Attempts to resolve the unprecedented crisis created by the anti-monarchy movement by calling a special session of Parliament in Thailand are indicative of its failure. Earlier the Emergency, which was implemented there this month, also failed to suppress the public demonstrations. With the imposition of Emergency, key leaders associated with the movement were arrested. Despite this, huge demonstrations have continued in different parts of the country.
A two-day special session of the country’s parliament took place on Monday and Tuesday to resolve the crisis. But there are indications that this bet of the government backfired. Even within Parliament, the opposition raised the demands of the agitators. Leader of the Opposition Sompong Amorniwat said that if the government really wants to solve the problem and is committed to following the law, it must resign. On the first day of the session on Monday, over one lakh protesters marched through the streets of the capital Bangkok.
The agitators have three major demands. They want Prime Minister Prayutha to resign, the country’s constitution be rewritten and the structure of the monarchy reformed – that is, its powers are reduced. Although the movement started with the demand for the removal of the Prime Minister, it gradually emerged anti-monarchy tone, while till now the king in Thailand was considered beyond criticism.
A new form of anti-monarchy movement took place on Monday when millions of protesters reached the German embassy in Bangkok. He demanded Germany to investigate the activities of the Thai king. Significantly, the current kings spend most of their time in Germany. These demonstrations have been affected.
The German government has said in a formal statement that it is unacceptable that King Maha Vajiralongkorn should live in a European country and rule his country from there. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that the entire duration of the Thai King’s Germany residence has been monitored. If any mistake is found in their conduct, then action will be taken.
The movement was started by the students. Prime Minister Prayuth was the first military general to overthrow the elected government and gain power. He then held elections, winning which he has been ruling for the last six years. He won re-election last year. But the election process has been dubious. As the king’s support is with Prayuth, they are also gradually targeted. According to the current constitution of Thailand it is mandatory to honor the king. That is why the protesting soldiers are demanding to change this constitution prepared by the authorities.
There is a deep divide in the country on this issue. The people of the ruling class, ex-military officers and rich sections are against any change in the status of the king. There have been many demonstrations in which the king has been opposed to being targeted. But the size of these demonstrations has been much smaller than the anti-monarchy demonstrations.