Yesterday, 17 November, after some five hours of violence, Ratsadon protestors settled in the area surrounding Parliament House for a series of speeches by nighttime.
Many of the speeches addressed directly to His Majesty King Rama 10 by his first name, Vajiralongkorn, and openly mocked his rule.
Protestors launched red balloons into the air. The words written on them were, “I order you to be under the constitution.”
With the derogatory “กู” (gu) as the pronoun for “I” and “มึง” (mueng) as “you.”
After months of protests, tension escalates between the Ratsadon Movement and the monarchy.
The king continues to make public appearances, surrounded by Royalists draped in yellow shirts. Ratsadon continues their protests, with rhetorics becoming bolder.
Meanwhile, discussion of monarchy reform is on the public’s lips, both for and against the reform.
Then there are the activities inside parliament, where MPs and senators debate on the motion to amend the constitution. The proposal by i-Law, which would open the way for monarchy reform, has been snubbed by government MPs and the senators.
Protestors view the government as dragging its feet, using delaying tactics to exhaust the movement.
But at the heart of Thailand’s political conflict is the monarchy question.
The king has told the prime minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, to no longer use Article 112, the lese majeste law. Thus far, His Majesty has stayed true to his words.
But with tension escalating, rhetorics becoming bolder, and yesterday’s violence, Thailand is heading down a dangerous path.
The Thai monarchy has never been so challenged since the 1932 Revolution that transformed the kingdom from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy.
Six months ago, it was near unimaginable that Thailand’s monarchy would be openly defied. Today, mocking the monarchy has become a routine for protestors.