Now that core leaders of the protests are in custody, the authorities are ramping up their suppression of demonstrators, and the possibility of life imprisonment has been mooted, it seems hard to imagine where this movement goes from here.
Thai society needs 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 Royalists Marketplace stands for freedom of expression. Crude censorship from the Thai government crushes the freedoms that Thais are entitled to. In blocking the page, Facebook is cooperating with the authoritarian regime in obstructing democracy and cultivating authoritarianism in Thailand.
The student gatherings at the Democracy Monument and at Thammasat University in August were a turning point in the course of the ongoing protests in Thailand. Calls are now being made for an immediate reform of the monarchical institution to locate back into the constitutional framework.
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.