Protesters in Bangkok demand monarchy reform

Thai student-led protest movement against the government handed over to the Bangkok police three manifestos addressed to King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X), including a list of ten demands including reform of the monarchy.

Protesters first demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a direct successor to the military junta he presided over from 2014 to 2019 and the other members of his cabinet.

Their second demand is to adopt a new constitution instead of the one that was drawn up and approved under the control of the military in 2017.

They also demand a reform of the monarchy that, in their opinion, “is increasingly distancing itself from the principles of constitutionality” and “supports military dictatorships.”

It was a 21-year-old student, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, a co-leader and pro-democracy activist of the United Front of Thammasat University, who made these demands known near the Grand Palace in Bangkok in the presence of senior police officers, journalists and delegates of the protesters.

After reading the statement, Sithijirawattanakul handed it over to the chief of police along with other manifestos addressed to the king.

“We do not seek to overthrow the monarchy, but to reform it and redirect it towards the constitutional framework,” he stressed.

More than 80,000 people took part in a new anti-government demonstration in Bangkok on September 19. The next protest was called for September 24 in front of the Parliament.