News, Culture & Society

Thailand King says he ‘loves’ pro-democracy protesters demonstrating in attempt to curb his powers

King of Thailand says he ‘loves’ pro-democracy protesters demonstrating in attempt to curb his powers as he declares nation ‘the land of compromise’

  • King Maha Vajiralongkorn spoke in his first direct public comments on protests 
  • Protesters have been demonstrating in a bid to curb the Thai king’s powers 
  • One protest leader said his comments sounded like ‘just words’  

The king of Thailand has said ‘we love them all the same’ about pro-democracy protesters who are demonstrating in a bid to curb his powers. 

King Maha Vajiralongkorn also called Thailand ‘the land of compromise’ on Sunday in his first direct public comments on months of protests.  

One protest leader said it sounded like ‘just words.’

The king responded to questions from Channel 4 News during a walkabout with thousands of yellow-shirted royalists, putting on their biggest show of support since the start of protests that also seek the removal of the government.

When asked what he would say to the protesters, the king said ‘We love them all the same.’ 

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and Thai Queen Suthida greet royalists after a royal ceremony at the Grand Palace in Bangkok today

The king of Thailand has said 'we love them all the same' about pro-democracy protesters who are demonstrating in a bid to curb his powers. Pictured: A pro-democracy protester in Bangkok

The king of Thailand has said ‘we love them all the same’ about pro-democracy protesters who are demonstrating in a bid to curb his powers. Pictured: A pro-democracy protester in Bangkok 

King Maha Vajiralongkorn also called Thailand 'the land of compromise' on Sunday in his first direct public comments on months of protests

King Maha Vajiralongkorn also called Thailand ‘the land of compromise’ on Sunday in his first direct public comments on months of protests

One protest leader said it sounded like 'just words.' Pictured: Pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok

One protest leader said it sounded like ‘just words.’ Pictured: Pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok 

Yellow shirt royalist protesters outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok wait to greet the king and queen

Yellow shirt royalist protesters outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok wait to greet the king and queen 

Asked if there was room for compromise, he said ‘Thailand is the land of compromise’.

One protest leader, Jutatip Sirikhan, 21, said: ‘I feel like they are just words. The word compromise is the opposite of what has actually happened … like harassment and the use of force and the use of the law.’

The Palace has made no official comment on protests that began by seeking the departure of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha before breaking a longstanding taboo by calling for curbs on the king’s powers.

Protesters want to reverse changes that gave him personal control of some army units and a palace fortune valued in the tens of billions of dollars.

Thai pro-democracy protesters view protest art at a rally on October 29 in Bangkok

Thai pro-democracy protesters view protest art at a rally on October 29 in Bangkok

One protest leader, Jutatip Sirikhan, 21, said: 'I feel like they are just words. The word compromise is the opposite of what has actually happened ... like harassment and the use of force and the use of the law'

One protest leader, Jutatip Sirikhan, 21, said: ‘I feel like they are just words. The word compromise is the opposite of what has actually happened … like harassment and the use of force and the use of the law’

Pro-democracy protesters light up their mobile phones while masseuse attends to customers inside a massage parlour during a demonstration in Silom in Bangkok

Pro-democracy protesters light up their mobile phones while masseuse attends to customers inside a massage parlour during a demonstration in Silom in Bangkok

Pro-democracy activist Panupong Mike Jadnok is carried into a hospital vehicle after arriving at Prachachuen police station in Bangkok

Pro-democracy activist Panupong Mike Jadnok is carried into a hospital vehicle after arriving at Prachachuen police station in Bangkok

They criticise the king’s long stays in Germany as wasteful and accuse the monarchy of enabling decades of army domination by accepting coups such as the one in which Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in 2014.

The biggest protests have drawn tens of thousands of people. There was no official estimate for Sunday’s crowd. Reuters journalists estimated the number at more than 10,000.

Royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom, who has been trying to rally people to counter the protesters, said the king had told him to ‘help get the truth out’.

Royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom, who has been trying to rally people to counter the protesters, said the king had told him to 'help get the truth out'

Royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom, who has been trying to rally people to counter the protesters, said the king had told him to ‘help get the truth out’

Asked if there was room for compromise, King Maha Vajiralongkorn said 'Thailand is the land of compromise'

Asked if there was room for compromise, King Maha Vajiralongkorn said ‘Thailand is the land of compromise’

The king responded to questions during a walkabout with thousands of yellow-shirted royalists (pictured), putting on their biggest show of support since the start of protests that also seek the removal of the government

The king responded to questions during a walkabout with thousands of yellow-shirted royalists (pictured), putting on their biggest show of support since the start of protests that also seek the removal of the government

When asked what he would say to the protesters, the king said 'We love them all the same'. Pictured: A royalist holding a picture of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn

When asked what he would say to the protesters, the king said ‘We love them all the same’. Pictured: A royalist holding a picture of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn

Thai royalist holds a photograph of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and Thai Queen Suthida

Thai royalist holds a photograph of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and Thai Queen Suthida

Prayuth’s government banned protests last month and arrested many of the best known leaders, but the emergency measures were cancelled after they backfired by drawing many more people onto Bangkok streets.

Three high-profile protest leaders were hospitalised over the weekend after police said they were being re-arrested at the expiry of the limit to their detention. One of them passed out in police custody in scenes that angered protesters.

Prayuth has said he will not resign and rejects accusations that elections last year were engineered for his benefit.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.