Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the German embassy in Bangkok on Oct 26 to seek an investigation of the Thai king’s activities during extensive stays in Germany as months of protests give rise to growing calls for reforms of the monarchy.
In Thailand, demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former coup leader who became premier last year after disputed elections. They are also urging reform of the country’s powerful monarchy, an unprecedented challenge to an institution shielded from criticism by law.
“We have three demands – first that the PM must resign, second that we want a new constitution from the people not the government, and third we want to reform the monarchy,” said one 16-year-old student protester who declined to be named.
Protesters accuse the monarchy of helping to enable decades of domination by military rulers. They also complain about spending on the king’s European visits at a time the coronavirus has hit the tourism-reliant economy hard.
Responding to the demonstration German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said “We are monitoring this long-term, it will have immediate consequences if there are things that we assess to be illegal.”