BANGKOK – Thousands of Thailanders have come out in the biggest protest in recent years in a bid to curb the immense powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
“Unless the monarchy is under the Constitution, we will never achieve true democracy,” protest leader Arnon Nampa said before a large crown that had assembled in central Bangkok to demand cuts to the huge royal budget and constitutional changes to bring the King under its control.
Reports said the protesters have broken a longstanding taboo in Thailand (pop.70 million) by criticizing the monarchy which is protected by archaic lese majeste laws saying those who insult the King can be jailed, as he is constitutionally enthroned in a “position of revered worship.”
Many Thais have reportedly become disillusioned and fed up with the King as he has spent much of his time out of the country, living in a luxurious chalet in Switzerland with his entourage of concubines and courtiers, since inheriting the throne from his father King Bhumibol who died in 2016.
Since the outbreak of Covid19, the London tabloid Independent claimed King Maha had been isolating in a 5-star hotel in the Alpine resort
Garmisch Partenkirchen together with his harem of 20 women and numerous servants.