BANGKOK: About 1,200 Thai royalists gathered on Sunday (Aug 30) to support the monarchy after almost daily student-led, anti-government protests calling for change, with some seeking reforms of the powerful institution.
Waving national flags and holding pictures of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the group of mostly older people called "Thai Pakdee" ("Loyal Thai") – many in yellow and some in white – urged Thais to protect the monarchy and the country.
Rallying in an indoor sports stadium in the capital Bangkok, some had "We love the king" written on their bandanas while others held placards with messages such as "Save the nation", "Don't bully loyalists" and "Topple the institution – over my dead body".
"The point of our group is to protect the monarchy with knowledge and facts," said prominent right-wing politician Warong Dechgitvigrom, who launched the group this month as he felt the monarchy was under attack.
READ: Testing royal taboos: Inside Thailand's new youth protests
"We insist that the country's conflicts stem from politicians," he told reporters. "The monarchy institution has no part in governing the country. The institution is the morale support that connects the people together."
Demonstrator Somporn Sooklert, 63, said, "I want the new generation to appreciate the country, religion and monarchy as much as they can because without any one of them, the country will not be able to survive."
The gathering follows over a month of protests led by students calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a former coup leader, a new Constitution and fresh election, with some drawing Read More – Source