Royalists take over the protest route to make way for Royal motorcade

PHOTO: Prachachat

Maybe the headline should be “The Empire Strikes Back, Thai style”. A group of dressed in yellow, many who are military and police officers, took over the pro-democracy protest route to make way for the Royal motorcade. The dates of both the protest, announced back on September 20, and the motorcade for HM The King to travel to oversee a graduation ceremony, clashed, bringing about this surreal situation.

The royalists’ response to today’s planned protest, indeed the routing and scheduling of the royal motorcade, belies a deft and strategic counter-protest to the students and their demands.

Many of the people dressed in yellow, a colour symbolising the Royal Monarchy, were seen along Bangkok’s Ratchadamnoen Avenue from Democracy Monument to the Government House, some waiving Thailand’s national flag.

Leader of the yellow shirt group, Suvit Thongprasert, says they were there to make sure the pro-democracy protesters don’t block the motorcade route. The Thai Monarch is scheduled to preside over a graduation ceremony of Pali scholars at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha this evening.

“We will not tolerate any obstruction to the royal motorcade. Demonstrators can use any other route, but not the royal route because the route must be clean and free of impurity.”

Another yellow shirt leader Suthep Thaugsuvab says he will stay on the avenue and wait for the Royal motorcade.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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