Supporters of Thailand’s royal family Sunday ended a demonstration near Bangkok’s Democracy Monument in the heart of the city – a counter protest to the ongoing student led movement against the national government in recent days.
The “nationalistic pro-monarchy movement” as it was termed in the local English language media broke up in the Ratchadamnoen Avenue area around 1600 after around 50-60 pro-royalists carrying pictures of the Thai King Vajiralongkorn and other royal family members in addition to national flags gathered at the famous monument to show their support for the reigning monarch amidst anti-government students demonstrating across the street.
Ratchadamnoen Avenue is a prominent east – west road artery near many of Bangkok’s major tourist sites and a number of historic palaces and temples.
“You can propose whatever you want. We can protest against anybody. But we have no right to touch on the monarchy,” one of the pro-royalists gathering was reported as saying.
It is understood the pro-royalists also recorded the anti-government students looking to gather evidence of the monarchy of Thailand being disrespected, that could then be filed with police.
Becoming more and more vocal in recent days, the so-called ‘Free Youth and Free People’ movements are demanding the dissolution of the current Thai government and increased levels of freedom of speech.
It is thought that an early crowd of around 1,000 anti-government protesters eventually drew onlookers and others sympathetic to their cause with domestic Thai media by the late evening reporting numbers in excess of 10,000.
In related news a small protest was arranged late Sunday in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei.
Attended by around 100 primarily Taiwanese with a few overseas based Thai nationals, it reportedly took place in Taipei’s main rail hub – a popular meeting place for so-called migrant workers at the weekend.