Thailand Student Protests: FORSEA stands in solidarity with Thammasat University Students on Monarchical Reform in Thailand
For several decades now that the so-called “constitutional monarchy” of Thailand has proven to be fraudulent. The call from Thammasat University students is both timely and crucial in moving Thailand forward in the democratic direction.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, FORSEA’s co-founder, sent his message to the large gathering of Thammasat University students, Bangkok, August 10, 2020, supporting them in their endeavour to bring discussion of the monarchy into the open.
After printing "I'm losing faith in the monarchy" on a tee shirt, a critic of the monarchy was locked in a mental asylum. Not surprisingly, it did little to reassure Thais that authorities were acting in their best interests.
From the judges and the police, to the army and officials in the ICT, they all serve as defenders of the monarchy, thus making the Computer Crime Act as effective as the lèse-majesté law in purging dissent from Thai society.
The Royalists Marketplace elevates political criticism, bringing it from underground to a screen, from gossip and rumour to open debate.
The Thai military, which helped the country’s establishment create an unassailable monarchy to further its ends, now finds that it has created an uncontrollable figure in the form of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the 67-year-old monarch who took the throne on the death of his revered father in 2016.
After three failed marriages, Vajiralongkorn has lost interest in fulfilling the institution’s role in projecting family values. And after appointing a noble consort, it's a tall order to rescue King Vajiralongkorn’s image.
Royal absolutism is likely to pick up speed following the coronation. The possibility of consensus-making will diminish the more absolutism grows, and so too will the likelihood of political conflict.