the 2014 Coup until the Present.” It is packed with information, data, and good sense. Here are the recommendations, in full:

(1) Enact a law to end the prosecution of civilians in the military court and political or politically-motivated cases arising after the coup d’état on 22 May 2014 until today

1.1 The parliament should enact a law authorizing and empowering the committee on political trials to decide which case is political and which one is politically motivated.

1.2 The House of Representatives should formulate broad criteria for considering political and politically-motivated cases and make sure that members of the committee on political trials consist of all stakeholders, including MPs, victims’ representatives, agencies in the justice system, academics, and human rights organizations, with gender diversity and gender balance in mind. The committee on political trials must be independent and impartial.

A political case means a case where the offense or event on the date of incident can be identified, for example, cases related to NCPO announcements and orders, civilians’ cases in the military court, lèse-majesté cases, etc.

A politically-motivated case is a case that cannot be characterized as a political case or where it is not possible to identify the event on the date of incident, but whose motivation can be proven to be political.

1.3 The parliament should enact a law ending political prosecution and politically-motivated cases since the 2014 coup d’état until the present and nullifying the culpability in those cases, effectively terminating them.

1.4 The parliament should enact a law allowing civilians involved in non-political or politically-motivated cases and/or civilians who were tried by the military court to request a re-trial in the Court of Justice or allowing civilians involved in the cases happening during the martial law to exercise the right to appeal.

(2) Establish an independent commission of inquiry 

To develop mechanisms to seek and expose the truth related to the human rights violations that occurred as a result of the military trials of civilians after the coup and the abuse of power by the state. The parliament should enact a law establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate the abuse of power and human rights situation following the 2014 coup. The said mechanism should take the format of a ‘truth commission’ tasked to pursue the truth in accordance with the right to truth of the victims, their families, and the society at large.

Its main missions should include collecting information and facts about the event, investigating relevant parties, as well as collecting and preserving evidence. The findings are to be disclosed to the public and ensure that the public can access relevant documents and official archives. The truth shall form a basis for remedy for those whose human rights have been violated and for prosecuting those involved in human rights violations.

It is important that the state guarantees that the selection and appointment of each committee member is in accordance with the principles of independence and impartiality and that the committee can work to its full capacity and to engage relevant people and human rights organizations both within and outside of the country. The committee shall consist of experts or representatives from various disciplines as well as victims’ representatives, lawyers, psychologists, social workers, and human rights experts in a way that is gender diverse and balanced.

(3) The state should take responsibility for the violations of human rights

The Cabinet and parliament should issue a public statement apologizing for what happened in order to show their acknowledgement and acceptance of the truth and the impact of human rights violations on the affected individuals. They should also provide the guarantees of non-repetition, as well as consider providing social remedies, for example, by raising public awareness on the said events and creating mechanisms to prevent, monitor, and systemically solve social conflicts.

The future vs. the past

23 04 2023


AFP reports that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, campaigning for the Move Forward Party, has declared the 2023 election choice between “a dark present and a bright future.”

Indeed, this is an election that pits the ruling parties, packed with corrupt, aged, party-hopping dullards and policy plagiarists, “backed by the conservative military and royalist establishment, and more reformist and progressive opposition groups.”

One of the differences is highlighted in the article is between young opposition party leaders like the well-educated 42 year-old Pita Limjaroenrat of Move Forward and 36 year-old Paetongtarn Shinawatra of Puea Thai and the old military-trained dolts who have led the country since the 2014 military coup, 69 year-old Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and 77 year-old Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.

It is claimed that over 40% of Thailand’s voters are under 35. That group craves change they will never get from the military, monarchy, and other rightists.

One of the traits of conservative anti-democrats is having old men in positions of power. Their role is to oppose, reject, and roll in the trough of public money while lavishing money and praise on the military and monarchy. They are called on to order the jailing of opponents and, as necessary, the murder of citizens who might oppose them, the monarchy and/or the military.

Puea Thai and 112

21 04 2023

The Shinawatra clan has always been somewhat weak when it comes to policy and rhetoric on Article 112/lese majeste. This continues with comments made to the Bangkok Post by Srettha Thavisin.

Srettha is the former president and chief executive of the Sansiri real estate empire and is now one of the three prime ministerial candidates nominated by Puea Thai. Here’s how he was reported on 112:

On amending Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law, Mr Srettha said the party is looking to rectify the law to prevent it being used as a tool to incriminate opponents in politics, which is damaging to all parties and every pillar institution of the country.

A special unit might be up and running to file legal action against lese majeste offenders. It must also be considered whether the law currently metes out too harsh a punishment.

He noted the perception of how the law is being handled and enforced transcends generations. But it was important to improve the law so people, young and old, can coexist harmoniously.

None of this sounds particularly new or original. Even the junta tried a bit of this, and we can recall similar things being said by the detestable Abhisit Vejjajiva and then by Yingluck Shinawatra.

That is not to say that every leader and party in power is hopeless on Article 112. We kind of think the data tells the story. Based on some academic work we have seen and data at our website, we think there were about 4.2 lese majeste cases prosecuted per year between 1984 and 2000. Under the Thaksin government, this rate dropped to about 2.8 cases prosecuted per year between 2001 and 2005. For the period from the 2006 coup up to the end of the Yingluck government in 2013, there was an average of about 37 cases per year, but most of these were cases under the post-coup regime and under Abhisit’s regime. Then the lese majeste tsunami got big: for 2014-2016, with a military junta in power following the coup, there were more than 105 cases per year. Of course, there was the king-directed 112 hiatus, but this has been followed from late 2020 until early 2022 (when the data ends) by an average of more than 160 cases prosecuted per year under Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha.

We understand that royalists will interpret these figures as support for the generals. Indeed, the data  show that when monarchists rule, Article 112 is used with alacrity. But from a progressive position, while Puea Thai may be weak on lese majeste reform, progressives should vote these dolts out. If that happens, they should also be prepared to defend the elections and the elected government.

Authoritarian quid pro quo

19 04 2023


Remember Siam Theerawut, Chucheep ‘Uncle Sanam Luang’ Chiwasut and Kritsana Tubtha? They were reported to have gone “missing” in May 2019. They were “reportedly arrested in Vietnam and extradited to Bangkok…”. We doubt the term “extradited,” for they were “disappeared.” As might be expected, they had been previously charged with lese majeste and were associated with the so-called Thai Federation, They had fled Thailand following the 2014 military coup. They have not been heard of since their “disappearance.”

A recent news report jogged our collective memory on this. It is reported that:

On April 13, Thai, an independent journalist who posts political commentary on YouTube and has about 119,000 followers, went missing in Bangkok, Thailand, according to multiple news reports.

He had lived in Thailand as a refugee since 2020 and visited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ office hours before his disappearance, according to those reports and Nguyen Van Hai, a colleague familiar with Thai’s situation and CPJ’s 2013 International Press Freedom Award winner, who communicated with CPJ via email.

On April 16, Vietnamese state media reported that Thai had been arrested while allegedly trying to enter Vietnam and was being held by police in the Huong Son district of central Ha Tinh province.

This is not the first such case: “In 2019, Vietnamese blogger Truong Duy Nhat was abducted in Thailand; he resurfaced in Vietnam days later and was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison.”

We might assume that this kind of cooperation between authoritarian regimes is a quid pro quo.

Updated: Military party ultra-royalism

9 04 2023

A couple of weeks ago we posted on hick party royalism. Today we post on one of the military parties and its ultra-royalism.

Recall that it is the ultra-royalists who are quickest to bemoan any “politicization” of the monarch and monarchy. Yet their military-backed parties regularly use the monarchy as a political piece. This is because for decades the royalists have been promoting and “protecting” the monarchy as a national shibboleth and the keystone of the conservative ruling class.

Pirapan. Clipped from

In their latest use of the monarchy for political advantage, in its electoral campaigning, the leader of the inaptly named United Thai Nation Party, Pirapan Salirathavibhaga has “vowed to take action against ‘nation haters’ if his party forms the next government, saying Thailand is a land for patriots and those who don’t like it can live somewhere else.”

Predictably, “nation haters” are defined by Pirapan as anti-monarchists: “Thailand is a land for patriots and the land is holy with the monarchy serving as the pillar of the country.” He babbled on:

“If you don’t like it, you have no right to change it because the entire nation wants it,” he added.

“If you don’t like it, please go to another place. No one is stopping you. Go now. Any country you like, you can go and stay there. But Thailand will be like this forever.”

“Under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart (the Thai name of UTN), we will not change,” he said. “If the UTN is a core party that forms the next government, we will get tough against chang chart (nation haters) and those who want to overthrow the institution.”

Apparently Pirapan sees no contradiction in the “United Thai Nation” excluding those who do not subscribe to mad monarchism. But he wouldn’t, because the very wealthy like him tend to defend their pile.

And, of course, as a former judge, Pirapan reflects the judicial bias against those who do not bow to ultra-monarchism. As a mad monarchist, he has defended the king’s extraordinary powers, hunted down lese majeste suspects and blocked thousands of websites when minister, claiming that “Offences against the King, the Queen, the Heir-Apparent or the Regent are considered offences relating to the security of the Kingdom…”. Unsurprisingly, Pirapan was an extreme opponent of Thaksin Shinawatra and the red shirts.

Added to all of this, while Pirapan spouts loyalty when it comes to the monarchy, he has had little loyalty to the various parties he’s joined. Of course, his lack of party loyalty is not unusual among royalists. Back in 2021, when was in the ruling, military-backed Palang Pracharath Party, he was an “advisor to powerful party leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.” Now he’s touted as number 2 to Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha in the new UTN and Prayuth reckons he should be prime minister after Prayuth’s ludicrous extended term is over.

When Pirapan sprouted his hate declaration it was “during the party’s first major campaign rally at Benjakitti forest park in Klong Toey district…”. Supporting his extremist monarchism were a gaggle of rightists: Gen Prayuth, ML Chayotid Kridakon, ultra-royalist Rienthong Nan-nah, who is now “chairman of the party’s committee on quality of life improvement,” and party secretary-general Akanat Promphan, stepson of Suthep Thaugsuban, who “paved the way for the military coup led by Gen Prayut” in 2014.

Pirapan said the UTN “will live forever under the policies of Uncle Tu (Gen Prayut’s nickname) and the heart of the party is the nation, the monarchy and people…”.

But there seems more going on within what Thai PBS called an “old boy network.”

Gen Prawit, who is also deputy prime minister, revealed recently that he has maintained close ties with Pirapan since the time they served together in Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Cabinet from 2008 to 2011. Prawit served as defense minister and Pirapan as justice minister.

However, their relationship actually began long before they entered politics.

Apirat back then. Clipped from Khaosod

Both studied at the all-boys Saint Gabriel’s College. Though Prawit was Pirapan’s senior by many years, both were part of an alumni network that also included former Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong, who is now a deputy to the Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household Bureau, which oversees day-to-day operations of the Palace.

Rumors have it that Apirat helped get fellow alumnus Pirapan his advisory job at Government House after the latter left the Democrat Party in 2019.

The plan for the 2023 election seems to be for Pirapan and Prayuth to represent the extreme right for royalist voters and maybe a few military types, banging on about monarchy. Prawit’s party represents the “cuddly” royalists, rightists, and military, appealing to a “middle” of voters, sprouting (new) words about reconciliation and democracy. The hope may be that they can get sufficient seats to form another coalition, drawing in some of the parties-for-sale.

Update: According to the Bangkok Post, Rangsiman Rome of the Move Forward Party has responded to the ultra-royalist Pirapan’s hate speech.

Elections or democracy II

6 04 2023

Following our earlier posts (here, here, and here) regarding the rigging of 2023 election, it was interesting to observe that Human Rights Watch has a post headlined: “Upcoming Election Fundamentally Flawed. Unfair Processes, Censorship, Oppression.”

It begins: “Thailand’s election scheduled for May 14, 2023, will be held under political, constitutional, and legal frameworks that make a free and fair process nearly impossible…”. It adds: “The participation of Thai opposition parties in the upcoming elections should not be interpreted to mean that they believe the electoral process in Thailand is free and fair…”.

Human Rights Watch is not alone in making these critical points: “over 50 Thai and international civil society groups highlighted these issues in joint letters to 25 of Thailand’s democratic allies and trading partners, urging governments to raise concerns with Thai leaders.”

It makes the important point:

The electoral process is occurring within the framework of a 2017 constitution written by a commission appointed by the junta that seized power from a democratically elected government in a military coup in 2014. The 2017 constitution’s provisions entrench military power at the expense of civilian rule, including by reserving for the junta the appointment of members of Thailand’s Senate, Election Commission, Administrative Court, and Constitutional Court.

The non-plot

4 04 2023

A couple of days ago, Prachatai reported that the “Khon Kaen Provincial Court has dismissed charges against 26 people accused of planning rebellion against the junta in 2014, but fined 18 of the defendants for violating the NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order – the military junta] Order banning gatherings and sentenced 2 to jail for being in possession of an explosive.” On that latter conviction, an appeal is underway.

PPT never doubted that the junta’s military had concocted this alleged plot, called the Khon Kaen Model. It had elements of plot and was linked to the odious Bike for Dad royal event, featuring then Prince Vajiralongkorn and Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, and which left a trail of bodies and arrests.

Following the 2014 military coup, the military went after red shirts. In the northeast, many believed that the military was framing people as terrorists after a 23 May 2014 raid on an apartment building in Khon Kaen city where 20 were arrested for involvement in a “terrorist plot.” The military gave the plot its name: the Khon Kaen Model. They claimed the plot was designed to incite violence in Khon Kaen. Later, they arrested six additional suspects before charging 24. The military claimed its soldiers “seized grenades, ammunition, and gas tanks at the site of the apartment building.” They even displayed the weapons.

Clipped from the Bangkok Post

The accused claimed they were a “part of a broader campaign for social justice and equality.” A supporter “explained that the group only gathered that day to discuss Red Shirts’ peaceful responses to the coup.”

Junta, police, and military made ever more bizarre claims about the (non-existent) plot and the suspects were to front a military court where no justice could be expected. From the beginning it was a judicial joke: “the defendants were not notified of the charges in a public hearing at the military court, but at the prison instead. This is in line with the NCPO’s announcement on July 21 amending article 142 of the Criminal Code, which had required that defendants be notified of charges in a public hearing.” There were claims that “confessions” were forced.

By the time the case was (in part) decided and the spurious charges dismissed, nine long years had passed. Most of the accused were “aged between 40 – 70 years old at the time of their arrest, [and] three people have died, while two are now in exile.”

On 30 March 2023:

the Khon Kaen Provincial Court dismissed the terrorism conspiracy charge against the group, ruling that the operation [was a]… discussion … not a terrorist operation but only a plan to protect an elected government and protest against the coup.

The court also dismissed all charges against 2 defendants. However, it found 16 of the defendants guilty of violating the NCPO Order banning gatherings of more than five people and sentenced them to 6 months in prison and a fine of 9000 baht, but suspended the prison sentence for two years. Some of the defendants are also exempted from paying the fine since they had already spent more time in pre-trial detention than their prison sentence.

NCPO Order 3/2015 banning gatherings of more than 5 people was repealed by the 22/2018 Order. Several courts have struck down charges under the Order or dismissed the charges, ruling that the offence can no longer be prosecuted as the Order has already been repealed. However, some defendants facing charges under this Order were still found guilty.

One person was also found guilty of unauthorized possession of weapons and ammunition and carrying weapons in public. Two other people were found guilty of joining illegal gatherings and illegal possession of an explosive; one was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison and the other was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months. They were granted bail to appeal their case.

The junta was a pathetic military operation. Its actions were illegal. Its legacy is long and cruel and deforms Thailand’s politics.

Updated: 2023 election coverage

28 03 2023

Here are some international attempts at understanding the upcoming election:

Council on Foreign Relations, Thailand’s Parliament Has Been Dissolved: Elections Loom, But Will They Be Free?

In a free and fair election, it would be difficult for military-aligned parties to put together a winning coalition. But this could well not be a free and fair election. (2019 was not, after all.) The election commission is in the hands of Prayuth and his allies, and they can disqualify MPs who have won. The top court can even go so far as to disqualify entire parties.

Clipped from Nikkei Asia

DW, Will Thailand’s upcoming elections see a political shift?

… in recent years, Thailand has faced political unrest and economic woes, while the kingdom’s monarchy has been challenged. The prime minister’s popularity has faded.

Reuters, Thai PM Prayuth to run for re-election in May*

The military veteran has lagged rivals in opinion polls, but hopes to win over supporters with promises of looking after the wellbeing of the people and the country’s stability, and protecting the monarchy…. “The most important thing is to defend the country and protect the nation’s main institution. Please trust me as you’ve always done,” Prayuth said.

VICE, Thailand’s Election Is Filled With These Controversial Characters. Here’s What You Need to Know

Faced with pro-democracy protests, half-baked cannabis laws, and the comeback of the Shinawatra family, millions will cast their votes on the country’s leaders in May.

The Diplomat, Thai PM Dissolves Parliament, Paving Way For May Election

Thailand’s parliament has been dissolved by a government decree, setting the stage for a general election in May that will once again pit the country’s conservative establishment against an opposition led by the representatives of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Times of India, Explainer: What you need to know about Thailand’s elections

Youth-led protests that began in 2020 broke a longstanding taboo around questioning the role of the monarchy in Thailand, where the constitution states the king is “enthroned in a position of revered worship”.

The Move Forward party has campaigned on reforming a law that punishes royal insults with up to 15 years in jail. Activists have urged opposition parties to scrap it, but the topic remains sensitive among many Thais and most parties oppose or want to avoid talk of reform.

The Washington Post, How Military Has a Thumb on Scales in Thai Election

Paywalled in some places.

La Prensa Latina Media, Thai leader Prayut confirms re-election bid

Prayut recently joined the United Thai Nation Party having previously led a government run by the pro-military Palang Pracharath Party.

He was army chief when the military seized power in a bloodless coup in May 2014 after months of anti-government demonstrations.

Of an authoritarian and ultra-monarchical nature, the military leader silenced any dissenting voice at the head of the military junta and delayed elections several times.

In 2019 he was appointed leader of the civilian government after elections that international observers described as lacking transparency.

Between 2020 and 2021, his government used police force to stop student-led demonstrations demanding reforms in the country and the monarchy, a highly taboo subject in Thailand.

Since then, more than 200 people, including minors, have been charged with lèse majesté and sedition for their peaceful activism. Both can carry long prison terms.

South China Morning Post, As Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn readies for May 14 vote, army and youth pose major challenges

“We are ready to rescue the country,” Paetongtarn told reporters on March 21 outside the City Pillar shrine where Bangkok residents seek blessings…. “We are very ready to go on campaigning and to explain our policies in greater detail, but in the end it’s about the people; whether they choose us or not, the power is in their hands.”

Update: *A reader rightly points out that the Reuters headline is buffalo manure because Gen Prayuth was never elected, except to the unelected senators he appointed.

Elections and the reform protesters II

24 03 2023

A couple of days ago we posted on some of the monarchy reform protesters and their take on the upcoming election.

On Wednesday, the Ratsadon Group “launched a fresh democracy campaign called ‘Vote for Change’ in response to the May 14 general election.”

It was Ratsadon Group leader Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon who announced that the

Group is calling on all eligible voters to join in the ‘Vote for Change’ campaign by seeing to it that the nationwide race to parliament will be held in free, transparent and fair fashion and that pro-democracy parties which could possibly get a majority of MPs to set up a post-election government will be practically obliged to meet the group’s resolute goals.

Clipped from Thai Newsroom

She pointed to young political activists “raising the common objectives toward which the pro-democracy parties may contribute by making ‘structural changes’ to the coup-trigger-happy military and undemocratic bureaucratism as well as reforming the monarchy.”

The Group also “called on the pro-democracy parties to steer monarchical reform beginning with the long-awaited amendment to the draconian lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code.”

They also  called for amendments to the “coup junta-designed constitution of 2017 to make it truly democratic and ultimately put an end to the ‘tyrannical elite’ regime led by caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who rose to power via the 2014 coup.”

Another Ratsadon Group leader Arnon Nampa “suggested the people not be so concerned over apparent conflict of standpoints between the Pheu Thai and Move Forward that they might compromise the shared goals of putting an end to the ‘tyrannical elite’…”.

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