Conflicts & War

Bangkok protesters march on German embassy, demand probe into Thai king

By Lobsang DS Subirana and Nattakarn Jeamrugeekul

Bangkok, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- Protesters rallied Monday in Bangkok to urge Berlin to open an investigation into whether Thai King Vajiralongkorn is conducting politics while in Germany.

As with previous demonstrations, the rally attracted thousands who marched to the heavily-guarded German Embassy in the Thai capital, where they held a large banner reading “Reform the monarchy.”

“We want to submit our demands [to Germany], we would like to ask Germany to launch a probe into our king, about him exercising power [from their land] and about the violations of human rights accusations,” student leader Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, who last week was summoned by police over her involvement in the rallies, told Efe.

Up to 20,000 people – according to organizers – walked 2 kilometers from Sam Yan intersection in central Bangkok to the embassy, as leaders urged bystanders to join the rally.

“Everything [the king] does affects Thailand, he’s always at the center of [political] affairs,” a 20-year-old art student by the name of Endoo said, as she held a sign reading “The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.”

Another protester who went by the name of Nattakarn said he was at the rally to demand for democracy and equality, adding that his family sells food and has suffered since the current regime took power.

Police lined the vicinity of the embassy with closely parked buses and officers occupied the main gate, forming several rows.

A statement read via a megaphone in Thai, English and German said people were gathering because the king’s actions were a potential “violation of German territorial sovereignty.”

Patsaravalee said speaking from a makeshift stage in front of the police cadre that she had handed the petition to Germany’s Ambassador to Thailand, Peter Prugel.

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