Pavin Chachavalpongpun, co-founder of FORSEA, was invited to share his view by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs in the programme, “Deep Dish: Thailand’s Youth Demand Democratic Reforms“.

Pavin emphasised the need for Thai society to be able to speak openly now about the role of the monarchy. For decades, the Thai monarchy has dominated the Thai political space, firmly supported by the military. The royal institution sits on top of the apex of political structure; yet is is illegal to criticise it under the draconian lese-majeste law.

Recent the student protests address this pertinent issue, proposing ten points of their demand, intentionally relocating the monarchy back in the constitution. Pavin’s own political activism can be found in his private Facebook group, Royalist Marketplace, with more than 1 million members after just 4 months of its establishment. But its access in Thailand is now blocked by the Thai government. This means Facebook has entered into this political mess as the struggle for political power has continued to characterise Thailand.

Listen to the podcast here:

Banner: 2020, August,18 ,Bangkok, Thailand, Thousand of student gathered at Mahidol university to protest against the government and the monarchy. Image: kan Sangtong /

Pavin Chachavalpongpun

Posted by Pavin Chachavalpongpun

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. Since the coup of 2014 in Thailand, Pavin was summoned twice for his criticial views of the monarchy and the military. He rejected the summons. As a result, the Thai junta issued a warrant for his arrest and revoked his passport, forcing him to apply for a refugee with Japan.